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Temperate species forming nests in soil banks, roof spaces, wall cavities and trees. Nests formed of paper (chewed wood) and may become very large. Colonies only survive one season in UK, new ones started each spring by overwintered queens. Forage on wide range of foods including insects, spiders and sweet substances. Maybe aggressive if threatened.
Egg - larva - pupa - adult
Eggs - many 1000's laid by queen in hexagonal cells throughout spring and summer.
Larvae - legless grubs within cells fed by workers on chewed insects, spiders. Develop in 4 weeks.
Pupae - develop in about 2 weeks within cell.
Adults - workers winged 10-20 mm long, distinctive black and yellow coloration. Queen winged, similar coloration but larger.
Nuisance, potentially more serious if nest in close proximity or within buildings. Widely feared for ability to sting which is painful and, very rarely, lethal. Potential disease transmission from feeding on rotting food materials. Also beneficial in killing many other garden insect pests.
Consider whether necessary if nest well away from dwellings and sensitive areas Control is easy if access to nest is good. Care necessary to avoid being stung (protective clothing). Residual sprays or dusts on alighting areas or into nests. Bendiocarb very effective but also many organophosphates, pyrethroids.
Remove wasp nest as necessary.
Pyrethroid fast acting wasp destroyer aerosols (professional use only).
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