Monday 30th August
Buglife is encouraging the public to learn to appreciate wasps, and to stop swatting them! In a new campaign launched this week. The campaign hopes to challenge common-held beliefs that wasps are dangerous, aggressive and of no use. Buglife is asking people to take a new look at wasps and to sign up to the Stop Swatting Pledge.
|Stop Swatting Wasps logo|
Buglife’s Outreach Officer Dale Harrison said ‘At this time of year social wasps can be a bit of a nuisance and people start to feel that all wasps are bad. In fact social wasps are really important for the web of life.’ Buglife’s ‘Wonderful Wasps’ campaign explains that there are hundreds of different types of wasp - many are unassuming and useful solitary wasps. Dale Harrison continues, ‘Wasps can be incredibly beautiful and they add colour, life and drama to our gardens, parks and countryside – we really should appreciate them more.’
Nick Baker, TV presenter and Buglife Vice-president, is also a fan of wasps - ‘There is so much more to them than that famous point on the ends of their abdomens - get past the sting (that most rarely use to harm us) and you enter a world of intrigue - they are great recyclers, pollinators, pest control agents and above all they carry out their services in a vibrant buzz of colour and energy - wasps are among my favourite creatures because of these things and many more'.
Click here to visit the Wonderful Wasp web pages which include a wasp gallery and free summer-holiday activities to download for children. People can sign up to the Stop Swatting Pledge and tell Buglife why they have chosen not to swat wasps anymore – there is a prize for the best answer. Click here to sign the pledge today!
‘At the moment social wasps are hungry and after something sweet and sugary to eat. They aren’t intending to be a problem to people, but we are the ones with nice things like ice-creams or jam sandwiches to eat!’ said Dale Harrison.
Although there is a high level of fear, it is very, very rare for someone to suffer from a serious allergic reaction after being stung. The charity suggests that if a wasp is being a nuisance in your garden you should calmly move away, or go indoors if it follows you. Swatting wasps often just makes them more of a problem and if you are in a moving car swatting is particularly dangerous. Calmly waft – Don’t Swat!