Look out for wasp invasion
Kent is being told to brace itself for a swarm of wasps this summer. Millions more of the insects are buzzing around the country than in the last five years because a mild winter and sunshine has led to an increase in caterpillars and aphids. And nowhere will be worse hit than southern England, according to experts. Pest controllers have been receiving around 100 calls a week to remove wasp nests from homes. Across the whole of Britain there are 250 different species of wasps but only 12 are thought to be social and form nests. Greg Hitchcock, of the Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “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 and there has been enough rain to keep grass growing.” Wasps feast on leftover food from bins as well as aphids, caterpillars and other insects but colonies die from starvation during the winter months. Only the queen, which has an average lifespan of 12 months, survives the winter before laying eggs which grow into adult worker wasps. According to Wasp Removal UK, wasps will happily build nests in any suitable void they can find. Their nests usually die naturally in the autumn, unless the winter is mild and there is a local source of food.