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Wasps plague Norfolk communities

PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:16 06 July 2010

Wasp call-outs are on the up.

Wasp call-outs are on the up.

First it was the ladybirds and now come the wasps.

New figures show there has been a surge in call-outs for problems with the common wasp just as Norfolk has been plagued by an influx of ladybirds.

First it was the ladybirds and now come the wasps.

New figures show there has been a surge in call-outs for problems with the common wasp just as Norfolk has been plagued by an influx of ladybirds.

Although the county has suffered heavy rain during July, the mild winter and the fact that temperatures throughout the year have not drastically fallen or risen, has proved the perfect breeding ground for the insect.

Norwich City Council says it has witnessed a big increase in the number of people asking for wasp nests to be treated, with six call-outs in June, but 40 for July. Last year, in July, the figure was only 22.

Paul Youngs, owner of All Seasons Pest Control, in Wilberforce Road, Norwich, which attends the call-outs on behalf of the council, said: “For July alone we have had 40 call outs and the wasps we are dealing with are more aggressive than we have seen them in the past - and bigger as well.

“We were treating wasps' nests up until October last year and we started again in May this year, which is unusual for us, but is a result of the weather being warmer.”

Pest control bosses at South Norfolk Council said from April 1 to July 31, 2008, they carried out 268 wasp treatments. In the same period this year, the figure has risen to 450.

A spokesman for the council said: “The pest controllers here put this increase this year down to the early start to the season, with the warm weather we had particularly in May. With the recent wet weather we are expecting calls to fall away.”

Broadland District Council said it had 191 call-outs for wasp nests in July this year, a rise from 162 this time last year.

Paul Smith, environmental contracts manager, said: “We have noticed only a minimal increase in the number of wasp nests this year for the month of July.

“In previous years we have had more than double these numbers of wasp nests reported to us, so there is nothing to indicate that we will see exceptional numbers this year.”

People have been warned not to try and remove wasps nests themselves as a colony can hold 700 insects.

There is also a warning to never kill a wasp or hornet near its nest as it will release a distress chemical which could trigger an attack from the entire colony.

Broadland District Council charges £40 a visit to rid a home of wasps, while South Norfolk Council charges £36 and Norwich City Council, £47.25.

Great Yarmouth District Council and North Norfolk District Council do not have their own call-out service and ask callers to contact a pest control company.


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