Wasps are attacking us in the summer because they are drunk, say experts

Greg Evans
Thursday 09 August 2018 12:00
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Picture:(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

There are always ups and downs when it comes to the weather at this time of year.

Sure it's great basking in the sunshine and knocking back a few drinks in the pub garden but the relentless heat isn't exactly fun and neither is that sunburn.

Then you have to consider the wildlife and those damn, pesky wasps. Seriously, what is their problem?

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Well, you'll probably ease up on them a bit when I tell you that the only reason they are attacking you is that they are under the influence of alcohol.

They don't exactly have a drinking problem but they are turning to fermented fruits and leftover cider in beer gardens due to a genetic trait.

According to experts at the Sussex Wildlife Trust, this fondness for boozy treats tends to happen each year to wasps as they develop a 'tight' band around their abdomen which prevents them from eating their usual diet of flies.

In turn, they become hooked on sugar but unfortunately, their queen stops laying larvae, which produces the spit-sugar they rely on.

This leaves them with no alternative to 'go out on the lash' and sample some decaying fruit and discarded cider.

A spokesperson from the trust told the Daily Mail:

In the spring, queen wasps wake from hibernation and start to build their nest, laying eggs and raising their first brood of daughters.

These worker wasps cannot produce fertilised eggs, so spend their time helping their mother to expand the nest and raise more young.

One of their main jobs is searching for soft-bodied invertebrates to feed the developing larvae, bizarrely, adult wasps cannot digest the food they catch because their gut is so constricted by their thin "wasp waists".

Instead the workers chew up the prey and feed it to the larvae – in return, the larvae produce a sugar-rich spit that the workers can drink.

They are also attracted to the abundance of sweet foods that humans provide - to a starving wasp, a jam sandwich or a can of cola is just too tempting to avoid.

So, there you go. You're probably feeling sorry for those wasps now.

They are literally out here starving and are having to turn to old fruit and alcohol to survive and all you are doing to help is swat them with a newspaper.

Although you are unlikely to completely rid yourself of any wasps drunken presence (kind of like that office worker on the night bus whose had too many Jägerbombs) there are a few things that you can do to help the matter.

Dee Ward-Thompson, the technical manager at the British Pest Control Association adds:

Heat and humidity can impact upon wasp numbers, but so can a number of other factors.

Maybe the most influential factor on wasp numbers is when people do not dispose of their waste properly, especially food with a high sugar content, such as fruit.

We always advise waste to be securely bagged and held within a clean container, away from where young children might play.

HT Lad Bible

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