December 12 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 31, 2013
It’s a family’s worst nightmare – waking up one morning and finding the garden has been invaded by a colony of wasps.
Sharon Bird, 42, from Vera Close, Rackheath, discovered that thousands of wasps had made her garden, and specifically her 40ft willow tree, their home on Wednesday.
She has since tried to move the wasps away by hanging a waspinator – a fake wasp nest – from the tree, but without success.
And she called out a pest control firm but was told there was nothing they could do without harming the chickens and guinea pigs that also live in their garden.
Now the family, which also comprises sons Jack, 17, and Harry, 12, who goes to Broadland High School, are just waiting for some rain to move the wasps off.
According to naturalist Robert Maidstone, from Great Moulton, the wasps are “milking” the aphids on the willow tree, who are feeding on the tree’s foliage which contains aspirin, and are therefore getting high or drunk in the process.
Mr Maidstone said: “These wasps are drugged up to the eyeballs and well spaced out. But it’s nice to see that wasps are still about in such numbers.”
No one in the family has been stung by the wasps, but Jack, who is studying at Paston College in North Walsham, said one of the chickens had let out a ‘squawk’, and might have been stung.
He said: “We have lived here eight years and never had this before. We need it to rain to move them away, but no rain is forecast.”
Mrs Bird, a teaching assistant at Rackheath Primary School, said: “On Wednesday I looked up in the willow tree and it was full of wasps. I don’t particularly like wasps and want them gone.
“My main concern is that we cannot let the dog, Milo out into the garden in case it gets stung.
“We might have to fence off the area where the wasps are.
“We don’t have a lot of choice. The wasps are using my willow tree and garden as a pub.
“As long as we have willow aphids, then the wasps could be here a long time. And the willow aphids will only leave when they have had enough.”