MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – When out picnicking on a nice day, wasps aren't typically welcome.
But it seems like all of a sudden they're everywhere.
Dr. Adam Kay, environmental sciences director at the University of St. Thomas, says wasps must establish themselves in a new territory, and quick. He says wasps, especially yellow jackets, spend the entire winter waiting to build a new colony come springtime.
"They've been living off stored resources all throughout the winter, so at this point, now they have this really narrow window for being successful," Kay said.
He says the long, brutal winter didn't help.
"Because of that they've had to wait longer in order to find appropriate places for themselves to come out and start looking for places," Kay said.
While the bee population is dying out, the wasps aren't.
Still, they're an important part of insect population control by eating caterpillars, beetle larvae and other bugs.
"We need all the different players in these ecosystems in order to have a functioning, resilient ecosystem," Kay said.
Still there aren't any more wasps this year than past. So for now, just watch where you step.
If you have a problem with wasp nests at your house, you should try to take care of them before mid-June. Kay says that's when wasps will start reproducing.
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