Early in the year, wasps are welcome visitors: they gobble up aphids and caterpillars by the dozen to feed to their young, leaving your plants pest-free.
By summer, though, they become a nuisance, eating holes in ripening fruit and swarming over picnics, making outdoor life almost impossible and occasionally downright painful.
You don't have to destroy wasp nests unless it's posing a risk to you or your family. But it's wise to keep the insects at bay using a combination of deterrents and traps.
Wasp traps can be as simple as a jar with some sugary water in the bottom to lure them in, or a device which fits into the top of a plastic drinks bottle, allowing them to crawl in but not escape again. There's a good selection to choose from in our garden centre. Always place traps well away from seating and play areas.
Effective deterrents include imitation wasp nests, taking advantage of a wasp's natural behaviour to keep them away. Wasps are very territorial and won't re-use old nests, so if you hang an imitation nest near your patio or seating area they'll go elsewhere.
Please ask the staff in our Hemlington and Middlesbrough garden centre for more information and advice about controlling wasps in your garden.