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Oh my godness! You were just going to get something from your attic and suddenly you encounter a colony of wasps that has made its home there. A wasp nest is uncomfortable for many people, as the wasps can sting and are considered quite aggressive. Here you have the option of removing the nest or waiting for the animals to leave their shelter. It is good to know when the insects disappear.

Important: differentiate between species

Before the important "dates" for leaving the nest can be explained schematically, it is important to know which wasps occur in Germany and Central Europe. The reason is that wasp species increase different times leave the nests, which is crucial for the waiting time before removing the nests on their own.

There are a total of 16 species of wasps (Vespidae) in Germany, which are broken down as follows:

True wasps (Vespinae)

There are 9 species of real wasps in Germany and Central Europe, whose nests are placed in a similar way. These are usually set up in dark cavities, well hidden or seldom visibly hanging in the open air. But many of these wasp species build their nests in the ground. The following types are included:

  • Hornet (Vespa crabro)
  • Asian hornet (Vespa velutina var. nigrithorax)
  • Median wasp (Dolichovespula media)
  • Saxon wasp (Dolichovespula saxonica)
  • Norwegian wasp (Dolichovespula norwegica)
  • Wood wasp (Dolichovespula sylvestris)
  • German wasp (Vespula germanica)
  • Common wasp (Vespula vulgaris)
  • Red wasp (Vespula rufa)
Hornet, Vespa crabro

Paper wasps (Polistinae)

Compared to the real wasps, the paper wasps prefer sunny habitats, which are protected and not easy to reach. This is mostly about cavities, more rarely around external sites. They include four types:

  • House wasp (Polistes dominula)
  • Heath paper wasp (Polistes nimpha)
  • Dainty paper wasp (Polistes bischoffi)
  • Mountain paper wasp (Polistes biglumis)
Paper wasp, Polistinae

cuckoo wasps

the cuckoo wasps are variants of three species within the real and paper wasps. These live parasitic, with one queen killing the other and taking over the nest. After that, the queen replaces the entire colony. These social parasites include:

  • False cuckoo wasp (Dolichovespula adulterina): it is a social parasite of the Saxon wasp
  • Austrian cuckoo wasp (Vespula austriaca): it is a social parasite of the red wasp
  • Mountain paper wasp cuckoo wasp (Polistes atrimandibularis): it is a social parasite of the mountain paper wasp

leaving the nest

All of these species build a wasp nest, which can be near your living quarters, in the garden, or on your property in general. Cuckoo wasps are actually the same species of wasp, but they do not build the nest themselves. However, their way of life is the same. The 16 types can now be in two groups split, each tracking different dates related to leaving the nest:

  • early resolving species
  • late-dissolving species

The comparison between these two groups is important because it decides when you can remove the nest and when the animals are no longer dangerous. The process is the same for all types, only the dates differ significantly, which requires careful consideration.

wasp nest from the inside

The wasps' nest is not occupied by the animals all year round, but they move out before winter at the latest. Because of this way of life, it is possible to create a wasp nest in winter remove, with no legal troubles or dangerous stings waiting for you.

tip: do not confuse wasps and hornets with bees if you intend to remove the nest over the winter. Bees hibernate in the hive and must not be disturbed during the cold season, otherwise there will be a heavy fine of at least 50,000 euros, as they are protected species.

Early resolving species

The species that disperse early represent the majority of the wasp species in Central Europe. There are a total of 12 species in this group that disperse much earlier than the second group so that the young queen can reproduce and look for winter quarters. These types are:

  • Median wasp (Dolichovespula media)
  • Saxon wasp (Dolichovespula saxonica)
  • Norwegian wasp (Dolichovespula norwegica)
  • Wood wasp (Dolichovespula sylvestris)
  • Red wasp (Vespula rufa)
  • House wasp (Polistes dominula)
  • Heath paper wasp (Polistes nimpha)
  • Dainty paper wasp (Polistes bischoffi)
  • Mountain paper wasp (Polistes biglumis)
  • False cuckoo wasp (Dolichovespula adulterina)
  • Austrian cuckoo wasp (Vespula austriaca)
  • Mountain paper wasp cuckoo wasp (Polistes atrimandibularis)

All these wasps are much more sensitive to cool temperatures and for this reason withdraw from the wasps' nest quite early in the year. For this reason, the young queens also have to fly out earlier for fertilization so that they are not exposed to the cooler temperatures in autumn.

Saxon wasp, Dolichovespula saxonica

On average, the old queens leave the hornet's nest mid August, followed a short time later by the young queens. Since the young queens cannot yet lay fertilized eggs, the last workers die about four weeks after leaving the old queen, who also dies due to undersupply. The date for the leaving nest varies as follows:

  • end of August
  • first week of September
  • mid-September

However, as with all wasp species, some workers may survive longer and attempt to raise the last of the young queens. For this reason, the most suitable way to remove the nests in this group is the beginning of winter on.

Note that in cooler regions in German-speaking countries there are many wasp nests end of August are almost completely empty. The Alps and the Ore Mountains should be mentioned here in particular. There the temperatures are so low earlier that the queens swarm very early, giving you the opportunity to take earlier action against the old wasps' nest.

Late-dissolving species

The remaining four species, which represent the largest native and immigrated, as well as the most common wasps in Central Europe, belong to the late-dissolving species:

  • Hornet (Vespa crabro)
  • Asian hornet (Vespa velutina var. nigrithorax)
  • German wasp (Vespula germanica)
  • Common wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

In most cases you will find a wasp nest of these species in your area. For this reason, the dates for this group are even more important to you. With these species it is noticeable that they dissolve the colony quite late and even quite resistant to the first frosts are. This is mainly due to the size of the hornet and the robustness of the German and common wasp.

The old queens swarm Mid September to early October out and the young follow about two weeks later. After that, the death of the last workers is strongly dependent on the frosts in the individual federal states:

  • Baden-W├╝rttemberg: mid-October
  • Bavaria: mid-October, more rarely the first week of October
  • Berlin and Brandenburg: early November
  • Hesse: late October, more rarely mid-October
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: early November
  • Lower Saxony with Bremen: early November
  • North Rhine-Westphalia: mid-October
  • Rhineland-Palatinate: mid to late October
  • Saarland: mid to late October
  • Saxony: early November in northern Saxony, early October in the Ore Mountains
  • Saxony-Anhalt: mid-October
  • Schleswig-Holstein with Hamburg: mid-November
  • Thuringia: end of October

In Switzerland and Austria, the majority of this group of wasps dies end of October. In the case of the late-dissolving wasps, it is advisable to remove the nests late in winter. Allows you to end of January wait just to make sure there aren't any wasps left alive.

tip: if you are not sure what species of wasp you are dealing with, it is best to contact a specialist. Because this can give you precise information about the type of wasp.

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