AA Home Emergency Response

AA Home Emergency Response

December 02, 2011 13:53 ET

Brits Unprepared for Wasp Invasion

Over half a million wasp stings already this year

Expectation of an increased number of claims for wasp nest removal

43% of Britons have previously found a wasps' nest in their home, yet only a quarter have done anything to prevent it

Wasps considered worse than noisy neighbours

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2011) - Millions of people could be stung by wasps this summer, as the warm spring leads to a significant increase in their numbers. New findings* from the AA's Home Emergency Response Service reveal that three in four homeowners are completely unprepared for the wasp invasion, and it says it is expecting an increased number of claims over the summer from people looking for nests to be dealt with.

The research reveals that 7% of the adult population, over 3.3 million people, were stung by a wasp last year. Over half a million people (533,000) say they have already been stung by a wasp this year, and the AA says the rise in wasp numbers could lead to a much higher level of wasp nests and consequently stings this year. Around 7 million people say they have noticed more wasps than usual for this time of year.

Almost half of Britons (43%) have previously found a wasps' nest in their home, according to the AA's findings. More than one in three of these people (37%) have found one in the loft or attic, equivalent to 7.5 million people. A further 5.8 million people (28%) have found one in garden sheds, 4.8 million people (23%) in wall cavities, and 2.4 million (12%) in their garages.

Despite this, three in four people (73%) have done nothing to protect their home from the risk of wasps building a nest. The AA's Home Emergency Response survey found that only one in ten people (11%) has checked their attic for wasps' nests despite it being the most common place for them to be found. Some 13% of people have found holes and blocked them in, only 9% have repaired cracks in brickwork and still less (8%) have checked under the eaves in a bid to protect their home.

Wasps worse than noisy neighbours

Wasps are the biggest scourge of people's enjoyment of their garden, according to the AA findings, with 47% of those with a garden, over 20 million people, citing them as the factor that spoils this enjoyment the most.

Other factors that spoil our enjoyment of our gardens in the summer are noisy neighbours, cited by 46% of those with a garden and ants, named by 20%. Traffic noise is an issue for 14% of those with a garden, spiders for 12%, and passing aeroplanes spoil the tranquillity of spending time in the garden for 6%.

Tom Stringer, Head of AA Home Emergency Response, said: "The early, prolonged warm weather in spring appears to have led to the early arrival of wasps, which means they have longer to build bigger nests over the summer that can house several thousand wasps each. We are expecting a higher call volume than we normally would from people looking to have nests removed from their home.

"Unfortunately most people seem unprepared for wasps' nests, but there are relatively simple steps they can take to reduce the risk before it is too late, like checking their lofts and under the eaves or repairing cracks in brickwork.

"It's worth thinking about it now while a nest can be removed or sprayed in the early stages rather than later in the summer, when it's more established. Finding a wasps' nest can be very unpleasant and indeed frightening. People might mistakenly think their standard home insurance covers them for emergencies like wasps nests, so it's worth checking their policy and considering a stand-alone home emergency policy that looks after pest control issues should the need arise."

Those in the West Midlands are most likely to have found a wasps' nest in or around their home, with over half of them (53%) having done so. This is followed by Scotland (51%) and the South East (49%).

Region Percentage of adults
who have found
a wasps' nest
in their home
Number of adults
who have found
a wasps' nest
in their home
West Midlands 53% 2,332,000
Scotland 51% 2,115,000
South East 49% 2,972,000
Wales 45% 1,118,000
East Midlands 44% 1,613,000
South West 43% 1,843,000
Yorkshire & Humber 41% 1,697,000
London 40% 2,374,000
North East 39% 830,000
Eastern 37% 1,634,000
North West 36% 1,981,000

Notes to editors:

* Research was carried out by ICM amongst a GB representative sample of 2028 adults between 20th and 22nd May 2011.

About AA Home Emergency Response

AA Home Emergency Response cover provides a network of approved tradesmen available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are no call-out charges or policy excesses and for work carried out under the policy, parts and labour are guaranteed. Cover is available to both existing AA members and non members.

Customers wishing to find out more information should visit: www.theaa.com/home-emergency or call 0800 107 1031

Contact Information

  • AA Press Office
    Sue Beeson
    01256 492874

    Citigate Dewe Rogerson
    Ian Morris or Brandon Stockwell
    020 7638 9571