Get ready for Swarmageddon! Record number of wasps to hit southern England

David Harding
Contributor
Record numbers of wasps are about to hit southern England (Rex)

Southern England is about to get invaded by a record number of wasps.

The mild winter and warm spring means there are now millions of more wasps buzzing around the UK than at any time in the last five years.

The mild weather has allowed more Queen wasps to survive and the insects generally have more food to feed on.

And the biggest number of wasps is in the south, say experts.

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Pest controllers say they have been receiving around 100 calls a week to remove wasp nests from homes.

Aussie Shane Jones, 48, who clears nests in Hampshire with his son Reef, 18 said: “We have been doing this for five years and it is the best year for a while

“We were already getting wasp calls in May this year and during the start of June we were very busy.

“We are getting somewhere between five and 15 calls a day at the moment, when it is raining it’s a bit quieter but as soon as the sun comes out people go outside and sit in their garden and crack open a can of beer and they look up at their house and realise they have a wasp nest.”

A pest controller at work on a wasps nest (Rex)

Wasps feast on leftover foods from bins as well as aphids, caterpillars and other insects but colonies die from starvation during the winter months.

Shane added: “The wasps have been hibernating through the winter and when the Queen wakes up and the weather is poor there may not be enough food around, but this year we have had hot weather so more survive.

“If you have a poor insect population then the wasp rate is low, but because there has been more food around for them so a lot more have survived.”

Greg Hitchcock from Kent Wildlife Trust said: “It will be the weather in particular, cold winters will kill off queens if there is a lot of bad weather the insects the wasps eat will go down.

“We had a mild winter so it is possible that there are more queen wasps we have had relatively good weather for insects, there has been enough rain to keep grass growing and it is quite possible that if exterminators are seeing a greater call out then there are more.”

A spokesperson from Buglife said that the south will be especially adversely affected by the extra swarms of wasps because weather conditions there have been ‘exceptionally favourable’ for the black-and-yellow beasts.