Huge wasps' nest found in roof
It is not everyday you find a mammoth wasp nest like this in your loft.
MELTON: It is not everyday you find a mammoth wasp nest like this in your loft.
But that is exactly what Christopher Warren stumbled upon when he went to remove the monstrosity, which measured about 30 inches long.
Mr Warren, of River View, Melton, realised he had a wasps nest when he saw the winged creatures fly into a gap in his conservatory roof.
He called the council who sent an employee to spray the nest however as the local authority is not required to remove it, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
Mr Warren, 55, said: “I went up to my loft to have a look and saw it was massive. It was up against the conservatory roof.
“I got my brother, Patrick, round and he helped to get it out. He used a saw and cut it underneath and across the top to remove it.
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“I have never seen anything like it. Usually I thought they were about the size of a football. I couldn't believe it.”
Wasp nests are mostly made out of a mixture of chewed wood and wasp saliva. Queen wasps will often start to build their nests in roof voids, wall cavities or in outbuildings.
There are several different types of wasps, but those most commonly found in the UK are the common wasp and the German wasp.
Martin Buckle, who owns The Suffolk Pest Control Company, said: “It sounds like a very large nest. If it is grey in colour, it is usually made by German wasps.
“A queen wasp will come out of hibernation and start a nest, which is the size of a golf ball. She lays around a dozen eggs which hatch into larvae before pupating into young wasps. All of the young she produces from now until late summer will be sterile female workers. These drones work tirelessly on increasing the nest size and feeding the young larvae.
“At the end of the season, most nests are quite big.
“People can leave the nests there as the wasps never use the same one again.”
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All worker wasps die out during the winter; the only wasps that survive are the queen wasps. Queen wasps hibernate during the winter inside the old nest or construct a small “golf ball” sized hibernation cell.
During April and until early June, the queen wasp will leave the old nest or hibernation cell and begin the construction of a brand new nest in a new location.
By September the nest can be as large as a small armchair, with up to 10,000 wasps using it.
By the end of Summer, all wasps leave their nests and do not return
The largest wasp nest on record measured 12 ft long and more than 5ft wide. It was discovered on a farm in New Zealand in 1963.