Plague of wasps to hit Devon due to cold British winter
A plague of wasps are emerging in Devon due to the cold winter and late spring, experts have warned.
The picnic ruining insects are emerging across Britain three weeks later than usual and the South West, especially East Devon, is a hotspot for the bugs.
An undisturbed hibernation due to the low winter temperatures has led to stronger numbers than the last few years.
Stuart Roberts, chairman of the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society, said: "Only four weeks ago I was being asked where all the wasps had gone.
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"I think there is a simple explanation to all this.
"Firstly, we had a really cold winter which meant that hibernation was more successful than usual.
"The worst thing the wasp queen can have is a warm winter because they fidget and use up the food reserves. I suspect this has had an affect on mortality.
"And of course, we have had some quite reasonable weather this year.
"This year I would say the wasps - like everything else in the insect world - are about three weeks late because of the lateness of spring.
"The late spring, I suspect, has meant they have just stayed in hibernation for longer, and have been delayed by the cold weather.”
An increased fruit crops also means the insects have plenty to feed on until they either die or go into hibernation after the autumn.
An interactive website called UKWaspWatch has been set up to allow users to log wasp sightings in their area and rate them by severity.
A map on the site shows London to be a wasp hotspot, followed by Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester and the South West of England.
But help is at hand according to reports as wasps can't see the colour red and so wearing red trousers could be the way forward. However, brides beware, they are attracted to white and yellow.