Another plague has descended upon Britain — and this one is winged with a buzz.
Recent humid, rainy weather has turned the UK into the “perfect breeding ground” for an army of dangerous, drunken flying insects, wildlife experts have warned.
The nation’s warm spring had a record-breaking 626 hours of sunshine and a series of hot spells, which have led to copious amounts of fermenting fruit — and high survival rates for giant Asian “murder hornets” and German yellowjackets, an ideal situation for the larger-than-average and notoriously bad-tempered wasps, the Daily Mail reported.
To add to the situation, the UK’s 200 billion German yellowjackets have mostly finished their duties for the season: The species’ queen wasps are done laying eggs and no longer require tending, so worker wasps are unoccupied and becoming “drunk” off the abundant fruit.
The bugs “quickly get inebriated” after consuming the fermented treats, according to the British Pest Control Association.
“Up until mid-August, workers provided food for the larva in the nest, but once the queen stops laying eggs there is no longer any need for food in the nest so the workers go out to have a good time,” Cleankill Pest Control boss Paul Bates told the Daily Mail. “They feed off barbecue scraps on plates and on fallen fermenting fruits that are in abundance at this time of year.”
For Brits unfortunate enough to encounter this year’s breed of especially listless, tipsy wasps, the most reliable way to avoid their painful stings is to stay calm.
“The best thing to teach anybody is not to frantically wave arms around at wasps as this suggests that they are under attack . . . and they will emit a pheromone to attract their mates, who are also likely to have been feasting on fermented fruit,” he said.
As if the wasps aren’t bad enough, the “murder hornets” are reportedly set to spread widely in the UK beginning in September, with the invasive insect already spotted this month in Devon. The bugs with a homicidal-sounding name have also been spotted in Washington state.
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