Conditions ripe for a boom in wasp populations - 660 NEWS
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Conditions ripe for a boom in wasp populations

If you’re spending time in the backyard, you may start to notice an increase in a particular kind of unwelcome guest.

It’s that time of summer when we generally see more wasps buzzing around, and conditions are ripe this year for these stinging insects.

Alexandra Coker with the City of Calgary’s Parks Department says it has to do with the weather patterns.

“When we have those hot and dry years, the chances of a wasps nest successfully establishing over the summer increases. The queens have a harder time establishing a nest when it’s cold and wet, which we haven’t really seen a lot of this year. So if you compared it to a wet year, you would would probably see more wasps this year.”

Before you reach for the insecticide, consider that wasps can offer some unexpected benefits.

“They are predators of other pests that can attack your plants, and your garden, or your trees, so things like aphids or caterpillars,” says Coker. “Wasps are also pollinators, they’ll pollinate crops and flowers. So they do have quite a few benefits.”

But if the wasps are chasing you out of your backyard, you can minimize the threat by keeping food and drinks covered.

A wasp trap or a bait-lure can also reduce their numbers.