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Pest controllers warn of warm weather and accelerate the growth of wasps



Brits should beware of “giant” wasp nests this summer as the coming months will bring more stinging insects, a pest control expert has warned.

Andrew Dellbridge, 51, a Norfolk pest fighter, said high temperatures earlier in the year “accelerated the growth of the insect population,” meaning more adult-sized wasps will be buzzing around.

He said high temperatures mean the wasps will remain active until at least the end of October, warning “it may only get worse over the next few weeks”.

Norfolk Pest Control Officer Andrew Dellbridge, 51 (pictured), had to remove a huge wasp nest on the edge of the Norfolk Broads

The nest (picture) was the size of a space hopper

Norfolk Pest Controller Andrew Dellbridge (51) (left) had to remove a huge wasp nest (right) the size of a space hopper on the edge of the Norfolk Broads

Dellbridge, 51, said high temperatures earlier in the year

Dellbridge, 51, said high temperatures earlier in the year “accelerated the growth of the insect population,” meaning more adult-sized wasps will be buzzing around. Pictured: the giant nest that he had to remove

Why are there more wasps this year?

The British are likely to see more wasps in the next few months, as the warm weather earlier in the year caused the insects to grow faster.

For most of the year, adult wasps hunt insects to feed the larvae – in exchange for a sugary substance released by the larvae as a reward.

But August and September bring fewer larvae – as they pupate in the warm summer months – and again less sugar.

When the warmth started earlier this year, wasps were able to pupate earlier, which means more adult-sized wasps will be buzzing around.

Adult wasps are therefore forced to chase their own sugars, which explains why the insects tend to fly straight onto sugary drinks and foods.

For most of the year, adult wasps hunt insects to feed the larvae – in exchange for a sugary substance released by the larvae as a reward.

But August and September bring fewer larvae – as they pupate in the warm summer months – and again less sugar.

Adult wasps are therefore forced to chase their own sugars, which explains why the insects tend to fly straight onto sugary drinks and foods.

Mr Dellbridge has already had to remove a huge wasp nest the size of a space hopper on the edge of the Norfolk Broads.

The nest was about two and a half feet in diameter and it was estimated that it contained over 5,000 wasps.

He said the nest held so many wasps that the insects lined up to look for entry points to get inside.

In full protective gear, Mr. Dellbridge sprayed the giant nest with two different types of spray to kill all wasps, including any later returned.

But he left the nest where it was found in a barn as wasps never use the same nest to be built by another colony.

And Mr. Dellbridge, who works for Ace Pest Control Ltd. works in Norwich warned this isn’t the first giant nest they’ve seen – and that the nests are likely to get even bigger in the coming weeks.

The nest (pictured) was about two and a half feet in diameter and it was estimated that it contained over 5,000 wasps

The nest (pictured) was about two and a half feet in diameter and it was estimated that it contained over 5,000 wasps

What’s the best way to treat a wasp sting?

As the number of wasps will only increase in the summer months, the potential for being stung by the pests is likely to increase too.

There are dozens of home remedies available, but experts from the British Pest Control Association say they should be avoided in favor of a much simpler solution.

The sting should be washed with soap and water before applying a cold compress (such as an ice pack) for at least 10 minutes.

The range should then be increased – if possible.

They warn that the famous home-made vinegar and bicarbonate of soda will only make the sting worse.

He said, “We had such a good start to the year very early with such excellent warm weather that it accelerated the growth of the insect population.

“This means that the wasps were active longer and gave the queens more time to build nests to hibernate in during the winter.

“There are big nests everywhere – there are a lot more wasps and the nests are huge.”

The funnel-sized nest that Mr. Dellbridge was called to was built in a barn attached to a house.

He said, “It was quite intense work – when you are in this room near the nest and can hear the low hum you really get a feel for the massive size of the structure.

“I can well believe that there were several thousand wasps in this nest.

“You have to be careful when a nest built in an attic reaches this size as the wasps run out of space and chew through the ceiling tile to make more space.

“I first sprayed the nest with a knockdown spray, which is similar to a fly spray and kills all wasps in the nest.

Mr Dellbridge said high temperatures earlier in the year

Mr Dellbridge said high temperatures earlier in the year “accelerated the growth of the insect population,” meaning more adult-sized wasps will be buzzing around (file image)

Do you have wasp nests in your house?

Email jemma.carr@mailonline.co.uk

Then I came back and sprayed it with a residual spray to make sure any wasps that returned to the nest later were killed too.

“In most cases, including this one, we would leave the nest in situ – since wasps will never use a nest that was built by another colony in a previous year.”

He added that the huge nest the size of a golf ball built by a single wasp queen who laid about a dozen eggs in it began in the spring.

It then grew in size as these eggs hatched and worked to expand the nest – while the queen bee continuously laid several layers of eggs in it.

Mr Dellbridge said, “It is truly colossal what wasps can build in just a few months, starting with just one wasp.”


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