Q: I’ve found a huge wasps' nest in my loft. I think it is empty. How do I get rid of it safely, and how can I stop the occupants returning to it next year?
A: Large wasps' nests empty during the autumn, and should be deserted by now. At its height, a nest may have had 5,000 workers buzzing to and fro, but as autumn progresses, all workers and males die off; only the mated queens survive the winter. They hibernate under logs, behind loose bark, in crevices up against fences, sometimes indoors in curtain folds in the spare room. Your huge nest, bigger than a beachball, will never be used again.
Ed Cracknell appears in The Sunday Times Home Experts answering a problem about getting rid of a wasps' nest.