Wasps' nest built in womans' spare room contained 5000 wasps

Posted Aug 29, 2014 by Kris Coombes
A spare room in Winchester, Hampshire, was found to contain a wasps' nest that had been built over several months after the homeowner forgot to close the window.
A hive of unknown variety of bees or wasps.
A hive of unknown variety of bees or wasps.
The homeowner's son found the growing nest on the bed of her spare room when visiting, a room which had not been entered for many months. A window was left open, allowing the wasps to enter and build an extraordinary 3ft by 1.5ft home on top of and inside the bed.
Wasps use wood chewed up into a pulp to build their nests, so normally they are found in attics and roof areas, for example, The unused bed, however, provided the perfect resource for the wasps to build their creation, using the bedding and surrounding wood, and even chewing an eight inch hole in the mattress.
Local pest controller John Birkett arrived at the scene shortly after it's discovery, and was amazed by what he saw.
"When I went upstairs and went into the room, It was the most amazing sight I had ever seen. There was a nice quilt on the bed and the woman wanted me to save it but when I pulled it, the nest split in half. Inside, there were layers and layers of grubs being produced. The pattern was wonderful."
Unfortunately for the homeowner, the mattress and pillows were destroyed, but a knitted bedspread was saved in what turned out to be a several-hour job in which an estimated 5,000 wasps had to be exterminated and disposed of.
Birkett, a 40-year veteran of the pest control industry, also stated his remorse for having to destroy such a well-constructed home, also stating that he "feels for everything he kills" but understands the danger of wasps in their droves, stating that it would have been "extremely dangerous" had the occupants of the house tried to dispose of the nest on their own.
People think we’re out-and-out killers but I looked at that and thought ‘what a shame’ – it was a work of art and they worked so hard, but she looked at it and said ‘no no no – you’ve got to get rid of it’. The client was terrified."