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Wasps put a sting in Sussex's summer
Wasps have been thriving in the soaring summer temperatures - with calls to pest control companies tripling.
Company bosses have reported a “manic” season, with a saturation of calls and A&E staff reporting an increase in stings this summer.
John Bailey, 37, director of Sussex Environmental Pest Solutions, said: “I have been saturated with wasp call outs - with the amount of calls tripling from last summer.”
Tony Moore, 56, of Horsham-based Moores Pest Control, added he had been receiving up to twenty calls a day.
He said: “There has been a massive increase in infestations this year - it has gone crazy.
“The good weather has meant the wasps are thriving compared to last year when they struggled with the wet summer.
“People have been away on holiday and they have come back to find thriving nests.”
Mr Moore said when nests are left alone they can host tens of thousands of wasps.
An East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust spokesman said A&E has seen an increase in reactions to wasp stings this summer.
As wasp stings can prove fatal, experts are advising extra caution.
A father-of-three nearly died last year after being stung by wasps six times as he cleared a nest.
Seconds after being stung, Gary Harmer, 53, became hot and dizzy and began drifting in and out of consciousness.
Mr Harmer survived and said: “I'm all right now but it was a life and death situation.
“I immediately felt a bit unsteady and I apparently started drifting in an out of consciousness.”
Mr Harmer now has to carry an allergy pen around with him.
The NHS said most wasp stings are minor, but about five people a year in Britain die from wasp stings.
A spokesperson Mid Sussex District Council said: “Residents are advised not to remove wasp nests themselves.
“Wasps can mobilise the entire nest to sting in defence of an attack and this can be highly dangerous.
“Approximately three people in 100 suffer from an immediate allergic reaction to being stung, and this can lead to serious conditions, such as anaphylactic shock.”
New figures from emergency insurers HomeServe reveal a 50 per cent rise in wasp infestations compared to 2012 nationwide.
Soaring summer temperatures are being attributed to the epidemic, with HomeServe reporting more than 1,600 call outs in the month of July alone - up 79 per cent from 2012.
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