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Winnipeg facing wasps, flies galore due to drought conditions, says entomologist

Wasps are out in numbers in Winnipeg this season. Jeremy Desrochers / Global News

Among all the other struggles caused by Manitoba’s bone-dry conditions is an unwelcome early visit by some pesky pests: wasp season has come a little earlier this year.

Entomologist Taz Stuart told 680 CJOB wasps are a little more aggressive earlier this year because of the drought, which has hurt their natural food source of insects and flowers.

“Normally around mid-August, late August, wasps lose their natural food sources like the insects and the flowers, but we’ve been dry, and they’re just saying, ‘Hey, I need an alternative food source,'” he said.

“So they’re coming to you in your backyard when you’re having your pops and your candy in the back.”

Read more: ‘It’s important to get rid of them’ — Winnipeg bug expert on spike in summer pests

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Stuart said the bugs are relatively harmless, and you should be fine if you just calmly walk away from them, rather than panicking.

“People who do freak out … the wasp gets a little excited and then goes, boom — stings you, and they can sting you multiple times. It’s not like a bee.”

Small flies, he said, are also starting to become a nuisance in the problem, especially in Winnipeg, and it’s for very similar reasons.

“Flies are also going, ‘Hey, it’s hot and dry, and I don’t have my natural food sources to eat on, and here’s an easy snack.’

“It’s just part of the fun with the drought this year.

“The attraction is sugars and carbohydrates. They want that high-energy food source, and your burger or whatever you’re cooking, your steak — it’s very, very attractive to them.”

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