On a warm summer day, there’s nothing like a picnic or barbecue in the sun.
But for many, eating outdoors can quickly turn into a nightmare at this time of the year when the buzzing wasp approaches.
Wasps are usually natural pest controllers and tend to eat other insects.
In August and September, their attention shifts to sweet foods, which makes them even more unpleasant.
But what can you do to keep them from ruining your fun?
We’ve put together a few top tips for you.
How to check if there is a hornet’s nest nearby
According to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), if you see a large number of wasps in and around your home or workplace, they are likely attracted to a wasp nest or something significant nearby.
The spokesperson added: “Wasp nests come in all shapes and sizes.
“These are amazing architectural structures that can host up to 5,000 wasps during peak activity in late summer.
“They build their nest using chewed wood and saliva to make papier-mâché material.”
Wasps most likely build their nests in sheltered areas, so you need to check:
- under the trees
- In the bushes
- under the eaves
- In your shed or garage
How can I prevent wasps from getting into my home?
The BPCA says prevention is always better than cure and offers the following advice:
- Keep windows and doors closed or use standard mosquito nets to keep wasps out.
- Keep trash cans closed. Open trash cans attract greedy wasps looking for cheap sweet food.
- Keep trash cans out of the house and make sure the lid is closed properly.
- Check for nests ahead of time. You can check all the most likely wasp habitats every spring when the nests are tiny and easy to deal with. They will be the size of a golf ball. Check the attic, garage, shed and under the eaves.
What should I do if a wasp flies towards me?
Rentokil says that you must always stay where you are if a wasp is approaching you.
The rep added: “If you have to run, do it in a straight line without swinging your arms.
“Protect your head and face, as these areas are most often targeted by wasps.”
But DO NOT try to slap him
“If you slap a wasp or wave your arms, you will only make it more aggressive and more likely to sting you.
“Don’t seek shelter in a body of water as the wasps will just wait for you to resurface.”
How can I avoid being attracted to wasps or getting stung?
- Dispose of all food and drink carefully, especially soft drink cans.
- Never leave sugary drinks unattended. Also, always check sugary drinks for wasps before drinking.
- Keep all areas of your property clean and tidy.
- Before you start gardening, check for wasps.
- Avoid strong odors and bright clothes.
- Protect your feet by wearing closed shoes.
If you are using a wasp spray, leave the area immediately after spraying.
Dying wasps often tend to sting, and they may just be stunned rather than dead.
If you are spraying insecticide, be sure to put food away, cover fruit, and protect pets and people from inhalation.
How to cure a wasp sting
The NHS advice for treating an insect sting is as follows:
- remove the stinger if it is still in the skin
- wash the affected area with soap and water
- apply a cold compress (such as a flannel or cloth cooled with cold water) or an ice pack to any swelling for at least 10 minutes.
- lift or elevate the affected area if possible, as this may help reduce swelling
- do not scratch the area to reduce the risk of infection
- avoid traditional home remedies like vinegar and baking soda as they are unlikely to help
How to remove wasp sting?
Scrape the side of it with something with a hard edge, like a bank card, or your fingernails if you don’t have anything else handy.
Do not pinch the stinger with your fingers or tweezers as you may spread the venom.