Because of the spring-like temperatures, wasp queens are out earlier than usual. A biologist gives tips on how to deal with the insects.

A wasp queen building a wasp nest.

«2022 could be a good wasp year»

Because of the warm spring weather, wasp queens are out relatively early this year.

«2022 could be a good wasp year&raquo ;

They are looking for suitable locations for a wasp nest.

That's what it's all about

  • Because of the warm spring weather, wasp queens are out and about particularly early this year.

  • The warm weather can encourage the growth of large wasp populations.

  • A biologist offers tips.

Because of the so-called «Omega situation», March this year was exceptionally dry. According to long-term forecasts, both spring and summer could be warm this year. Due to the warm weather, the wasp queens are out earlier than usual this year. In early April, for example, environmental advice in Lucerne reported that wasp queens were “looking for a suitable location for their colony”. This is relatively early, because wasps usually wake up from hibernation in early May.

“As soon as it gets warm for a few days, the queens come out of their winter hiding place,” says Gabi Müller, Head of Pest Prevention and Advice in Zurich. “Warm and dry weather is more favorable for the wasps than rainy and cold weather,” says the biologist. Last year, when it was often rainy and changeable in summer, the Zurich specialist department received 182 reports of wasps. In 2020, when the second half of summer in particular was warm and dry, there were 426 reports.

Not all wasp species are annoying at the dining table

“2022 could be a good wasp year,” says Müller. In recent years, more and more people have contacted the specialist agency because they want wasps to relocate. In the past, many more people wanted to get rid of wasps. “Since the issue of insect mortality has become more widespread, we have had more inquiries about resettlement. After all, wasps are also very valuable and useful for nature,” says Müller.

Anyone who discovers wasps in their home should do some research first. “There are six species of wasps that are found near settlements in Switzerland. However, only two species build large nests. They feed on carrion in nature and pass the picnic table, »says Müller. The other four species are harmless and do not come to the dining table to look for food.»

You can do this if you are disturbed

In addition, wasps are biological pest controllers, so to speak. “They catch a lot of insects, such as flies, which can be annoying and sit on the plate.” If you want to eat outside and not be disturbed by wasps, you can use a water atomizer and spray the wasps. So you can simulate rainy weather and drive away the wasps. “The wasps don't like that at all.” In addition, one should cover, for example, meat plates. Staying calm is also helpful to keep wasps from becoming aggressive.

If wasps fly to you more often, you can try changing the shampoo or washing powder. “Wasps are very sensitive to smells,” says Müller. Also, wasps are attracted to light. With an insect screen on the window you can protect yourself from wasps – and that also helps against mosquitoes or flies. «If the wasps get too much for you, you can contact a specialist so that the wasp nest can be relocated.»

There are also specialist departments in the authorities that you can contact. For example, the Zurich Pest Prevention Service has put information about wasps online. You can also find various information about wasps at the Lucerne environmental advice center.

You know about an animal in need?

You can find help here:

Fire brigade, Tel. 118 (animal rescue)

Police, Tel. 117 (wild animals)

Animal rescue service, Tel. 044 211 22 22 (in emergencies)

Swiss animal reporting center if an animal has run away/run away

Foundation for the Animal in Law, for legal questions

GTRD, large animal rescue service, Tel. 079 700 70 70 (Emergency call)

Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach, for questions about wild birds, Tel. 041 462 97 00

Cruelty to animals:

< p>Report to the cantonal veterinary office or to Swiss animal welfare (anonymously possible)

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7341

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