While a "plague" of "jobless, drunk" wasps might seem like a metaphor that could go a couple different ways, it's actually a warning experts are saying those in the U.K. need to take literally.
The wasps are done with their usual task at this point in the season and are now getting "drunk" on fermenting fruit, potentially becoming more aggressive. (Image: Shutterstock.com)
The British Red Cross issued a warning last week advising those sitting out in the sun prepare themselves, as the insects' work is now done and they're sitting around sucking on fermented fruit, becoming more aggressive.
“It’s hilarious that, now worker wasps have finished their life's work, all they are doing now is feasting on fermented fruit and getting ‘drunk’. The danger for humans of course is that they may get a bit bold and attack us while we are out having a barbecue in the garden, sun bathing in the park or innocently going our merry way,” Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid, said in a statement.
The Guardian reported that Stuart Roberts with the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society said the late spring pushed back the wasps' normal life cycle. That, along with the hot summer, has made it seem like the insects are out in droves, although their population level is likely around average.
For those spending a length of time outdoors until there's a good cold snap to kill off the bored bugs, the Red Cross recommends having a credit card or tweezers ready to deal with stings.
“When an insect sting is visible on the skin, a credit card can be used to scrape it away. Using the edge of the credit card, drag it across the skin. This will remove the sting. Using a credit card or your fingernail is preferable to using a pair of tweezers. Some stings contain a sac of poison and if it is grasped with tweezers you may inject the sac of poison into the skin,” Mulligan said.
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.