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Experts warn of increase in 'aggressive' wasp numbers in Spain

Nests are generally built in sheltered locations.
Nests are generally built in sheltered locations. / SUR
  • After a population boom, the high temperatures and humidity can make the insects more likely to sting

Spain's National Association of Environmental Health Companies (Anecpla) is warning that the population of common wasp in the country is increasing. And it is doing so at a fast rate, claims the industry body, blaming the warm spring, and the general increase in temperatures in recent weeks.

The boom in numbers means that the insects will build more nests, and Anecpla, points out that the presence of these nests in inhabited areas can be dangerous.

"The wasps are more aggressive on days when the temperature is above 28 degrees, as it usually is in Spain during the summer season, and when there is high humidity - even more so when a storm approaches," the association warns.

In general, a wasp sting produces a local reaction in the skin with redness and swelling around the site of the sting, accompanied pain that depends on factors including the part of the body that is stung. However, wasp stings can pose a serious risk to health when a person is hypersensitive to its venom, or when stung by a swarm of wasps. “It can even be fatal”, warns Anecpla.

The association recommends the removal of nests from around the home and garden, but warns it should not carried out by inexperienced people, who do not have the necessary training or with the appropriate materials and equipment.

At the first sign of the presence of wasps, the nest should be removed as soon as possible, preventing the population from reproducing and growing, thus reducing the risk of being stung.

Nests are generally built in sheltered locations, with easy access to outdoor areas. They are usually located under tiles, eaves, cavities, and near areas with water, such as fountains or swimming pools. Following the flight path of the wasps in the late afternoon, when they head back to their nest, can help locate it.

Nest eradication can be done by applying liquid or powder insecticides at the entrances to the nest or, when possible, directly on the nest. To avoid repopulating empty nests at the end of the treatment, it is necessary to remove the nest or seal the access holes, a job that must be carried out by experts. To do this, you must use pest management companies registered in the Official Registry of Biocide Establishments and Services (ROESB) of the different autonomous regions.