The Fascinating Life Cycle of Wasps and Safe Pest Control Practices: A Guide by Mission Pest Control

The Fascinating Life Cycle of Wasps and Safe Pest Control Practices: A Guide by Mission Pest Control

The Fascinating Life Cycle of Wasps and Safe Pest Control Practices: A Guide by Mission Pest Control


Wasps are intriguing creatures that play crucial roles in their ecosystems, but they can also become a nuisance when their nests are established near human habitation. Understanding the life cycle of wasps can provide valuable insights into their behaviour and how to handle encounters with them. At Mission Pest Control, we serve Swindon and the surrounding areas, and our expertise in pest control can help you deal with wasp infestations safely and effectively.

Life Cycle of European Wasps

Egg Stage:

The life cycle of a wasp begins when the queen lays her eggs. After mating in the previous year, the queen overwinters in a sheltered location and emerges in the spring. She selects a suitable nesting site and starts constructing the initial structure for the colony. The queen then lays eggs, which hatch into larvae.

Larval Stage:

Once the eggs hatch, they become larvae, which are white, grub-like creatures with no legs. During this stage, the larvae are entirely dependent on adult workers for food. The queen and later the worker wasps feed the larvae a protein-rich diet, typically consisting of insects, caterpillars, and other arthropods.

Pupal Stage:

As the larvae grow, they enter the pupal stage, where they undergo metamorphosis inside a protective cocoon. During this phase, they develop into adult wasps, and the colony’s worker caste emerges.

Worker Stage:

Worker wasps are sterile females, smaller than the queen but larger than the male drones. They are responsible for expanding and maintaining the nest, foraging for food, feeding the young, and protecting the colony. Their diet shifts from a protein-based diet to a carbohydrate-based diet, primarily consuming sugars from nectar, fruit, and other sweet substances.

Reproductive Stage:

Towards the end of the summer, the queen starts producing reproductive individuals, which include new queens and male drones. These reproductive wasps mate, and the fertilised queens seek shelter to hibernate during the winter months. The rest of the colony dies off with the arrival of cold weather, and the cycle begins anew the following spring.

The Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

Ways to Stay Safe Around European Wasps

Encountering a wasp nest near your home or property can be concerning, but taking the following precautions will help you stay safe until a pest controller arrives:

Avoid Aggravating the Wasps:

Wasps can become aggressive if they feel threatened. Do not attempt to remove the nest on your own or disturb it in any way. This can lead to defensive behaviour and potential stings.

Keep Food and Drinks Covered:

When dining or spending time outdoors, cover food and beverages to prevent wasps from being attracted to the smell of sweet or sugary substances.

Wear Protective Clothing:

If you need to be in close proximity to a wasp nest, wear long-sleeved clothing, long pants, and closed-toe shoes to minimise the risk of stings.

Remain Calm and Still:

If a wasp approaches you, remain calm and avoid swatting at it. Sudden movements can trigger defensive behaviour.

Maintain Proper Waste Management:

Ensure that trash cans are covered, and waste is disposed of properly to avoid attracting wasps looking for food.

Seek Professional Pest Control:

When dealing with a wasp infestation, it is best to seek the expertise of an experienced pest control professional like Mission Pest Control. Our experienced technicians can safely and effectively remove the nest, minimising the risk to you and your family.


Understanding the life cycle of wasps and knowing how to stay safe around them is essential for those residing in Swindon and the surrounding areas. Remember to be cautious when encountering wasp nests and to seek professional pest control assistance for safe removal. At Mission Pest Control, we are dedicated to providing top-notch pest control services and ensuring the safety of our customers. Contact us today for all your pest control needs!

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