STING IN THE TALE OF HOUSE FIRE
(or how not to tackle a wasp nest)
A BLAZE tore through a porch roof after someone set fire to a wasp nest.
Firefighters from Gerrards Cross and from Langley raced to Slough Road in Iver Heath, to extinguish the fire at around 2.15pm on Sunday September 4.
The blaze was extinguished using a hose reel, a ceiling hook, a thermal imaging camera and a PPV (positive pressure ventilation) fan.
Setting fire to a wasp nest is not the best way to get rid of the insects.
We asked Ged of Pest Control Bucks, based in Farnham Common, what to do if you find a wasp nest at home. His advice? Leave it to the professionals: “It can be quite dangerous,” he said, saying stings can lead to anaphylactic shock.
He added: “Each wasp that stings you releases a chemical.
“The wasps know they’re under attack.
“The more wasps that sting you, the more they release that chemical.”
The more chemicals released, the more the wasps will come and attack – even Ged will tackle them in a full beekeeper’s suit.
Wasp nests are made of wood with a consistency similar to cigarette ash, and Ged definitely advises against setting them on fire.
There a number of different types of wasp species in Southern England, and the general rule is the lower to the ground the wasps nest is the more aggressive the wasps are.
If you have one in your lawn or low down in a wall you would not often see the nest as it would be hidden.
Instead the entrance hole would be treated with an insecticidal powder, which would rub onto the wasps walking into the nest, eventually finding its way to the queen and killing her.
For wasp nests that are found in trees or higher up, Ged would use a telescopic pole to syringe the queen’s chamber with a liquid, eventually killing her.
He said: “Wasps without a queen is like you trying to function without a brain.
“Without those instructions [from the queen] they can’t function.
“The nest just disintegrates – they don’t know what to do.”