War on wasps and hornets declared in the Dordogne

With high numbers of the insects in the area many are taking matters into their own hands

29 April 2017
The homemade trap which can be used to capture hornets
By Poppy Jacob

It is bad news for those living in the Dordogne - it has been the perfect weather for wasps and hornets to thrive as it has become warmer quickly and without rain.

This means residents have had to take action against the large numbers of the insects by making home-made traps, often posting the results online.

Certain specialists advise putting out traps from the end of February onwards to kill the queens.

Pierre Bayle, a retiree based in Bassillac, told France Bleu how he cannot enjoy sitting out under the pergola behind his home because of the hornets.

"After 10pm we have to go inside because the light attracts them and they attack," he says.

‘It’s particularly important to be wary when children are around’.

He has been making his own hornet traps for three years. He cuts the neck off plastic bottles at the first line below the cone, turns the neck upside down and inserts it so it creates a funnel into the bottle.

Then he puts a mixture of one-third syrup and two-thirds beer in the bottle and hangs it on a tree. The hornets are lured inside but cannot get back out and drown in the mixture. Pierre's technique works. In three weeks, he has trapped about 15 hornets. 

With his system, Mr Bayle has never caught a bee. "We have to protect them," he says.

‘I was told to put in some white wine to scare off bees but I realised they weren’t attracted to the bottle.’

Dominique Lovato has launched a company to destroy wasp, hornet and Asian hornet nests. Also speaking to France Bleu, he says he approves of the bottle technique but says to be sure of not attracting bees people could try putting a dead hornet in the bottle.

He warns Dordogne residents to be careful.

‘At the moment nests are forming. Be careful because wasps can hide wherever, under roofs, in sheds, in cans… From our part we intervene only if the nest is very close to the house and presents a danger.’

Mr Lovato expects high numbers of the insects this summer. ‘With the lack of rain, even the most fragile queens were able to survive. The season is going to be tricky,’ he added.

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