August 10, 2019
Wasps are probably one of the most hated insects in Britain. They gatecrash our picnics, harass us in beer gardens, and it often feels like they sting for the sake of it.
Were Due A Bumper Wasp Season – Heres Why That Might Be A Good Thing
With the UK experiencing bouts of warmer weather this year, experts believe it’s likely wasps will be even more prevalent this summer. “Everyone’s talking about having a bit of a bumper wasp season this year and that there’ll be more nests around because of the warm weather,” Natalie Bungay, a technical officer for the British Pest Control Association, tells HuffPost UK.
Biologist Professor Adam Hart says he’s seeing quite a few worker wasps at the moment, although couldn’t say for sure whether there are more than usual, without more data. “Warm weather that isn’t too dry tends to be good for insects in general so it is possible that we might see some good numbers over the coming weeks,” he says.
Last summer was one of the “worst ever” for wasps because of the hot weather, pest controllers said, and this year, Prof Hart is encouraging people to take part in his Big Wasp Survey – especially those living in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and other rural areas – so that accurate data can be collected.So, Why Do We Need Wasps?It’s easy to think of wasps as useless pests but they are actually important pest controllers, says Prof Hart: “They take huge amounts of caterpillars and other insects we think of as pests from our crops and gardens.”
As predators they help to increase biodiversity, “tending to take out common species first and letting others prosper”, he adds.
They also do some pollination and are amazing “architects and builders”, he adds. “They are greatly misunderstood sadly, all because of a few weeks in the year when we are outside and they are most active,” says Prof Hart.Why Are They Rife In August?Wasps tend to be more prevalent in August and September in the UK, which is why you might be seeing loads of them around at the moment.
Dr Seirian Sumner, an expert in behavioural ecology at University College London, previously told HuffPost UK: “It’s at the time in the colony cycle when the nest is at its biggest in terms of workers. Also we notice them more at that time because the workers no longer have many larvae to feed and so they are not foraging for insect prey (which is protein for the larvae).” Larvae release a sugary reward when they are fed which keeps adult wasps partially satisfied, however at the end of the colony cycle the larvae will have “pupated” so the adults are on the hunt for sugar to feed themselves. This is why they’ll always head straight to your glass of coke or beer.“So it’s a double whammy of workers having less ‘work’ to do as the pupae don’t need looking after and that they are not getting the sugary reward from the larvae for feeding them,” said Dr Sumner.How To Avoid WaspsFor those who are terrified of wasps, discovering there might be more about this year is not exactly music to the ears. However there are things you can be doing to minimise your contact. “Try not to attract them,” says Prof Hart, who advises to keep food and drinks covered up outside when wasps are active.
If you’re being pestered by a wasp, try to move somewhere else. Finally, don’t flap at them or antagonise them, he says, as it may encourage them to sting.
What prompts a wasp to sting a person? “Wasps are actually generally not aggressive,” says Prof Hart. “Stinging is dangerous for them. They tend to sting in defence and commonly stings occur when they are squashed in some way, perhaps in our hair or caught in between clothes and skin.”How To Deal With NestsIf you find a wasps nest in your attic or garden, the first thing you might do is panic before calling in someone to destroy the nest. But Prof Hart says this is not the right approach. “Some nests may cause a big problem,” he admits, “but we may not even notice many nests in our lofts and gardens.”
If the wasps aren’t causing a problem there is no reason to do anything about them, he says. “Wasps in the loft, for example, typically fly outside and well above head height. If wasps are causing a problem then it may be necessary to do something about them, but that should never be the default option.”
Typically, wasps will abandon a nest after the summer and won’t return to it the following year. But if you are worried about large numbers of wasps or if they pose a threat to your health, you should call a pest controller.What To Do If They Sting YouFirst of all, move away from the area where you were stung. According to the BPCA, a social wasp in distress emits a pheromone that sends nearby colony members into a defensive “frenzy” – meaning your wasp friend might have back-up on the way.
Anaphylaxis may be caused by bee or wasp stings on rare occasions, so if you feel suddenly and generally unwell after being stung call 999. If you feel okay but the area is quite sore, it might be worth buying an over-the-counter, non-sedating antihistamine. You might need to take it for a few days. Over-the-counter steroid creams might also help relieve the sting.Other treatments include calamine lotion, menthol in aqueous cream and Balneum Plus cream all of which will provide immediate but short-lived relief and therefore should be applied frequently.Avoid scratching the area if possible and in the rare case that the sting becomes infected, book in to see your GP.Related... Exclusive: Bedbug Calls Rose 28% From May To June This Year, Says Pest Control Expert First Asian Hornet Of 2019 Spotted In The UK: Here's What You Need To Know Heading To Greece This Summer? Here's What You Need To Know About West Nile Virus
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Oscar 2020

See the list of 2020 Oscar Nominations including best picture, best actors and actresses, and more.

The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will honor the best films of 2019 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Celebrate "Love Your Pet Day" With Justin Bieber & More | Pop Of The Morning | E! News
February 20, 2020
GpHgO0VfUWw
Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Leaving Royal Family End of March | Daily Pop | E! News
February 20, 2020
Lyg_OasHzmg
Al Pacino's Ex-GF Left Him Because He's Cheap | Daily Pop | E! News
February 20, 2020
1HjRKm6HuQM
How Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas got married twice | Page Six Celebrity News
February 18, 2020
vDdl34jkF_E
Teresa Guidice Admits To Joe Cheating On Housewives Hangover | Page Six Celebrity News
February 18, 2020
-Ko98-qfy7A
Tyler Cameron surprises fans w/ultimate Valentine’s Day blind taste test | Page Six Celebrity News
February 13, 2020
RwNIvxbkaWA
David Letterman Says Trump Pigs Out, Bloomberg Eats Like a Bird | TMZ
February 20, 2020
foofGz-vmus
Pop Smoke Murder Appeared to be Target Hit, Not Robbery | TMZ NEWSROOM
February 20, 2020
65-4JPUjv68
Donald Trump's L.A. Fundraiser's Leftover Appetizers Stashed in Bathroom | TMZ
February 20, 2020
tBj_E4KlzFE
The Last Time I Cried at the Movies: Sundance Edition
February 20, 2020
DRkDLcGp9ak
Kerry Washington Has a Seat at the Table on 'Little Fires Everywhere'
February 18, 2020
TGFOuD8H7Co
'Outlander' Cast Reveals What to Expect This Season
February 15, 2020
K4klRSTpDIM
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - West Ham United
17
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Manchester United
17
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Torino
16
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Tottenham Hotspur
16
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Inter Milan
16
Feb
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Celta Vigo
16
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Newcastle United
16
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Napoli
16
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Brescia
15
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Roma
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM 5NeCb7JxaRk u5xQKdNqazE 56CdjlzJqSA kw7uFRs-Az0 xNv0JZWLV7w j_x1lr04a6Q lrYGH-drP8s
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.