Cold winter followed by mild spring create perfect conditions for insects to flourish
- Wasps could be particularly aggressive this year due to the high numbers
- Forecasters have warned the warm conditions are perfect for breeding
- Problems with wasps shot up by around 87 per cent in the UK last year
Forecasters have also warned conditions should be perfect for them during the coming months this year, with a warmer than average summer forecast – leading to a huge increase in the size of swarms and nests.
While there are concerns the wasps could be particularly aggressive this year due to the high numbers of them around, the real concern, according to experts, is the invasion of Pharaoh ants which spread potentially fatal diseases.
Expert Tom Frost said: ‘The biggest problem will be the wasps – but the ones you really don’t want are pharoah ants.’
The ants, which originate in the tropics, spread potentially fatal dysentery, typhoid and other infections by poisoning food.
Mr Frost told the Mirror: ‘When people use standard ant poison, the worker ants send messages to warn others that they are under attack. The colony then splits up to survive.’
British Pest Control Association figures reveal that problems with wasps shot up by around 87 per cent in the UK last year compared to 2013.
Rob Simpson, leader of independent pest controllers register Basis Prompt, said: ‘The annual wasp population in the UK is very much dependent on weather conditions.
‘The number of nests seemed to be down significantly in 2013, but there was a substantial increase last year when numbers returned to something like normal.
‘Colder winters often mean there are more wasps about the following summer as mated queens spend the period deep in hibernation.
‘If it’s milder in December and January, wasps become restless and use up their food reserves. They then have nothing left to forage on, so they die.
‘This year, temperatures were relatively cold during the winter and have so far been warm in spring, so we’re expecting our members to receive a deluge of calls.’
In a typical British summer, wasp swarms do not become a problem until August or September.
But Mr Simpson added: ‘With warm weather expected and nests growing in size as the season progresses, we expect the number of wasp-related enquiries to rise substantially.
‘So if people do find a nest in their garden or around the house, however small at the moment, it shouldn’t be ignored.
‘Treating a wasps nest can be very dangerous as they feel threatened and are likely to become aggressive if their nest is tampered with.
‘A mature nest can contain thousands of wasps, so it’s really not worth the risk (or dealing with it yourself).
‘You don’t need to remove a nest, but you do need to have it treated as early as possible and it’s definitely a job that should be left to experts.’