Warning issued for wasps as Rentokil callouts increase
Rentokil, Ireland’s leading pest control provider, is warning the public to be vigilant regarding the dangers posed by wasps during the summer period. The company believes that as lockdown restrictions are lifted and people begin to spend more time outside, there is a greater need for awareness and caution around the stinging insects.
Rentokil expects that as temperatures continue to rise as a result of climate change, wasp and other pest insect populations will continue to grow in the future.
The warm summer months are when the wasp population is at its highest, as the favourable conditions enable the insects to thrive and multiply.
The top five counties which accounted for wasp callouts so far this year were Mayo (25% of total callouts), Galway (22%), Sligo (18%), Offaly (12%), and Cork (11%).
The Common wasp and German wasp are the two most commonly found wasp species in Ireland. Wasps are distinct from hornets and bees, and identifying them is important for homes or businesses that experience an infestation from a nearby nest. Members of the public can properly identify wasps, hornets, or bees by visiting the Rentokil website.
Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant for Rentokil said: “A wasp sting can be a painful experience, and can be particularly upsetting and frightening for young children. They can also be dangerous to people who are allergic to the poison in stings, but fortunately, these types of allergic reactions are rare. However, we would still stress caution when spending time outside during the summer months."
He said that there are a number of steps which people can take to avoid attracting or being stung by wasps, which are:
- Do not panic - If you find there are wasps nearby keep calm and move slowly away.
- Do not scream, flap your arms or swat them - This will agitate wasps and make them more aggressive.
- Avoid strong, sweet smells – Avoid using highly perfumed fragrances, shampoos, or hair sprays.
- Avoid bright colours - Do not wear bright, bold floral patterns on clothes and bags, which could attract wasps.
- Keep your bins covered – Wasps will gather around uncovered bins to seek food.
- Avoid open drinks - If drink cans or bottles are left unattended, it may encourage wasps to crawl inside. Never leave sugary drinks unattended. Also, always check sugary drinks for wasps before consuming.
- Cover food and drink - Always keep food and drink covered when eating outdoors to deter wasps.
- Stay clean - Ensure children’s hands and faces are cleaned after eating food and drinks.