There have been many reports of an invasion of drunken wasps in the UK in late Summer. Unsurprisingly feeding on windfall apples consequently making the wasps drunk. Alarmingly the affect on the wasps is to make them more liable to attack. There are two types of wasp in the UK. The slightly larger German Wasp or European Wasp (Vespula germanica) and the smaller Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris). Both species causing dangerous issues for humans and pets alike in late summer. The reason for the late Summer invasion is because of their natural food source of flies and caterpillars are dwindling. Therefor it causes them to find alternatives and in this case cider from windfall apples.
New research is showing a fall of 40 percent of all insect species. Prompting fears that many species could die out. Primarily habitat changes caused by humans such as deforestation and converting habitats for agriculture. One big decline in habitats is the reduction in small family farms that had open pastures and hedgerows. Hedgerows in particular are a mecca for insects and other wildlife.
Drunken Wasps Attack
Drunk wasps reportedly stung a two year old boy multiple times. He was in a local playground when he was stung 12 times. Eventually his mum was able to rush him to A&E to receive treatment. The nest was located underneath a slide in the playground. The mother said “There was a swarm – maybe 20 of them and they were everywhere, and three of them got into his hair. It was a moment of pure panic and helplessness”. The stings caused bad swelling and consequently the boy was very upset for several hours.
To keep wasps away try the following. Peppermint oil diluted in a sprayer which helps deter the wasps coming into the home. It is recommended to spray the diluted liquid on your body in the same way you would apply perfume. In addition on entrance points like doorways, curtains and blinds. There is also the option of a fly screen to deter unwanted insects such wasp and flies from entering your home. Having these in doorways and windows on the outside of your home can be a good way to stop them entering your house. However, if there is a swarm or a nest you should call professionals or the council to tackle the problem.
Firefighters are advising against over the counter smoke bombs and pest control products and instead calling professionals as these drunken wasps can be dangerous. There was a man in Reading who used a blowtorch to try and deter the wasps but ended up setting his roof on fire. A resident using a smoke bomb in Wiltshire, sparked panic by triggering the fire alarms.