Wasps can be a real nuisance in the summer months, spoiling barbecues and picnics and making you feel uneasy and wary when you are trying to relax in the garden. They are attracted by sweet smelling food and drink, perfumes, suntan lotion, hairspray and cosmetics as well as by certain colours like bright yellow and black. Some wasps feed on flower nectar so if you have a lot of flowers in your garden, you may find wasps are attracted to your home for that reason. Wasps also feed on other insects such as green fly and have even been known to feed on small birds.
Many people are scared of wasps, perhaps relating the sight and sound of them to an unpleasant childhood experience when they were stung and remembering it as being very painful. Others are scared of wasps for a very different reason; in some people, a wasp's sting can provoke a severe allergic reaction and send them into what's called "anaphylactic shock". Anaphylactic shock is a sudden, almost instantaneous and catastrophic allergic reaction that involves the whole body. This is potentially very serious. The symptoms to watch out for are hives, itchiness, flushing, and swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat, shortness of breath and wheezing, cramping abdominal pains, diarrhoea and vomiting, a feeling of light-headedness and loss of consciousness. There may be a loss of bladder control and muscle tone and a feeling of anxiety and the coronary artery may go into spasm resulting in myocardial infarction or heart attack.
Minimising your exposure to wasps when out and about
The best way to minimise your exposure to wasps while out and about is to keep in mind the conditions that attract them in the first place. Where possible try to avoid areas that may be of interest to wasps. Such areas are for example; litter bins containing discarded sweet or ice cream wrappers and foodstuffs, picnic tables with unfinished food or food scraps lying around and flower gardens. If you are invited to a barbecue this summer or are having a family picnic, take care to pack away any unfinished foods and to clear up any food debris. Don't leave food lying around; it will attract all sorts of insects including wasps. When looking for an area to site your barbecue or lay out your picnic blanket, be mindful of the location of bins and stay away from areas where wasps might congregate. Since wasps like to make their nests in trees and shrubs as well as in the eaves of buildings, steer clear of areas that are quite wooded and from building overhangs, you may unwittingly be laying out your feast for a colony of black and yellow stingers!
Making your garden a safe haven
Wasps, through their stinging and generally annoying behaviour, manage to earn themselves a pretty bad press but it is important to remember that they are a vital part of your garden's natural balance and the eco system as a whole. They feed on aphids and caterpillars that might otherwise wreak havoc amongst other life forms. That said, having a garden full of wasps is no fun for anyone so, to encourage your wasps to go elsewhere, clear away all dropped fruit from any fruit trees you may have, tidy away food debris and sticky drinks, ice cream wrappers etc, don't leave them lying around because they will attract wasps and if there is a wasps nest in your garden or home, have it removed professionally.
Professional pest controllers will destroy the nest using insecticide sprays or dusts. Whilst this can be done fairly quickly and easily, it should only be carried out by a properly trained pest controller. An untrained person may attempt to destroy a nest and be stung very badly as a result.
Dealing with a fear of wasps
For many, the fear they have of wasps is enough to ruin a summer party, whether wasps become a pest or not. There are a number of ways in which this fear of wasps or "spheksophobia" can be treated, chief among which are; hypnotherapy, EFT and NLP. Hypnotherapy is popular as a treatment for emotional and psychological disorders. EFT or the Emotional Freedom Technique has been used successfully with thousands of people to help them overcome their phobias and NLP or Neuro-linguistic programming is a treatment aimed at changing a person's thought patterns and responses.
How Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions can help
If you are suffering from a wasp problem in your home or garden or have a wasp nest that needs removing, we can help. We offer a full range of wasp control and wasp nest removal services to both domestic and commercial clients and cover the following locations: Ipswich, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Colchester, Manningtree, Harwich, Clacton, Maldon, Chelmsford, Witham and Braintree.
Our wasp removal service is fast and effective and will clear your home or business premises from wasps or a wasp nest quickly and discreetly. Emergency appointments are available on request. We work strictly to current health and safety legislation, our operatives are CRB checked and trained to at least BPCA RSPH Level 2 and we guarantee our wasp removal service.
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