Swedes warned of summer beasties

Swedish residents need to be aware of an increased risk of wasps and snakes this year, officials have announced.

Experts are warning that while Sweden is enjoying an extraordinarily warm spring, the weather will carry with it a higher than normal population of both creatures, creating a possible hazard for those looking to enjoy the outdoors.

Lars-Ake Janzon, a biologist from the Natural History Museum, said that wasps, in particular, are already on the move because they are busy searching for ideal spots to settle and build nests for the summer. He added that last year’s warm summer and the deep snowfall over the winter have also made wasps extremely widespread this year. Speaking to TT, he continued, “”They come in everywhere. Usually, they want a dark space with a narrow entrance.”

Meanwhile, there have already been nearly 50 calls to the Poison Information Centre so far in 2011 in regards to viper bites, whereas there had only been 13 calls thus far at the same point in 2010. Biologists say that the snakes have ended hibernation early due to the warm weather, catching both humans and dogs off guard.
Officials said that most of the bites so far have been on dogs, and that the slippery reptiles generally only bite when they’re stepped on or trapped, meaning that humans are rarely bitten. However, Mr Janzon said that if you are unlucky enough to be bitten, medical attention should be sought right away.

(Photo for illustration purposes only)

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