Europe could be facing wasp plague due to dry weather says biologist

Wasp in Spain - Natalai de la Rubia/Shutterstock.com

Europe could be facing a wasp plague if the dry weather continues according to a senior biologist.

Speaking to news broadcaster RND on Tuesday, August 2, Tarja Richter of the Bavarian Society for the Protection of Birds in Hilpoltstein said that: “Little rain is a good thing for wasps.”

She predicts that: “If it continues to be so rainless, it will turn into a wasp year.”

And that she says could be a problem for many of us as they seek water and food, particularly given their liking of for typical barbecue items.

According to Richter wasps will be reaching their full adult stage this month and that is when new queens and males are produced. That could lead to a massive increase in the insect’s population, great for bird life, and as a result greater contact with people.

She says that we should not be afraid of the tiny creature with a sting in its tail, but rather take precautions to limit our contact with wasps.

Among the tips offered by Richter and the Bavarian State Association are:

  • Spray the wasps with an atomiser, which fools the insect into thinking it’s raining as a result of which it will return to its nest
  • Cut open grapes and leave them some distance from where you are sitting or cooking, as they will be attracted to the grapes more than you or your food
  • Don’t be aggressive with wasps, simply shoo or brush them away, dealing with them aggressively will result in them fighting back

Richter went on to remind everyone of the value of wasps who are a major contributor to the pollination of crops and flowers, but also because they help to keep the population of caterpillars and even flies and mosquitos.

She also said that not all wasps are harmful to humans.

The weather forecasts suggest that the heat is set to continue, with little chance of rain which suggests that Richter’s prediction that Europe could be facing a wasp plague may well prove accurate.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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