August 12, 2014 5:49 pm

‘Hot, hot, hot creates lots more wasps,’ says Edmonton fumigator

WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton fumigator says he’s received about 15 per cent more calls about wasps than he did last summer. Fletcher Kent gets the buzz on the rise.

EDMONTON – James Baxter with Birch Fumigators says his company is getting up to 50 calls every day to deal with wasps and hornets in the Capital Region.

That’s up between 15 and 20 per cent from a normal year.

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“It’s been pretty hectic this year,” said Baxter. “The phones have been ringing off the hook at our offices as well as other professional exterminators around town.”

So, what’s driving the increase?

“The busyness is all the good weather we’ve had this year. We’ve had a really good summer.

“And hot, hot, hot creates lots more wasps.

“They get pretty aggressive in this temperature,” he added.

So far this summer, the average daytime high has been two degrees higher than normal.

Baxter said he’s seen wasp activity rise over the past decade and jump even higher the last two years.

“Lots of food for them makes for lots of breeding, lots of eggs – they’re getting all ready for the winter season,” explained Baxter.

As fall approaches, he warns people will have to be cautious.

“They’ll be more and more aggressive as time goes on because there will be less and less food in the natural food supply, so people having barbecues and picnics need to be more vigilant.”

READ MORE: Top 5 things you should know about wasps

One Edmonton family has put up signs around their home warning of their unwanted guests.

“We just put them up in case anyone might have been allergic and was walking by – we didn’t want them to get stung,” explained 10-year-old Kassidy Goh. “Little kids might have been scared of them. We didn’t want anything bad happening.”

“I’ve heard a few other people outside just around our house getting stung, a few other little kids getting hurt, apparently,” she added.

She doesn’t really appreciate the wasps taking up residence nearby.

“I really don’t want to get stung. I really don’t like wasps.”

“I really hope they leave soon.”

Baxter explained that the type of wasp activity should determine your pest control approach.

A spray, for instance, can target a visible nest. A powder – which can be applied by a professional – will be more effective when the nest is hidden.

“This one here where the wasps were going in and were going directly under the cement slab, you need to use more of a powdered product,” he explained.

“The wasps pick it up by their body… they spread the poison amongst themselves.”

Meanwhile, Kassidy hopes whatever approach her parents are taking is successful.

“My mom and dad were trying to freeze them out and anything like that,” she said.

“I’ve only been stung by a wasp a few times. It isn’t my favourite being stung by anything.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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