British Columbia

VIDEO: Wasp invasion stings southern B.C.

Residents of the Lower Mainland, the Sea-to-Sky region, and the North Okanagan have noticed that more and more aggressive wasps are around this year after the long spell of hot, dry weather.

Lower Mainland, Sea-to-Sky region and North Okanagan abuzz with aggressive wasp encounters

Wasps boomed during hot, dry summer

10 years ago
Duration 2:07
Warm weather made perfect breeding conditions in Metro Vancouver

The warm dry summer in southern and coastal B.C. has provided ideal conditions for wasps, and more people than usual are feeling the sting now that populations are at their peak.

In Vancouver, Mike Londry, with Westside Pest Control says he is having a much busier summer than usual.

"Last year I had about three or four wasp calls a day at the peak of the season. This season we've steadily had eight to 10 wasp jobs a day, all through July and August."

Dr. Richard Cudmore, of Squamish General Hospital, said that the buzzing around a recent music festival in Squamish ended up with crowds of people arriving at the emergency room to treat their stings.

"They had such a significant number that we actually had to take medication stocks to them during the night."

The stings can be extremely painful, and for people with an allergy they can be life-threatening.

Cudmore says the hospital is still treating two to six patients each day for stings.

Campers, film crews bothered

Just to the north of Squamish, at Alice Lake campground, campers have been complaining of being attacked by wasps as they walk through the woods — apparently too close to some of the nests.

It's happened frequently enough that park officials are trying to mark some of the wasps' nests with fluorescent paint.

Wasps are also pestering the North Okanagan region where, for the past week, Disney has been filming scenes for Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie.

A spokesman for the Okanagan Film Commission said wasps have disrupted the closed-set in a farm field, in addition to bothering many of the usual residents in the areas of Armstrong and Enderby.

With files from the CBC's Tim Weekes and The Canadian Press