Ирина Козорогfalse images
Eating outdoors is one of the great joys of summer. However, if a wasp, or worse, a wasp, decides to join the party, a quiet and sun-drenched lunch can soon become a whirlwind of frantic blows, punches and side steps that would look more like home at a boxing ring. .
With the warming climate, would you know what to do if one of these striped threats threatened to spoil your enjoyment of the outdoors? This is what you need to know.
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Do not put a bee in your hat on hornets
Recent headlines about the arrival of the invasive Asian hornet on our shores make an alarming reading. But government figures show that there were only nine confirmed sightings of the Asian wasp in the United Kingdom last year. In addition, it is our bees that are most concerned about the presence of these predatory wasps, which have a taste for pollinators.
Nicola Spence, an expert in plant and bee health, explains: "Although the Asian wasp does not pose a greater risk to human health than a bee, we recognize the damage they can cause to bee colonies and other beneficial insects."
"Please, keep looking for any Asian hornets," he adds. "And if you think you've seen one, report your observation through the Asian Hornet application or online."
Do not know your hornets of your hoverflies? Refine your skills here.
What to do with the wasps.
Because wasps are much more likely than the hornets to rain in their parade this picnic season, we asked Dr. Seirian Sumner, a wasp expert at University College London to shed light on some common beliefs about these collisions. striped doors. Keep reading to find out how to keep them at bay this summer.
Wasps are only attracted to sugary foods and drinks. FALSE
This is only the case at the end of the summer. At this time, the wasps are busy hunting insects to feed their carnivorous pups, so they are less likely to take risks, if they forgive the play on words, for their ginger ale and fondant fantasies, and it is more likely that attract them. The meat in your ham sandwich.
Dr. Sumner explains: "Towards the end of summer, wasp larvae are pupae for about a week before emerging as adults, once there are no more larvae to feed, the workers in the colony have less to do. This is when they tend to bother us. "The best thing is to get your food from picnics and lunches in the yard before the end of August, then.
Covering food is the best way to deter wasps TRUE
Discourage wasps when eating outdoors by keeping the lid on the picnic food instead of spreading it, uncovered, in a glorious but friendly propagation for insects. If you are eating at a table, cover the food once everyone has been served, this way, the wasps are less likely to "smell" it.
Even placing a mesh bell over food is better than nothing. Although the wasps will still be able to detect what is underneath, they will not be able to achieve it and, finally, they will give up when their efforts to steal a picnic are not rewarded.
A DIY wasp trap will take you away from your picnic FALSE
First of all, a beer trap is more likely to be effective. Secondly, our wasp expert believes that this is a high risk strategy. "Beekeepers put beer traps near the hives to keep wasps away and prevent them from assaulting the colony," Dr. Sumner explains. "It's possible that putting a trap like this can drive wasps away, but it's more likely to attract them closer to you."
Staying still is better than beating TRUE
If a wasp decides to open its outdoor lunch door, waving its arms and crushing napkins increases the risk of both angering the wasp and raising its rose glass, none of which is desirable. "If you stand still, you're not a threat to the wasp." If you're talking about something, they're more likely to get bitten, "advises Dr. Sumner.
Where a wasp ventures, others follow the TRUTH
Wasps are team players. When one of them finds a source of food, he does not save the discovery for himself: he returns to the nest to tell his friends.
Dr. Sumner recommends a clever trick: "The best thing you can do is isolate the first wasp you see, this is the scout and it is likely to recruit other wasps, put it under a cup or glass and leave it there."
Just do not forget to drop it at the end of your meal. And whatever you do, do not kill it.
Wasps get a lot of bad press compared to their more popular cousins, bees. But they are equally important: they pollinate the flowers and play a key role in controlling pests in the garden, such as aphids, caterpillars and flies. And, by the way, only the bees die nobly in defense of the colony once they have bitten you. We could be fools for the blunt and fuzzy tenderness of the bumblebees, but they can sting repeatedly, like a wasp.
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