The Wasp has yellow and black markings. There is a waist between the back part of the body and the section where the wings are. Honey bees are normally a more orangey brown and dark brown in colour, and are hairy. Hover flies are very similar to wasps, but the yellow and black banding on a hover fly is more definite and even. It is also normally smaller than a wasp.
A wasp nest looks round, grey and paper-like in structure. The entrance hole is usually found at the base of the nest. A nest is normally only used once. Wasps are most active during the day so the best time to treat is at dusk, when most of the wasps will be in the nest. Wasps normally start to die off around October-November time. This is when the queen leaves the nest to hibernate.
Wasps become a nuisance to humans mainly in late summer as the weather gets cooler when they become more likely to sting. A wasp, unlike a bee, can sting many times. Although the wasp sting is not normally serious, it can be very painful, and in certain cases can cause a severe reaction.
How to treat by yourself
To treat the nest, you can use an insecticidal powder or liquid that has a long lasting effect.
Warning: Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
You will normally be required to spray the treatment around the entrance hole to the nest. As the wasps become active, they will tread on the treatment, taking it back into the nest - this will kill the queen, the wasps and the grubs.
The treatment will normally be successful within 3-4 days, but some times it may be necessary to re-treat.
I have found a "dead" nest. What should I do?
Wasps never re-use an old nest, so if you are certain that there is no activity it can simply be removed and disposed of. Any nest found during the winter will be "dead" and can be safely removed.
How can I get rid of live wasps' nests?
If you have a live nest that is not bothering you, then it is not essential to destroy it. However, nests can cause problems for your neighbours, so bear this in mind when deciding what to do.
Wasps can be very aggressive and if a nest is causing a nuisance then it is best treated professionally.