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Why Are Wasps More Active and Aggressive at the End of Summer?

Instead of being able to enjoy the end of the summer sunshine in our gardens or on a trip away, unfortunately, wasps have a different idea in mind. While wasps are more prevalent in the earlier summer months, it’s this time of year that they are most aggressive and at a somewhat irritating stage! 

an angry looking wasp sat on a branch in a garden

The Reason Wasps Are More Active Towards Autumn 

The answer for this lies in a wasp’s life cycle. In springtime, queen wasps emerge due to rising temperatures. This is when they begin to lay their eggs and start preparing for their colony. 

Throughout the summer months, the queen’s job is to produce and fertilise eggs. Worker wasps spend their time hunting for food to consume in the form of flies, aphids, and caterpillars. They then feed this to the developing larvae and help to expand their colony’s nest.  

By the time late summer arrives, colony numbers are at their highest, some housing hundreds to thousands of wasps. Once the queen has produced males and new queens, these and the worker wasps leave the nest, and the queen stops laying eggs. As their food source is now cut-off, this is when wasps begin to look elsewhere for their meals. 

As wasps are now actively searching for food, this is when you may see an influx of them buzzing around, causing mischief.

What Food Are Wasps Searching For?

Their favourite meal is rotting fruit, due to it being high in sugar content. Of course, in late summer and early autumn, there is an abundance of this flourishing on fruit bushes. One of the reasons why wasps are so annoying at this time is they may be a little intoxicated. Rotting fruit is undergoing the fermenting process, so basically, they’re having a bit of a booze-up. 

While trying to get their sugar fix, the starving worker wasps won’t stop just at fruit. They are also attracted to sweet food and drink that you may be enjoying whilst outdoors. 

What To Do if a Wasp Approaches You

As I’m sure we’ve all done at some point in our life, flapping your arms around and screaming doesn’t really have the desired effect. In fact, this does the opposite and may make wasps more likely to sting.

Do not try to swat them. Though it’s easier said than done, keeping calm and leaving them alone really is the best way to avoid a nasty sting. 

Also, stay away from any wasp nests, as they are very territorial over this space.  

How to Prevent Wasps From Spoiling Time in Your Garden

  • If eating outside, we advise that you avoid leaving open cans of drinks and bottles, and where possible, cover food over. This goes for indoor rooms as well if you’ve left windows or doors open. 
  • Make sure rubbish bins are tightly sealed to avoid attracting wasps and rinse out your recycling if consuming sugary goods. 
  • Check there are no entry points around the exterior and interior of your home, including garages. If you find any holes, seal them up. 

How Long Are Wasps Active For?

Though wasps are bothersome during this season, don’t worry it is fairly short-lived. 

Once the cold weather is upon us, typically around November time, the entire colony will die off. All apart from the queen, who will go into hibernation until next spring. 

What To Do If You Have a Wasp Nest

If you are concerned about a wasp nest or suspect you have an issue in or near your property, then we are here to help. Please get in touch, and we will be happy to carry out a free-of-charge inspection and advise on the best approach to take.

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