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Warmth awakens stinging insects

The recent wave of warm weather has made flying, stinging insects more active. But many species, such as wasps and honeybees, are helpful to the environment and/or to humans, so experts say destroying hives should not be undertaken lightly.

Ampiaispesä kahdessa kerroksessa.
Small nests and hives can be broken with care, but professionals are needed for bigger ones like this. Image: Pirkko Toivonen

Even though many victims of wasp stings may feel the need for revenge, experts say that eradicating nests and hives shouldn’t be taken lightly.

"Wasps are useful creatures," says Juha Aro of the construction service company Raksystems Anticimex. "They pollinate flowers and eat many undesirable insects. If you do go about breaking up a wasp’s nest, it's a good idea to make sure it's located in a place that really requires its destruction."

If hives or nests appear on walkways, such as next to one’s front door, or in the structures of buildings, they can cause harm and may be eradicated.

"An abandoned hive can attract skin beetles, which may move indoors if they run out of nutrition," Aro warns.

"Nests in walls, on the other hand, can prevent proper ventilation and these insect structures can grow to be very large," says long-time exterminator Taisto Eronen.

Gear up or pick up the phone

Warm weather may make people sluggish, but insects get their best food sources when it’s hot, which is why bees and wasps and other stinging creatures may seem aggressive in the summer. When getting rid of nests, proper safety equipment is necessary, especially with wasps, Aro says.

"Wasps sting based on scents and smells," he explains, "so one’s face should be covered with a webbed mask. A baseball cap won’t do the trick, and neither will thin gloves: proper, thick work gloves are required. People should also remember to cover up their shins and sleeves, because the insects can crawl in."

People who are allergic to insect stings need to take extra care, and should call in a professional. Small nests can be exterminated easily with bug spray and a small shovel, but bigger structures require better equipment – and a pro.

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