Wasps – Change is in the Air
Wasps are important insect-controlling predators and pollinators, but they can become a pest when they nest close to or inside buildings. And this year, as wasp season looms, the way in which we can control nests is changing. For a number of years, the go-to product has been a white insecticide powder called Ficam D; how we are allowed to use this chemical has been altered to prevent potential contamination of the surrounding environment. Ficam D is still approved for treating wasps’ nests, but only if they are located indoors. Whilst this includes nests inside the eaves of houses, accessed from the outside, and solid outbuildings such as garden sheds or containers, it is no longer permissible to use Ficam D outdoors.
It makes sense to us! Our prime concern has always been for minimising our impact on the environment. But we also have to balance this with the safety of our customers and technicians; of paramount concern is the risk of an allergic reaction to wasp stings and anaphylactic shock. As always, we like to be leading the way in innovation for our industry. So, we will be trialling several new techniques, including pesticide-free options. We will ensure the efficiency and practicality of these methods before rolling them out to our customers nationwide.
We have already successfully implemented non-toxic reusable wasp traps across the UK in critical areas, including children’s nurseries; some of the other new ideas we have include heat or freeze treatments, and a substance called diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is an abrasive pumice powder made of sedimentary rock; it causes insects to dry out and die by breaking down the cuticle layer of their exoskeleton. It is an attractive option because the power is totally non-toxic and is actually known to have health benefits for humans! We are particularly interested in its application because we can use the same delivery method as the more familiar Ficam D. We hypothesise that diatomaceous earth will take longer to eradicate a wasp colony and may require multiple treatments – and we must consider the safety of our technicians; but with so many positives in its favour, we are keen to test its effectiveness.
It will take us a little while to fully trial all the new ideas we have, so watch this space…!
If you’d like to find out more about our innovations, visit our website: https://www.vermtek.com/home/innovation-articles/