The clocks have gone forward, the temperatures are rising and the evenings are longer. All these factors set the perfect scene for a picnic… or perhaps not.
I have to say I really do love picnics. An afternoon in the sun, with friends, lots of food and wine, aaahhh it all sounds absolutely divine. I welcome the chance to eat out doors, enjoy the scenery and make the most of the beautiful weather. It does seem however, that not everyone agrees; apparently almost two thirds of people avoid eating outdoors.
A survey conducted by the National Trust revealed that while 91% of families enjoy eating al fresco, 62 % of people are put off by the idea of coming into contact with wasps and other insects.
While I agree that wasps can in fact be very annoying and potentially harmful, a few pesky pests buzzing about aren’t going to be enough to put me off my picnic. You just need to be wise… know how to keep them away, as well as deal with any issues that may arise.
For a starter, I always try to avoid wearing bright colours, although given the current fashion trends this can prove difficult. Wearing a lovely bright summer dress to the park, accompanied by a strong squirt of perfume can unfortunately have bad consequences. Wasps are attracted to bright colours and strong smells, which may result in you being confused with a flower and consequently buzzed at all day.
I also try to keep sweet food and drinks packed away and sealed. Wasps love sugar and really will not give up until they get a taste of that jam donut. It is also important to be aware – if you notice a particularly high number of wasps joining your picnic it is possible there is a nest near by. If you are sitting too close to a nest, the wasps may feel threatened and as a consequence you may experience particularly aggressive behaviour.
I really do not think that wasps are a reason to dine indoors rather than out. If you plan wisely and ensure you are aware of your surroundings you should be fine. Summer is all about enjoying the outdoors; don’t let a pesky wasp ruin your day!
If you do spot a wasp then please help us build a map of wasp activity in Britain by logging the severity of sightings from 1-10 at www.ukwaspwatch.com