Pest control expert finds giant wasp nest that is eight feet around and home to 20,000

A wasp nest ‘the size of ten rugby balls’ stunned a top pest control expert after he was called to deal with the monstrosity.

Shane Jones, 50, who owns Ridtek pest control, was called to a house in Basingstoke when he found dozens of queens inside a nest measuring eight feet around.  

The nest was easily large enough to have housed 20,000 wasps last summer despite the average being home to between 3,000 and 6,000 insects.

Mr Jones, who has six years’ experience as a pest controller in the UK, said: ‘With the hot weather, we have been seeing a lot of bigger nests like that.

Shane Jones, 50, who owns Ridtek pest control, was called to a house in Basingstoke when he found dozens of queens inside a nest measuring eight feet around

Shane Jones, 50, who owns Ridtek pest control, was called to a house in Basingstoke when he found dozens of queens inside a nest measuring eight feet around

Shane Jones, 50, who owns Ridtek pest control, was called to a house in Basingstoke when he found dozens of queens inside a nest measuring eight feet around

It is too early in the season for a wasp infestation, but now is the time of year when wasp queens emerge and fly away to start new colonies. Pictured, a Japanese giant hornet

It is too early in the season for a wasp infestation, but now is the time of year when wasp queens emerge and fly away to start new colonies. Pictured, a Japanese giant hornet

It is too early in the season for a wasp infestation, but now is the time of year when wasp queens emerge and fly away to start new colonies. Pictured, a Japanese giant hornet

‘You can’t always get to it and see just how big it is but this one was huge. It was about the size of ten rugby balls.

‘We measured its circumference, and it was about eight feet around.’ 

It is too early in the season for a wasp infestation, but now is the time of year when wasp queens emerge and fly away to start new colonies. 

Mr Jones said: ‘It was an absolute beauty of a nest.

‘We went out there because plumbers who were called to do some work on the boiler didn’t want to go in the loft. They evacuated and called us.

By exterminating the queens before they were able to start their own colonies it is thought Mr Jones prevented the birth of millions of wasps

By exterminating the queens before they were able to start their own colonies it is thought Mr Jones prevented the birth of millions of wasps

By exterminating the queens before they were able to start their own colonies it is thought Mr Jones prevented the birth of millions of wasps

‘I don’t blame them. Even though there weren’t any workers there, it was still pretty fearsome. There were loads of queens – dozens of them.

‘Each one would have flown away and started herself her own nest.’

By exterminating the queens before they were able to start their own colonies it is thought Mr Jones prevented the birth of millions of wasps.  

But the veteran pest control expert says Britons might be in for a summer of misery, because of the sheer number of queens the hive produced.

He said: ‘Wasp populations have been exploding in recent years, but last year was absolutely ideal for them.

The veteran pest control expert says Britons might be in for a summer of misery, because of the sheer number of queens the hive produced

The veteran pest control expert says Britons might be in for a summer of misery, because of the sheer number of queens the hive produced

The veteran pest control expert says Britons might be in for a summer of misery, because of the sheer number of queens the hive produced

‘A nest can produce about a hundred queens over the season, and this time of year the new queens emerge from hibernation.

‘Because Easter was so warm, it activated them about a month or so early.

‘Thankfully we were able to remove this hive without too much bother.’

Wasp nests are made when wasps chew wood to form a pulp not unlike paper which their saliva sticks together to form a honey-comb structure. 

Mr Jones, who has worked with crocodiles and snakes in his native Australia, estimated the giant nest had been growing in size at the house all last year. 

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