Summer months can be a flourishing time for businesses in the UK and this year it’s predicted more people will opt for a stay-cation, and if the good weather continues, busy pub gardens and dining al fresco could be on the up too, according to pest control specialist Rentokil.
However, it’s not just people that enjoy the combination of food, drink and warm weather – wasps continue to be an unwelcome guest, it says.
These buzzing pests not only cause a sting to the skin, they can also leave a nasty mark on business finances too. With the consistently warm weather leading to the wasp season kicking off almost a month ahead of last year, the risk of wasps could already be having an impact on a company’s reputation and custom. Common issues for businesses include:
- Customers leaving a premises – they may also be wary of returning and inform others of their experience, which can impact your reputation
- Contamination of foodstuffs – wasps search for scraps of meat and carrion to feed their young on, while as adults they prefer sweet sugary things, such as fruits, sap, syrups etc
- Staffing issues – employees may fear being stung so this can lead to absence and lower productivity.
Savvas Othon, technical director at Rentokil Pest Control, said: “As with all pest control, prevention is always better then cure. The earlier a wasps’ nest is spotted the better, as a single wasps nest can grow to hold a large number of wasps.”
Savvas identifies how to spot a potential wasps’ nest in a building or garden:
- Constant buzzing or humming
- Collective wasp activity
- A stream of wasps heading into a building or tree
- Wasps’ nests are made from chewed wood pulp and saliva, giving them distinctive paper like walls. Queen wasps search for a sheltered spot with easy access to the outdoors to build their nests, making use of lofts, wall cavities, roof spaces, out-buildings, store rooms and under the eaves of buildings.
Employers are responsible for protecting both customers and employees from the problems wasps can cause and there are steps businesses can take to minimise the risks of a wasp infestation and avoid potential disruption to their business. These include:
- Educating staff about insect behaviour and how to identify if a nest is present
- Encouraging staff to:
- avoid leaving food and drinks exposed
- clear up spillages
- Advising staff not to swat wasps as this could excite the insect and increase the likelihood of being stung; the best option is to walk calmly and slowly away
- Using window screens and door curtains to prevent wasps getting into your premises
- Businesses with outdoor premises may want to consider Rentokil’s Waspin Pots, discreet outdoor wasp traps that attract the insects away from customers and staff.
Rentokil advises customers to seek professional help when endeavouring to treat wasps’ nests, particularly for mature nests or those in hard-to-access locations. Rentokil offers a convenient next day guaranteed call out service to treat wasps’ nests quickly and safely.
Rentokil’s experts can be contacted on 0800 917 1984.