THE number of call-outs to deal with wasps in West Fife has more than trebled since last year with rodent call-outs also doubling.

The recent heatwave across the Kingdom has provided perfect conditions for the pests to thrive.

Between May and July 2017 to the same period this year, wasp calls have risen from 9 to 31. Pest control teams also dealt with an increase in tackling vermin, with reports scampering up from 12 to 28.

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) say warm weather brings a greater opportunity for wasps to feed while reports of rats and mice, which usually drop during the summer, have remained high.

Kevin Higgins, BPCA technical advisor, said: “Regardless of the weather this year, we were already expecting increased activity with wasps. This early abundance of fruit in the fields and gardens gives better feeding conditions in which they can thrive.

“Wasps get giddy on the fruit, it makes them slightly inebriated, and this is when they are most likely to sting. As the warmer weather takes hold, the number of call-outs for rats and mice usually drops, as the rodents move away from the warmth and shelter of homes and outbuildings to outdoor environments.

“However, this year we are seeing no evidence of that, with our members saying that call-outs to deal with rodents are continuing in the summer months. It seems they are staying indoors in commercial and domestic properties and the volume of calls being received is highly unusual for this time of the year.

“While we cannot be sure exactly what the cause is, it is something we are looking closely into. One theory is there is a good deal of fruit around due to the warm weather and that rats and mice don’t have to travel as far as usual to feed.”

The association is monitoring the UK’s pest population and Mr Higgins added: “Wasps, rats and mice can be a real nuisance, and a public safety issue too. People can also take some protective steps themselves. For rodents that includes making sure all waste food is in sealed bins with closed lids.

“It’s a good idea to look for gaps or holes around pipes and cables entering buildings and make sure they are sealed. Bear in mind that if you can get a pencil in to the gap, the rodent can enter as well. With regard to wasps, be particularly careful when children have ice cream or lollies as they are attracted to these.

“And it’s also advisable to keep a sting remedy to hand but, if nothing is available, cutting an onion in half and placing that on the site of the sting can help.”