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BEEWARE OF VICIOUS WASPS ON THE ATTACK; Warning over rise in stings.

Byline: ALANA FEARON news@irishmirror.ie

SUGAR-hungry wasps hell-bent on raiding our fruit bowls are swarming homes across the country.

The angry insects have become so vicious in their hunt for sugar there has been a sharp hike in the number of people getting stung.

The infestation has sparked a business boom for Rentokil, which has been inundated with calls from homeowners desperate to banish the wasps from their properties.

But the sting in the tail is the problem is set to get even worse next year - with a wasp explosion on the cards.

Rentokil's Dr Colm Moore revealed: "At this time of year wasps have already performed their natural duty and worker wasps find they have increasingly fewer larva to feed, rendering their role within the colony redundant.

"Wasp populations tend to boom every three to four years.

"Over the past two years we have experienced fewer callouts and now this year [there has been] a substantial increase.

"If winter conditions are favourable we predict that next year will be an even bigger year for wasps." The wasp infestation is expected to continue over the next month before the insects hibernate.

Wasps are beneficial at the beginning of the summer because they act as natural pesticides, killing other harmful insects such as greenfly.

But they become unwanted pests around August and September when they start to crave sugar after their nests start to naturally break down and the worker wasps find themselves out of work.

This is when they become more noticeable in our homes and gardens and when the risk of getting stung increases.

Myths on how get rid of wasp nests include bagging it and throwing the nest away, setting it on fire and blasting it with water. Rentokil warned none of these DIY methods are safe.

Dr Moore said: "The only humane way to deal with a wasp nest in the home is by letting nature take its course.

"However, we don't recommend this in many cases. "It can be dangerous to have a nest nearby, particularly near young children, the elderly and pets.

"It is even more hazardous where individuals may be allergic to wasp and bee stings and who may go into anaphylactic shock if stung.

"If you think you may have a wasp nest in your home, we recommend a professional and safe riddance programme using insecticide."

DEFENCE A wasp bites you by making a hole in your skin to feed. Most insects sting as a defence by injecting venom into your skin

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 6, 2013
Words:426
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