Sunday, August 10, 2014

Coexisting With Wasps in Berlin

It is't my imagination after all! According to experts, there are more wasps in Berlin this summer than in past years. In part, this is because of the mild winter and early spring. Wasps are annoying, and for the next three to four weeks, they will be at their peak making life miserable for people eating  at outdoor cafes and restaurants. 

Yet, the experts insist, wasps aren't that aggressive, and they usually bite only when threatened. This can come about by vigorous hand waiving, blowing on them (the increased CO2 content of exhaled air triggers an alarm signal), and human sweat, which makes wasps aggressive. 

Rather than trying to kill wasps, the best way to combat them is to draw their attention away from you. Experts recommend placing a bowl of overripe fruit in a discrete part of your garden or backyard (grapes work best) and away from your dining table. The wasps are drawn to the fruit and away from you. At outdoor cafes and restaurants avoiding wasps is nearly impossible. But if you want to reduce the number of wasps buzzing around you, remove the sugar bowl or dispenser from your table, cover any sweet or alcoholic drink with a napkin, and try your best to ignore them. After all, they seldom bite unless threatened. 

Wasps also have a positive side: they love to eat mosquitoes! And mosquitoes really are out to bite us.

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