Numbers are low so far this year because of a huge decline in the wasp population in 2012, say experts. An unseasonal spell of good weather in late February last year resulted in mated queen wasps coming out of hibernation early. When temperatures dropped again, many wasps died because of a lack of food. While people might not miss wasps buzzing around them, a decline numbers is not good for nature. Wasps feed on other insects that people call pests, as well as helping to fertilize crops.
It's not all bad news for wasps. This year's late spring could actually help build up wasp numbers in 2014, say experts. Wasp queens who have survived will have stayed in hibernation for longer and will have emerged when the warm weather started with lots of energy to lay eggs.
There could also be a bumper crop of fruit in September for wasps to feed on. The cool weather earlier in the year also meant apple trees remained dormant for longer and are now putting that stored energy into producing fruit.
Back in 1975, I tried to control flies with the power of my mind. Well, I was only 33 years old--a mere babe and under half my present age. We lived in Robe, South Australia, a lobster fishing village popular with tourists in summer. The 150 year-old cottage we bought needed a lot of attention so we had new windows fitted, made in the original style. Fly screens were part of the requirement.
So, in the heat of summer, hundreds of flies would be buzzing outside the screen. I'd sit and concentrate on the odd one that managed to get in, rather like a child playing the part of a magician. 'Go toward the chimney', I'd think. 'Fly up to the nice air. Be free'. My powers weren't strong enough, but I never gave up. Beats whacking them with a wire fly-swat, which I think is much better than a chemical spray.
The Victorians used to think they were friendly insects because they hovered so close.
If you have a safe way of discouraging flies from entering your home, let me know.