Farmers in the region are being urged to monitor old farm buildings owing to an increase in wasp activity as a result of the recent good weather.
Dusty old farm buildings with wooden floors and beams have been a haven for wasps this year and the number of cases of colony removal has escalated.
The upsurge in activity is also causing concern to members of the public on health and safety grounds according to Rory Brotherton of Longhorsley-based Environmental Pest Control.
He said: “I have removed 26 wasp nests in the past week, more than double what would be normally expected at this time of year.
“Most of the cases have been in attics, out-buildings, garden sheds, in the eaves of houses and in air-bricks.
“Lofts and old farm barns are proving popular havens for wasps due to being high-up and in quiet surroundings.
“This year, there have also been more wasps found in gardens; especially in close proximity to fruit and apple trees.”
Queen wasps hibernate over the winter and start to increase activity in the spring due to the warmer weather.
The wasps then start to make a nest in order to create a colony and continue the cycle.
Wooden buildings, old trees and gardens sheds are a popular feeding ground and wasps then make a pulp which creates elaborate nests, often seen hanging down from the beams in old buildings.
This year, good weather has made the wasps more active and buildings often house more than one colony. Registered pest controllers wear protective clothing and use a lance to deliver dust treatment; a form of professional pesticide, which is injected into the nest in order to kill-off the wasps.
Farmers, staff and the general public need to remain vigilant says Brotherton. “Unlike bees, a wasp can sting on multiple occasions. They are much more dangerous and child safety is also an issue in gardens and in close proximity to play areas.
“Members of the public should therefore contact a registered pest controller in order to remove nests,” he says.