Rise of the wasps as Doncaster hit by concerns over pest insects

Doncaster saw a rise in reports of wasp infestations
Doncaster saw a rise in reports of wasp infestations

Doncaster has been hit by a major rise in calls over wasp infestations, it has been revealed.

Figures obtained by the Doncaster Free Press under the Freedom of Information act have revealed the number of complaints in the last 12 months have exceeded those over the whole of the period between April 2014 and February 2016, which included two summers.

The figure for the last 12 months was 626. The 20 month from April 2014 and February 2016 had totalled only 621.

The major rise is reflected in what pest control experts operating in the borough have seen on the ground while they have been doing their jobs.

Richard Hazelwood runs Donkill Pest Solutions from its base in Branton, and was not surprised by the figures.

He said he had seen a major rise in case last summer, but that this year's wasp season was yet to get into full swing.

He said: "This year they have started slowly because of the weather, but the wasps will definitely be here in the next week or so.

"Last year was horrendous with wasps, and we were getting calls up to December, right to the very end of the year which is unusual.

"We won't know if it will be as bad as last year yet.

"Last year one of our calls was from a school in Doncaster, which had what we think was a foreign species that had arrived.

"They had arrived around the school fields and they were exceptionally aggressive. I started treating them and here must have been around 5,000 of them around me. They followed me when I moved away and they continued to attack.

"I've not seen any like that since, so I think they were a one off. But I think there are new species coming into the country and to Doncaster."

He said he would advise people to deal with wasps nests as soon as possible by calling pest control specialists.

He added: "Wasps will leave you alone unless you upset them, they are just more inquisitive than bees.. They are beneficial to gardens as they eat pests."

Pest control expert Steve Coe, of Don Valley Pest Management, said last summer had seen a large increase in the number of call-outs to deal with wasps compared to previous years.

This year had not seen as many, but he said the main season for wasps had only just started as usually it runs from July to October.

He said: "Last year we probably did double the previous year. It is hard to say what the reason is - it is down to nature.

"It's quieter than last July at the moment but it could get busy."

The largest number of infestations reported in the last year were rats, with 1,792 cases - the equivalent of around five calls a day.

A total of 1,121 of the rodents were reported outside, with a further 362 inside properties. Another 309 were reported in unspecified locations.

Fresh footage of plague of rats caught on camera in Doncaster town centre car park

New footage has emerged of a plague of rats which have horrified shoppers in a Doncaster town centre car park.

Passer-by Jason Walsh captured the rodents scampering from bushes and underneath cars just yards away from other pedestrians near to the car park for the B&M store in Marshgate.

It comes after footage from the same location last week when another pedestrian captured a clip of "at least 20 rats, some the size of cats" of the animals scurrying beneath cars in broad daylight.

Said Mr Walsh: "I couldn't believe how many I saw, just had to record them."

The previous week, Bentley man Damon Housley shared a similar clip of the rats saying: "I stopped counting at 20. They weren't even bothered by having a human there."

Wasps formed the second largest category of calls.

Officials also received 163 call-outs for infestations of mice, and 161 over fleas.

There were 94 calls about ants, 69 about bed bugs, 28 for beetles, and 12 about bees.

Nine calls were made about moles, three about squirrels, three about flies, and two about silverfish.

One call each was made for cockroaches, earwigs, mites, and weevils.