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Wasp Fact File

If you have wasps swarming around a particular area of your Devon or Cornwall property then the chances are that there is a wasps nest somewhere. Here, we uncover some useful and interesting wasp facts.

What you need to know about wasps

Wasps are generally considered a nuisance with the threat of their sting and the fact that some people are allergic to them. While we don’t often see wasps until the summertime here in Plymouth, the queen starts to build her nest in early spring.

What should you do if you notice wasps swarming around your property and what do you need to know about these insects? We uncover some useful and interesting wasp facts.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Ordewr: Hymneoptera

There are over 120,000 different species of wasps and they exist in every country of the world except in Antartica. The most obvious wasp that we see in Plymouth and the South West is the Common wasp or Vespula vulgaris. It has distinct black and yellow warning stripes and can be found throughout the UK. From time to time we see headlines that we are about to be invaded by wasps from Africa or other countries like the Killer hornet.

Many wasps are solitary, this means they lay their eggs on or in other insects eventually killing their hosts. There are also social species of wasps which make their nests using wood pulp. It is these social wasps that you need to beware of as the queen will make her nest in early spring somewhere warm and hospitable.

Origins of the wasp

The earliest wasps can be traced back to the Jurassic period and are thought to have evolved from much smaller insects.


The male wasp is known as a drone while the female wasp is known as a queen worker. Only the female has a sting.


Solitary wasps are parasites and will find a host and lay their eggs in them (usually another insect). For this reason, they are good to have in the garden as they kill other insects. Social wasps can be more of a problem for us humans though. In early spring the queen wasp, who has sought shelter through the winter, will come out and start to build a nest. They will search for a hospitable place – a brick, a hole in a tree, under the eaves of your garage or in other places where they can easily find food. To make their nest they chew up bark turning it into a pulp which is then used with mud and other things to make the nest.


While wasps don’t transmit diseases through their sting, they do have one massive risk to health and that is if a human is allergic to their sting. Anaphylactic shock can be induced from a wasp sting. Those that know they are allergic to the sting will carry an adrenalin pen in case they get stung.


Most wasps live for a few months or a year and by the winter most will have died off. A few queens survive to build the colony for next year. They seek shelter in the winter until it is warm enough to come out again.


Most wasps mate once a year. Following mating, the female wasps will hibernate in the ground or a safe place until spring. The males then die. When it comes to social wasps not all females are fertile. It is their job to assist in nurturing the young of other female wasps. In the case of solitary wasps, all females are fertile.

Interesting wasp facts

  • The largest wasps grow to up to 5cm long
  • Wasps are related to bees and ants
  • A female wasp can sting several times unlike a bee which can only sting once
  • They can live in any country except the Antarctica
  • Not all wasps are black and yellow, in fact they come in many different colours

What to do if you have a wasp nest in or around your property

While there may not appear to be much activity going on, before long you can rest assured that there will be. Don’t touch or disturb the nest. Step away and call in the experts who will be able to remove your wasp nest and take steps to ensure that they don’t build another.

Here at Falcon Environmental Services, we offer a Plymouth wasp nest removal service which is simple and effective and will rid you of the problem quickly and effectively. Call us on 01752 929292 for more help.

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ken miller
ken miller
Had a very large wasp nest in my loft, which was sorted very quickly and professionally. Would definitely recommend and use again.
Sophie Stubbs
Sophie Stubbs
Absolutely fantastic service from Matthew. Good communication, kept to time and made us feel as ease about having pests on the house! Thank you so much!
We had a great service from Falcon. They were efficient. Responsive and informative. Mo (Mohammad) was really friendly, kind, efficient and gave us great information that was really interesting. We had been struggling with a hornets nest, he advised it was the biggest he had seen. He was really kind and gave a great service and they have all gone now! I highly recommend Falcon and their team, from when I called up to the end result was 5*. Khara Pierre
daniel m
daniel m
Again! Falcon environmental services to the rescue. Excellent service from matthew and the team at Falcon environmental. Expert knowledge as always! Very informative. Solved the pest control problem i had. Would highly recommend. 5 star service.
Jan Smith
Jan Smith
Can highly recommend Falcon. The office staff were very professional, polite and communication excellent informing me when & what time visits were to happen. Mo visited several times & was always courteous, informed me what he was going to do & showed me pictures of the loft so I could see what he was doing. He answered questions & was reassuring. Good experience all round
Susan Williams
Susan Williams
Customer service excellent and certainly know what they are doing. Communication good and immediate response to my initial approach. Mo, the gentleman who attended was very knowledgeable and a lovely man. We would recommend this company.
Rose Chapman
Rose Chapman
I was recommended Falcon to remove a wasp nest from the fascia’s which turned out to be two nests. I can’t rate them highly enough and their quick response was thoroughly followed up until completely sorted. They are honest, friendly and reliable and I would not hesitate to recommend them. It is great to support local people who are good at their work and this is a team who really deserve exactly this. Thank you.
Ros Durston
Ros Durston
I received a highly professional and genuinely caring service. I would not hesitate to recommend them and to use them again.
Kate Jennings
Kate Jennings
Matthew was extremely thorough and very professional and informative. It was unnecessary to take any further steps as there was no evidence of mice.

Contact us today for fast, effective help

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