August until the end of September would generally be considered wasp season in Ireland.
Rentokil, Ireland’s leading pest control provider, experienced its highest number of wasp call-outs in the past six summers during the period June - August 2019, with Co Kildare having the fourth highest number of call-outs for wasps.
The company has experienced a continual rise in wasp callouts of 136% during the summer period since 2017.
The company is warning the public to treat the stinging insects with caution as the early autumn period is when they are most aggressive.
During the summer of 2019 (June – August), Cork accounted for the highest level of wasp callouts (29% of all callouts). Mayo (28%), Sligo (10%) and Kildare (7%) were the next counties most affected.
Rentokil attributes the rise in callouts to climate change and cautions that as the country experiences increasingly warmer conditions every year, the wasp population will continue to thrive.
Dr Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager for Rentokil said “Rentokil has seen a huge increase in wasp callouts over the last two summers. As temperatures continue to rise as a result of climate change, insect populations will thrive, and wasps are no exception. The early autumn period is when people need to exercise the most caution around them. Mature nests towards the start of autumn can sometimes contain thousands of wasps, and this is also when they’re most active and aggressive.”
Rentokil offers the following tips and advice to avoid being stung:
- Do not panic - If you find there are wasps nearby keep calm and move slowly away.
- Do not scream, flap your arms or swat them - This will agitate wasps and make them more aggressive.
- Avoid strong, sweet smells – Avoid using highly perfumed fragrances, shampoos, or hair sprays.
- Avoid bright colours - Do not wear bright, bold floral patterns on clothes and bags, which could attract wasps.
- Keep your bins covered – Wasps will gather around uncovered bins to seek food.
- Avoid open drinks - If drink cans or bottles are left unattended, it may encourage wasps to crawl inside. Never leave sugary drinks unattended. Also, always check sugary drinks for wasps before consuming.
- Cover food and drink - Always keep food and drink covered when eating outdoors to deter wasps.
- Stay clean - Ensure children’s hands and faces are cleaned after eating sugary food and drinks