Huge number of wasps’ nests in east Devon this summer

There was an 'unprecedented' number of wasps' nests in East Devon this summer

There was an 'unprecedented' number of wasps' nests in East Devon this summer - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Environmental Health had to deal with almost three times as many call-outs as last year

East Devon was buzzing this summer – but not always in a good way.

A plague of wasps led to an ‘unprecedented’ number of calls to the district council’s Environmental Health department.

During the month of July alone, the service responded to 168 requests to deal with the common wasp, Vespula vulgaris. In July 2017 there were just 57.

The high number is thought to have been caused by the queen wasps breeding more prolifically during the hot dry weather.


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To keep up with the demand, Ian Simpson, the council’s pest control technician, had to add Saturdays to his schedule.

“I have never known a year like it for wasps’ nests,” he said. “They are turning up in all sorts of places and every one I treat is different.”

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The council charges £40 to get rid of a wasps’ nest and if a second visit is needed, it is free of charge.

Nests in public places such as footpaths and schools are also dealt with free.

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