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Wasp warning from pest experts

Wasps on drink can

Pest controllers have had more calls to deal with wasps nests this summer than in previous years, mainly due to the mild winter and dry Spring.

The type of wasp causing most problems is the smaller German wasp which gives a particularly painful sting despite its size.

People are warned to be on their guard as the ‘worker’ wasps start to become particularly active at this point in the season after the queen wasps leave their nests – leaving the workers without much to occupy themselves. Cleankill Pest Control Managing Director Paul Bates explains: “If you are having late summer barbecues be aware that you may attract uninvited guests to the table. Be particularly careful if you have small children as we’ve heard some horrific stories involving children being stung. It’s bad enough if you are stung as an adult, but wasp stings are even more excruciating for children.

“Worker wasps have finished their life’s work as queen wasps have stopped laying and don’t need food bringing to them. This means that the workers are free to go out and enjoy themselves which includes stealing meat from the barbecue. There will also be drunk wasps around who have been feasting on fermented fruit and will be extra bold.

“All this means that the wasps are likely to sting for no reason and they are now at their most dangerous.”

Each nest contains around 10,000 wasps and their stings can be fatal to some people who are allergic to them. The advice is to keep clear of nests, especially if you are wearing summer clothing such as shorts and t-shirt.

According to Paul, people don’t build up resistance to wasp stings. “In fact,” he says, “It’s just the opposite in most cases. Each time you get stung there’s a chance that you will have a worse reaction to the wasp venom.”

Most of the nests that Cleankill pest control technicians have been called to deal with have been in residential loft spaces. Wasps in confined spaces like lofts need treating and removing by trained professionals in full protective equipment.

“DIY pest control when there are wasps involved is just not worth the risk. You could put yourself and your family in danger and possibly end up in hospital,” added Paul.

Cleankill recently asked members of the public to posts their wasp sting stories on the company’s Facebook page which resulted in some horrific examples being shared. One man thought he was having an heart attack after he accidentally swallowed a wasp that had crawled into his sandwich at a festival. He ate the sandwich and the wasp stung him inside his chest.

“I didn't know I’d been stung, I thought I was having a heart attack. My pal carried all 17st of me about half a mile to the medic where I spent all day on oxygen getting jabbed in my heart and generally not having a good festival experience. I carry an EpiPen now.”

A mother told how two of her sons and a friend were stung multiple times. She said: “They thought they would poke around at a wasps’ nest in the park and they were all attacked by 100s of angry wasps. They all stripped down to their underwear and ran home screaming. The wasps went into their clothes and repeatedly stung them. Poor kids were in a terrible state. The wasps even went into their trainers.”

Based in Surrey and Sussex, Cleankill started in 1995 and is a specialist provider of pest control services to retail, commercial and industrial properties throughout the UK. The company deals with ‘distress’ pests such as wasps and fleas, as well as preventative maintenance against public health pests such as mice and rats. Cleankill can also clear and proof buildings against pest birds. The company prides itself on fast and efficient service delivery and aims to be recognised as a market leader for innovation and new pest control techniques. ENDS Press enquiries: Please call Suzi Christie of Blueberry PR for interview requests on 01435 830031