As the summer heat soars and more customers embrace the outdoors, the BPCA expects to see a rise in wasp activity.
As a result, the Association is urging landlords across the UK to be pest aware and protect their business interests by taking a proactive approach, which puts safety at the heart of their operations.
Natalie Bungay, BPCA’s Technical Officer, said: “Licensed premises can be affected by a wasp outbreak, particularly as customers head outdoors into beer gardens for the summer season.
“Sugary drinks, foods and the natural environment all provide an attractive place for wasps to thrive.
“If customers experience a high level of wasp activity, then complaints are likely to ensue, refunds requested and negative reviews left on social media.
“This alone is damaging, and if a staff member or customer gets a sting, or worse still, receives multiple stings, then the presence of wasps can be seen as detrimental to public health.
“This particularly applies to children, elderly people, those with allergies and pets, who can be particularly sensitive to wasp stings.
“The matter becomes serious if a sting sends someone into anaphylaxis, a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
“Even if someone has been stung by a wasp before and not had a severe reaction, it doesn’t mean that they cannot have a bad reaction if stung again.
“Wasps quickly get inebriated, and this is typically when you can expect them to be more aggressive and likely to sting.
“Towards late-August and going into September is the time when we can start to see drunken wasps, desperate for a sugar fix.
“This happens when the queen stops producing eggs, and the workforce has nothing to do other than look for fermented fruits and sugars.
“Our advice is to dispose of your rubbish properly, especially food with high sugar content.
“It should be securely contained in a bag and disposed of in a clean container, away from where your customers will be enjoying their food and drink.”
BPCA has a range of information to provide further insight and help landlords become more pest aware.
The new ‘Worried About Wasps’ guide, at https://bpca.org.uk/wasps gives an overview of information including biology and behaviour, prevention and control.
The guide is free to read, download and print. A short video guide is also available to view at https://bpca.org.uk/wasps
Ms Bungay added: “If a landlord is troubled by wasps on their premises, it could point to the fact that a nest is nearby.
“It’s important to note that not every wasps’ nest needs destroying.
“For example, if it’s well away from a building or in a rarely used part of the garden where disturbance is unlikely, it might be best to leave it alone.
“However, when wasps are causing a nuisance or endangering human health, then steps may need to be taken.
“By appointing a pest management professional, landlords can take steps to protect staff and customers, and minimise disruption to their business.