Wasp apocalypse: 5,000 move into spare room

Sarah Coles
Wasps nest
Wasps nest



A woman, living alone in a five bedroom house in Winchester, popped into the spare room for the first time in months and had an extremely nasty surprise. While she'd been going about her business in the rest of the house, 5,000 unwelcome house-guests had invaded the room, and by the time she made her grim discovery, thousands of wasps had set up home there.

The Daily Mirror reported that she called in local exterminator, John Birkett, who said the nest went a foot deep into the mattress of the spare bed, and was three feet wide. He said that wasps had constructed it by chewing through the pillows and bedding.

He spent two hours in the room - during which time he said there were 2,000 stinging insects buzzing him at any one time. He described the scene afterwards to The Telegraph as "like the apocalypse."

The cheapest way to get rid of rodents and pests

Birkett said that he hadn't seen anything anywhere near as horrible in his 40 years in the business. However, pest infestations have been on the rise recently - a survey by LV= found that a quarter of people had suffered more pest problems in the last five years than ever before.

And even when they're not colonising the spare room, pests of all kinds can be an irritating and expensive thing to find in your home. The insurer put the combined cost at an annual total of £500 million.

In some cases they can cause expensive damage to the property. Rats, for example, have been known to start house fires by chewing through wires. To make matters worse, many home insurers do not cover damage caused by pests - although a number will cover consequent damage like a fire or a flood.

The cheapest way to get rid of rodents and pests

Even if the damage is minimal, getting rid of pests can be costly. A small wasps nest, bedbug treatments, or ant control can cost £50 for a one-off treatment. Flea eradication can require more than one visit, with a bill that runs to £100 or more. Cockroach treatment requires three visits at a cost of £150, and rodent control can set you back as much as £500 if frequent repeat visits are required.

When you are researching the cost locally, don't forget to check with your local council, which may offer a cost-effective service. However, unless you are receiving benefits, you can expect to pay at least £40 for pest control of any description.

If you are trying to sell your home, the cost can be even higher. If the evidence of an infestation is spotted, Rentokil estimates that mice or rats can knock 9% off a property's value. If woodworm is discovered during an inspection, many mortgage lenders will not lend until it is treated, and buyers will usually factor in the cost of dealing with the problem when negotiating the price.

Clearly it's not just those people with a wasps nest the size of a spare bed who can find themselves worse off after a pest decides to make itself at home.

Pest problems on AOL

Video: Horrified homeowner as rat crawls out of toilet

The cheapest way to get rid of rodents and pests

Rat infestation sweeps UK


Thief Hides from Police in Wasps' Nest and Ends Up in Hospital
Thief Hides from Police in Wasps' Nest and Ends Up in Hospital