back to article Wasted worker wasps wanna know – oi! – who are you looking at?

Britain's booze hooligans are back – and more obnoxious than possibly imagined. Yes, we're talking about wasps, which have been behind a wave of complaints in the UK by turning up uninvited at beer gardens, drinking leftovers from people's pint, getting drunk, and then picking a fight with the locals. The weather is to blame …

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  1. apveening

    Small correction

    Worker wasps are infertile females, not males. And the sting is evolved from an egg-depositor.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Small correction

      Does that mean that the queen wasp doesn't have a stinger?

      1. apveening

        Re: Queen wasp stinger

        In common wasps the queen has a stinger and eggs don't pass through it (anymore). However, a lot of solitary wasps don't have a stinger and still use the egg depositor for which it was intended, e.g. depositing the egg in eggs or larva of other insects.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Small correction

        It is a modified ovipositor.

        Although queens will sting you, the primary purpose of it is to deposit eggs in the nest chambers.

      3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Does that mean that the queen wasp doesn't have a stinger?

        Well Frank,

        Now that you've mentioned it, it's time to sit down and have a chat about things...

        About the birds and the bees...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Small correction

      @ Vapeening

      Correct.

      Dear El-Reg, who the F*** does your fact checking?

      1. tony72

        Re: Small correction

        Wasps are not the kind of bugs they are used to dealing with.

      2. Stork Bronze badge

        Re: Small correction

        Re Fact checking: Gwyneth Palthrow?

  2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Issue them all with...

    WASBO's

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a lot of people know this but it was gods plan to use wasps to pollinate the plants however in the end he had to resort to plan bee.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      So why didn't he leave all the little fuckers to drown when he unleashed Plan Sea?

      1. Matthew Smith

        Because... they can fly?

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Unfortunatebee

          1. PPK
            1. T-Bo

              He was only half-a-bee ...

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Because... they can fly?

          If a wasp was strong enough and lucky enough to survive flying through a torrential downpour for forty days and forty nights then that's a wasp that I definitely don't want contributing to the wasp gene pool.

          1. Vinyl-Junkie
            Alien

            If a wasp was strong enough...

            That would be this one...

        3. Spoonsinger

          Re: Because... they can fly?

          But unicorns can, (erm could), fly.

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      >Not a lot of people know this but it was gods plan to use wasps to pollinate the plants however in the end he had to resort to plan bee.

      You mean... gasp... the Moderatrix?

      1. Graham Dawson

        @korev

        Still stings...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wasps

    contribute *nothing* other than eating insects which has all the bird lovers up in arms.

    As a pestie, this year I have dealt with quite a few but the worst time is apple fall time, THATS when they get nasty as the nests are nearing their end, the queen dies, the new queens leave and the workers are suddenly left with no young to tend to. So they have to go it alone. Feasting on fermenting fruit. Getting pissed and aggressive.

    At the moment they are pretty docile but come September. especially if it is warm...

    PS, Top Tip.

    Use ant powder to kill wasps nests. Not fucking petrol!

    If you can see where they are going in, puff some powder in there at night, repeat 24/48 hours later. Leave 3 days. repeat if necessary. If in the loft, use RED light as they cant see it.

    Wear eye protection at least. A sting in the eye is extremely dangerous!

    WARNING: I have a radio face anyway but this is a sting I took last year, this was 16 hours after the event.

    https://1drv.ms/u/s!AoEv-9vBdzh_hMhORAkRwQp8fi5BvA

    1. Kane Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Wasps / Apple fall

      Yeah, we have similar problems at home, our two apple trees at the back of the garden started falling earlier than usual this year (around about 3/4 weeks ago), so the stripy bastards have been stalking around, getting rowdy with the locals, i.e. us. We spent some time picking up all of the apple fall and sticking it into a big plastic tub and left it on the other side of the garden, so they're all congregating there at the moment. Also pulled a few kilos of apples of the tree itself (they were big, juicy and red - very tasty), so we shouldn't be getting too much rotting fruit for a couple of weeks now.

      We haven't found any nests nearby, so not sure where they are coming from, but if I do I'll definitely keep your advice in mind.

      Fun story aside, a couple of years ago we came downstairs one morning to find a couple of dozen of the little bastards in our living room, mostly sitting around on the window glass, with no idea how they got there. So we opened the windows and managed to shoo most of them out. Shut the windows, went back an hour later, more wasps! Pulled one of the side units away from the wall and we spotted them climbing out of the air holes that were located in front of the bricked up fireplace. Turns out, they had established a nest in part of the old brickwork of the chimney stack, and when it came time for them to start moving out of the nest, they followed the airflow of the chimney stack straight through into the living room. I had to quickly block up all the air holes to stop the flow. Called out a guy and he found the entrance way they were using to get in, under the eaves of the roof. A few squirts with his telescopic thingy (ooh err!), and two days later all gone. He also mentioned about the red light thing as well.

      1. MOV r0,r0

        Re: Wasps / Apple fall

        Had this in the female loo at work, all the other men in the company being too pussy to deal with the situation I went in with a Henry hoover like some sort of Ghostbuster and thunked them down the nozzle (top tip!) after which I duct-taped their entry holes.

        Left a note on the hoover and the nest to die off over winter, total pest control bill £0.00

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          Re: Wasps / Apple fall

          Second the karcher washer or even a normal hose pipe if your water pressure is reasonable providing the nest is outside.

          The wasps don't seem to realise you and the water are connected and it makes a right soggy messy of the Bastard Jasper house,

    2. agurney

      Re: Wasps

      Until a couple of days ago I had a football-sized wasps' nest outside the house, however the wasps haven't been a problem and they seemed to be doing a good job of removing aphids. I was wondering about how to remove the nest but a family of sparrows tore it to shreds and the wasps have all but vanished.

      I take a bit more care of drinking outdoors ever since a few years ago I took a swig from a can that contained a wasp; it stung the back of my tongue, but fortunately I don't have a bad reaction so it was just a painful surprise rather than anything more serious.

    3. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: Wasps

      "this is a sting I took last year"

      Ouch! =:o

      The last time I remember being stung was when I was a teenager. Some friends and I inadvertently disturbed a nest - and when we realised, ran like hell. Quite some distance later, I said I can still hear one of the buggers. Then I felt a sting in the back of my head - and a few seconds later another, then another...

      One of my friends spotted it, trapped in my hair - and it was stinging me repeatedly in the same spot because that's all it could do.

      My friend then splatted it. Problem solved.

      That multiple sting aside, we were very lucky, really - AIUI they're more likely to be able to spot you if you move. And also, when one stings you a pheromone is included as a bonus extra that marks you as a target for its angry pals.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wasps

        Yeah, they hurt. Oddly, being stung is part and parcel for me but that one was in my upper eyelid.

        Ordinarily, they itch and swell a bit. God knows what that little bastard pumped into me.

        Only fair I suppose, I had just sprayed the nest with Ficam-D (THE wasp killer of choice for professionals).

        In 13 years of dealing with the stripy little buggers I have been stung 11 times.

        Killed hundreds of thousands of em though, potentially millions..

        Suits me!!

      2. mtp
        Unhappy

        Re: Wasps

        When I was about 10 I trod on a underground wasps nest. I remember the ground sinking a bit then was enveloped by a cloud of wasps. I did the world record sprint probably being followed by a comic strip style --> arrow of wasps. I was pulling handfuls of wasps out of my clothing. Must have had hundreds of stings.

        Clearly I am not allergic but it was not a fun day.

    4. Vinyl-Junkie

      Re: Wasps contribute *nothing* other than eating insects which has all the bird lovers up in arms.

      Untrue.

      Wasps are a vital part of our ecosystem:See here for details

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wasps contribute *nothing* other than eating insects which has all the bird lovers up in arms.

        Wasps are a vital part of our ecosystem:See here for details

        That may be so, but gardeners conducting warfare against wasps isn't going to alter the natural balance since gardens aren't any form of balanced natural habitat in the first place.

        Rats perform certain beneficial activities in the eco-system, particularly if there's a balance with predators, but I'm in no hurry to accommodate a colony of rats.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wasps contribute *nothing* other than eating insects which has all the bird lovers up in arms.

        Vespula vulgaris and Vespula germainca (two common UK wasp species) contribute nothing of worth.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wasps contribute *nothing* other than eating insects which has all the bird lovers up in arms.

        That report states that they eat insects, which is exactly what I said and as fig trees don't support 1274 mammal species in the uk then I stand by what I said.

        1. Vinyl-Junkie

          Re: Wasps contribute *nothing* other than eating insects which has all the bird lovers up in arms.

          So you totally missed the part about wasps being general pollinators? I often see wasps alongside the bees on the flowers in our garden, flying in and out to collect nectar and in the process pollinating the plants. Given the reduction in bee numbers we ought to think twice about reducing the numbers of other pollinating insects, aggravating or not.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wasps contribute *nothing* other than eating insects which has all the bird lovers up in arms.

            No, I didn't miss it. Did you miss the part where I said the two common pest wasp species don't pollinate plants to any great degree. Its only through function of them hunting insects that they pollinate. It is not a preconditioned behaviour and without them not much would change.

    5. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Wasps

      Use ant powder to kill wasps nests.

      the Rentokil wasp's nest destroyer that you can buy from large supermarkets is another good option. If you can see the nest a single generous helping will do the trick, if you can't see it (like the one behind our soffit box) then three applications were needed through the entry point the wasps were using. Unlike ant powder this stuff is a liquid that comes out through a jet nozzle for a range of several feet, and then expands vigorously as a foam that dissipates over an hour or so. Easy to apply safely and quickly followed by the tried and tested approach of running away.

      I did notice when taking the nippers to various theme parks that despite the combination of people, junk food, sugary drinks, and extensive woodland, the bigger and more professionally run venues made very effective use of wasp traps to minimise and all but eliminate the nuisance. Whereas some of the smaller theme parks and entertainment sites haven't cottoned on, and are infested with the things. Unfortunately a decent sized wasp trap is large and ugly (particularly when full of dead wasps, so unless you can hide three or so of these around your garden they won't be much use. The small wasp traps sold for domestic use I've found to be absolutely useless.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Wasps

        Use ant powder to kill wasps nests.

        Karcher. Highly effective and less risky than a weed-burner when close to buildings. Karcher removes all kinds of pests that have made the mistake of trying to co-habit with humans.

        When in a beer garden one option is to bait them away from you with a cider soaked beermat.

        Or wait for them to crawl inside an empty glass, place a beer mat over the top and be amused at the thing trying to escape (for a short time before releasing the thing at a safe distance from your table).

      2. stiine
        Coat

        Re: Wasps

        Or check this youtu.be video out. the guy uses soap, water, chicken and a plastic bin. he found it much more efficient than the store-bought traps.

        https://boingboing.net/2018/08/10/this-guy-really-knows-how-to-k.html starting at 2:26

    6. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Wasps

      "Use ant powder to kill wasps nests. Not fucking petrol!"

      If you do insist on using petrol, don't be so stupid as to light it, It's the fumes that do them in (confession: we used it in the 1970s for in-ground major infestations around a rural school as it worked in less than 24 hours, kids were at-risk and the things seemed to be immune to everything else. No, we didn't light it - it was a different part of the world and a different approach to H&S. I don't think you'd get away with jamming 750ml glass beer bottles full of petrol into wasp next entrances in the dead of night and running like hell anymore.)

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Wasps

        Use ant powder to kill wasps nests. Not fucking petrol!

        I can't believe it's taken this many replies without the obvious solution:

        "Take off and nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure"

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Wasps

          "Take off and nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure"

          Yes, but the neighbours do whinge so when we do that...

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: Wasps

            The next time my neighbours do that, I'm complaining to the council.

    7. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Wasps

      If I had wasps in my attic, I'd burn the house down and start again.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Wasps

        If I had toys in the attic I'd burn the house down.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    8. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Wasps

      I found diatomaceous earth to be more effective than poisons.

  5. Dr_N Silver badge
    Alien

    Wasps?

    Pffft. A minor annoyance.

    Try dealing with Asian Hornets.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Asian Hornets

      The helicopter gunships of the insect world.

    2. seven of five

      Re: Wasps?

      We have a nest of european hornets in the trees behind the house. Impressive to see them air-to-air kill the wasps and om-nom-nom off they are again.

      I like hornets, loud and large enough so you do not sit on them, kill wasps and relaxed indoors, so the can be brought outside.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wasps?

        And less aggressive than wasps towards people.

        A European hornet will sting because you interfered with it, wasps will sting you because its a Wednesday.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wasps?

          Yeah, wasps are hornets with small intense arsehole syndrome.

          We had asiatic hornets from a large nest (1m ball) up one of our tall tree's removed by the pompiers that they took away for research a couple of years back, and yeah its a bit intimidating having things the size of small birds mooching around making this giant buzz but generally they're benign. This year no hornets, but plenty of wasps nesting in stupid annoying (to humans) places like inside the car mirror assemblies etc.

          Kind of wish the hornets would come back and eat all the little jasper arseholes.

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