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When Do Wasps Come Out in the UK?

Rowan Burgess |

Wasps are associated with summertime in the UK. The plague and pest of outdoor meals and picnics, these insects have a seasonal lifecycle. However, this is beginning to change with the alteration in the traditional pattern of the four seasons in the UK.

Wasps like warm weather, so their lifecycle tends to follow the spring/summer calendar. However, when they appear varies from year to year, depending on the good old British weather!

In this article, you'll discover the lifecycle of a wasp and learn how they’re not necessarily the enemy. Instead, they play an essential role in the ecosystem and may even be a gardener’s ally.

Are Wasps Seasonal?

In the UK, the wasp season usually begins around April and ends in September. 

Wasps like warm weather, so a cold, wet spring will delay their arrival, and a mild, temperate autumn can encourage the queens to remain active into October. 

Wasps can plague specific properties, whereas other people may be unaware they have even had a wasp colony until they discover the empty nest later in the year.

Wasp nests usually last between three to four months over the summer period. Workers start building in the spring. Nests can begin the size of a golf ball but grow to something more akin to a football by the end of the season.

The pattern of the seasons and the UK weather dictates how active wasps are. 

There were fewer wasps and other insects in the UK heatwave in 2022 due to a lack of food sources. However, conditions have been optimal in other years, and wasp numbers increased.

What Time of Year Are Wasps Most Active in the UK?

April & May

Around the beginning of April, a queen wasp emerges from hibernation and searches for locations to create her nest.

Wasp nests can appear almost anywhere, in dense bushes, holes in the grounds, and the eaves of buildings. Aerial locations are prime wasp property, which is why many people find them in the loft or roof of a shed or garage.

The queen wasp lays eggs to create workers, drones, and new queens.

June & July

June and July are the months when a wasp colony becomes active. Workers are looking for food and nesting materials.

This is the time of year when wasps become evident, partly due to numbers but also because they're keen explorers of their surrounding landscape.

Wasps are essential to the ecosystem, destroying pests like caterpillars and greenflies. However, scientists have increasingly begun to realise that wasps are also pollinators when they land on flowers to drink nectar.

However, many homeowners will destroy a nest if discovered to avoid an infestation of wasps later in the summer. 

Wasp stings are painful. Unlike bees, wasps can sting repeatedly. Most people recover quickly from a summertime sting, but sometimes, there is a more severe reaction ranging from localised swellings called hives to anaphylactic shock in rare cases.

Always check that it’s a wasp’s sting before moving forward with treatment.

August & September

Wasp activity is most evident in high summer, heading towards September. The eggs have hatched, and the young queens leave the nest to mate and find a suitable hibernation home before the winter.

The workers are responsible for finding enough food for the hibernating queen, and this can trigger aggressive behaviour. 

September & early October

During September and October, all the queens leave their nests to look for a location to hibernate over the winter. Not all will survive, but those that do begin the whole lifecycle again the following spring.

Which Month Do Wasps Die Off?

Wasps will die when nighttime temperatures reach around 0 degrees Celsius; only the hibernating queens will survive. With changeable seasons in the UK, this can sometimes be quite late into the autumn or early winter.

When's the best time to remove old wasp nests, then? In the winter - when they're completely abandoned.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Does Wasps Season Start?

A queen wasp begins to create her nest when she emerges from hibernation, usually in April. However, most people don’t notice wasps in the spring; it’s only in the summer, when numbers increase and the workers are roaming, that they become a pest.

Which Month Are Wasps Most Aggressive?

Wasps are territorial over their nests, particularly during the height of the summer, generally in August.

Wasps aren’t that aggressive, but they are keen roamers, so they tend to sting if someone gets in the way of their activities or gets too close to the nest.

Shop Dalton Engineering’s Wasp Destroyer Spray!

Wasps are one summer visitor that no one wants to see. An active nest in the home or garden could cause real problems. 

Wasp nests should be dealt with by professionals due to the risk of multiple stings. However, if you want to eliminate a few predatory wasps on your property or garden, Dalton Engineering has Wasp Destroyer Spray that will do the job instantly!