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wasps at Wimbledon
05 Jul

wasps at WimbledonIf you are on Henman Hill or Murray Mound this week eating your strawberries and cream the last thing you want is to be competing with the wasps.  Here are some useful tips to help you avoid the vespula vulgaris, more commonly known as the wasp.

Although wasps have a very sweet tooth, in the early summer they tend to go for protein-based foods such as meat, which they need to build muscle. But by this time of year, they’ve moved on to pudding, quite likely yours.
They particularly like ripe fruit, although, annoyingly for picnickers, wasps will be attracted to anything sugary. Fizzy drinks, ice cream, sweet sauces and chocolate are all very hard for them to resist. They’re also partial to drop of wine.  So if you want to reduce wasp numbers, leave that lot in the fridge. If you’re eating outside, try to keep as much food as possible in sealed containers until you are ready to eat it.


Wasps are also attracted by certain colours, especially white and yellow. Like most insects, they cannot see the colour red, so if you think you can carry it off, an all red outfit would be the thing to wear.

Go easy on aftershave or perfume. Even the scents in hairspray and hair gel attract wasps . Try to avoid scented deodorants, too, and if you are wearing suncream, avoid any that contain a fragrance.

If wasps do start to get to close for comfort the worst thing you can do is start flapping your arms in a panic. Such movements only excite and enrage wasps, and make it much more likely that you will be stung. Instead, stay calm and still, or slowly walk away. Wasps are also attracted to light, so as it starts to get dark avoid switching on lamps or using candles until you really have to.  A strategically placed wasp trap can also help lure them away from the delights on your plate.

If you are unlucky enough to get stung there are plenty of widely available antihistamines, that will reduce any itchiness or swelling. For a more natural remedy, apply kitchen vinegar to the sting, or dissolve a tablespoon of baking powder in a large bowl of water and submerge the affected area. A cube of ice also works wonders to soothe the swelling. Beware, wasps, unlike bees, can sting you multiple times.

Undesirable though wasps may be, take comfort from the fact that as long as there are wasps buzzing around your bowl of strawberries and cream, Summer isn’t quite over yet!

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