FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Noticing an increase in stinging insects lately? Well here is the reason why.
According to UNBC’s Ecosystem Science and Managment Professor Dr. Dezene Huber, wasp numbers usually increase at this time of year.
Huber explained that in the Spring the only wasps around are queens and they are too busy setting up the nest to deal with humans. Once the nest is in place they begin to lay eggs and make worker wasps.
Huber added that during the Spring the workers spend a lot of time expanding the nest and killing insects that are the protein food sources for the growing nest population.
“For that reason, wasps are generally a good thing to have around,” said Huber. “They are natural pest control.”
Huber explained that as the season progresses the nest becomes more concerned with producing the new queens for the next generation. The workers then begin seeking out sugar sources for added energy.
That activity along with the fact that their numbers increase over the spring and summer is one of the biggest reason so many of them come in contact with humans at this time of the year.
Huber went on to say that residents will likely see the same number of wasps for the next month or so, prior to when the first frost occurs, when the new queens will mate and hide away for the winter. The old nest and queen will die and the cycle will begin again next spring.
“While wasps are important pest control agents, there are times when nests are in dangerous locations near to areas used heavily by humans. While I suggest leaving most wasp nests alone if they aren’t causing problems, it is advisable to get rid of nests where they become a hazard.”