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Wasps on the hunt for sugar could pose a risk during summer holidays, experts warn; The British Pest Control Association has urged families and businesses in Teesside to act now.

Byline: Mike Brown

Wasps on the hunt for a sugar hit could pose a risk to children and the elderly during the school summer holidays, experts have warned.

National trade body the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) is urging families and businesses inTeessideto act now before sting incidents become more likely in late August and early September.

Technical officer at BPCA, Natalie Bungay, said: "Homes and businesses can be affected by a wasp outbreak, particularly as people head outside for the summer season.

"Towards late August and going into September is the time when we can start to see drunken wasps, desperate for a sugar fix.

"This happens when the queen stops producing eggs and the workforce has nothing to do other than look for fermented fruits and sugars.

"Wasps quickly get inebriated and this is typically when you can expect them to be more aggressive and likely to sting."

The BCPA has issued a new'Worried About Wasps' guide, which gives an overview of information including biology and behaviour, prevention and control.

M s Bungay added: "If snacks are eaten outdoors then food and drinks as well as the natural environment all provide an attractive place for wasps to thrive.

"A high level of wasp activity can be distressing and if someone is stung, or receives multiple stings, the presence of wasps can be seen as detrimental to public health.

"This particularly applies to children, elderly people, those with allergies and pets, who can be very sensitive to wasp stings.

"The matter becomes serious if a sting sends someone into anaphylaxis, a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

"Even if someone has been stung by a wasp before and not had a severe reaction, it doesn't mean that they cannot have a bad reaction if stung again.

"Our advice is to encourage homes and businesses to dispose of rubbish properly, especially food with a high sugar content. It should be securely contained in a bag and disposed of in a clean container."

And Ms Bungay also offered advice on how to deal with a wasp nest -- which could house up to 5,000 wasps.

Ms Bungay said: "It's important to note that not every wasps' nest needs destroying. For example, if it's well away from a building or in a rarely used part of the property, where disturbance is unlikely, it may be best to leave it alone.

"However, when wasps are causing a nuisance or endangering human health, then steps may need to be taken.

"Pest management professionals ensure minimal disruption as they have the technical knowledge and access to a range of professional products - which are not available to the public -- to tackle the issue effectively.

"They'll have the appropriate protective equipment, and professionals can work in an environment that focuses on safety, not just for themselves, but the people and environment around them."

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2019
Words:511
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