SCOTLAND’S summer washout has had a devastating effect on the nation’s wasps.
Met Office data showed that 416.2mm of rain fell on average across Scotland between June 1 and August 30 – the fifth-highest total since 1910, when its records began.
When the figures for last Thursday, when downpours swept across much of the country, are added the 2017 figure is likely to surpass the 427.8mm recorded in 2009, replacing it as Scotland’s third-wettest summer ever recorded.
The result has been a drop in the number of wasps buzzing around the nation’s gardens.
Neil Paterson, who owns Pencaitland Pest Services in East Lothian, believes numbers in Scotland are now as low as they were following the bitterly cold winter of 2010.
He said: “Wasp numbers are going down. We had no snow in winter in East Lothian so I had visions of it being a really booming summer time for wasps.
“It hasn’t happened that way and numbers are certainly not what they were. There was a long period of wet weather and that has not helped.”
No data is available for wasp numbers in the UK as, unlike for butterflies and bees, there is no official recording scheme. But many conservation experts have stated in recent years that numbers appear to be significantly down.
Martin Kroupa, from Czechmate Pest Control in Stevenston, North Ayrshire, added: “The warmer the summer the faster they breed and if it’s raining, they don’t fly out and search for food as much as they normally would. That means less supply, fewer eggs and not as many wasps.”
Western Scotland has seen 510mm of rain this summer, a 45% rise on the average figure.
The wettest summer since records began came in 1985, when 455.6mm of rain fell.