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Experts warn of bumper year for wasps in Bexley and Bromley

PUBLISHED: 11:08 15 May 2015 | UPDATED: 11:08 15 May 2015

Wasp.

Wasp.

Archant

They are urging people not to tackle nests themselves.

Experts have issued a warning to people in the county that this will be a bumper year for wasps.

With forecasters predicting weather that is warmer than usual for the rest of May and June, an influx of wasps and an increase in the size of their nests is anticipated.

And south London has seen this problem before.

Bromley Council received a huge 632 complaints from 2013 to 2014, compared with 115 the previous year.

Bexley Council recorded 238 complaints from 2013 to 2014, compared to just 78 reports the year before.

This is a trend which replicates the national picture.

Figures produced by the British Pest Control Association show problems with wasps in the UK skyrocketed by around 87 per cent last year, compared to a relatively quiet 2013.

And this year’s mild spring temperatures, following a relatively cold winter, have created perfect conditions for the insects to thrive.

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 summer, wasps will not appear in huge numbers or become a big issue until August or September.

But they begin building new nests in spring and Mr Simpson says it’s best to have them treated as early as possible, when the colony is smaller and the wasps less aggressive.

He 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.”

And Mr Simpson warns that homeowners shouldn’t be tempted to tackle issues themselves.

“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.

“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.”

Homeowners seeking professional advice are being urged to find a company registered with BASIS PROMPT.

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