Warning as ‘space hopper-sized’ wasp’s nest found

PUBLISHED: 08:40 13 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:41 13 August 2020

A large wasp nest found in a barn in Surlingham. Picture: Ace Pest Control Ltd

A large wasp nest found in a barn in Surlingham. Picture: Ace Pest Control Ltd

Ace Pest Control Ltd

A wasp nest “the size of a space hopper” is among a number of increasingly large ones that have been found this summer in barns and lofts around Norfolk, an exterminator has warned.

Pest controller Andrew Dellbridge. Picture: Andrew DellbridgePest controller Andrew Dellbridge. Picture: Andrew Dellbridge

Following a spring which had lengthy hot spells, the menacing insects made an earlier return to activity this year – but it is the size of the nests that has alarmed a Norwich-based pest controller, rather than the number and prevalence.

Andrew Dellbridge, of ACE Pest Control, who has almost 30 years of experience in the industry, said he has noticed the nests growing increasingly large this summer.

He estimated that one nest, which his team found in a 
barn in Surlingham, measured more than two-and-a-half feet in diameter, among the largest he had ever seen.

Mr Dellbridge said: “Some of the nests this summer already have been huge. The one in Surlingham was about the size of a space hopper, which was truly extraordinary.

“Two years ago we had a particularly busy summer, but last year wasn’t quite so bad. Normally spring would be hot-cold-hot-cold but as we had a longer spell it brought wasps out earlier as there was about six-to-eight weeks of really nice weather.

“Generally you find if apples and plums do well, so do the wasps.”

The Catton-based controller said that when he had dealt with the nests he would often either keep them or donate them to local schools so pupils could examine them – and that he had added this particular nest to his personal collection. He said that Norwich’s Golden Triangle area had become something of an unexpected hot spot for nests, along with more rural areas and the Broads - and that lofts and barns were particularly frequent places for nests.

He added: “I don’t necessarily think the numbers have been dictated by the lockdown, but I think the way it has brought more people outside has meant they are around a lot more, as people are eating and drinking outside more.

“If you do find holes in plasterboard near your loft though the worst thing to do is prod around in it – if there is a nest in there and you get swarmed it would make life very difficult indeed.”

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