How Alcohol Intake Makes Wasps More Aggressive During The Late Summer And Early Fall
Wasps, such as yellow jackets and hornets, are said to be beneficial insects throughout much of the year due to their habit of preying on insect pest species in residential lawns. However, come late summer and early fall, wasp prey begins to dwindle, making it a struggle for wasp colonies to find their usual high-protein insect meals. In response to this shortage, wasps begin to feed on sugars from ripe and rotting fruits. This annual switch in food preference makes wasps a sudden threat to agricultural workers in fruit orchards where the wasps become abundant during the fall.
In Pennsylvania, five types of yellow jackets maintain a presence in fruit orchards during the fall. These species include the eastern yellow jacket, the German yellowjacket, the southern yellow jacket, the common yellow jacket and the bald-faced hornet. Despite its name, the Pennsylvania yellow jacket is not actually found in the state; instead, this species is found in the midwest. Not only do orchards become inundated with wasps during the fall, but this time of year also sees the greatest number of wasps in the environment, as colonies typically grow to contain 5,000 individual wasps by the fall season.
Each year in the US, between 50 and 100 people die from wasp attacks, and most of these fatalities occur during the fall season. If all this is not bad enough, wasps become angrier during the fall season for several reasons. For one thing, wasps are cranky about having to struggle to locate their food sources, and wasps during the fall are often belligerent drunks due to ingesting fermented fruits.
Last fall, hoards of drunk angry wasps terrorized many people in Great Britain. The British Red Cross even confirmed that citizens were at risk sustaining stings from angry wasp drunks. According to a wildlife control officer in the US, Charlotte Owen, drunk wasp rampages do not just occur in Britain, as this is a seasonal problem worldwide. Wasps become a greater public health threat all over the US during the fall, as consistent alcohol intake from fermented fruits make wasps more surly and more prone to stinging humans. As it turns out, wasps also celebrate Oktoberfest.
Have you ever heard of any other insect species becoming intoxicated?
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