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Wasps in Late Summer – Why Are They So Annoying!

When Summer starts to draw to a close, you may still enjoy a final trip to the seaside, one last BBQ or an evening or two in a beer garden. Unfortunately, the common theme around these activities during the end of summer is wasps that never seem to leave you in peace! Wasps rarely bother us during the rest of the year, so why are wasps in late summer so annoying?

We take a closer look at the lifecycle of the wasp to explain their end of summer behaviour.

Wasps in Late Summer

Wasps in Spring and Summer

To understand why wasps in late summer are especially irritating, it helps to know how the average wasp nest works.

In Spring the Queen wasps wake from the winter hibernation and begin to build nests and lay their first eggs. These first offspring can’t produce eggs and so spend their time expanding the nest and helping to raise the next generations of young.

One of the main tasks for the worker wasps is to find food for the larvae. They hunt for soft-bodied invertebrates such as flies, aphids and caterpillars. Due to this diet, wasps are an excellent natural form of pest control.

A peculiarity of wasps is that they cannot eat the food they catch as they have an extremely constricted gut. Instead, they chew the food they find and feed this to the larvae. The larvae they produce a sugar-rich, spit like substance that the worker wasps can feed on.

The wasp nest will continue to expand and grow throughout the summer months with workers gaining all their food through the food exchange with the larvae.

Wasps in Late Summer

At the end of the summer, the queen will produce a final brood containing new queens and males. Once this last generation has left the nest, the queen stops laying eggs. The result of this is there are no more larvae producing the sugar-rich spit that workers rely on.

With their food source cut off, the wasps look elsewhere for their sugar fix. Rotting fruit is a favourite as it is high in sugar content and also abundant in late summer and early autumn. The issue with rotting fruit is that it is undergoing a fermenting process that produces alcohol. The sugar seeking worker wasps become intoxicated and, a bit like drunk people, more annoying!

It’s not just rotting fruit that attracts wasps in late summer. As we mentioned at the start of this post, people are still typically enjoying the warm weather and consuming sweet food and drinks outdoors. For the now starving workers wasps, this is too tempting to ignore. They will focus in on anything that gives them a sugar fix, and our arm-waving antics aren’t enough to discourage them.


The wasps ‘annoying’ season is fairly short-lived. The entire wasp colony, apart from the queen, will die once winter and the cold weather hits.

If you’re having problems with wasps, then help is at hand. The team at Confirm A Kill have many years of experience dealing with wasps nests, and we guarantee to solve your wasp problems.

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