Annoying pests – these bugs may be annoying – but they do a lot of good – knowledge


Crawling is a part of summer – you know that too, dear SRF community. What crawlers should you look for and what helps you if you lose patience.

Ants, fruit flies, wasps, or mosquitoes? We asked the SRF community to use a non-representative digital insect jar to see which animals look especially annoying in summer. Insects lead the field.

But there is more to little crawling than nails and poison, as some fascinating facts show. Here are the most important 3:

1st place: wasps

Absolute first number: “Wasps are the worst and most aggressive!” The user writes “lev”. They’re getting closer to us this summer than usual. SRF’s research showed that many hospitals treated insect bites more frequently this year: Upon request, Baseland Canton said the cantonal hospital’s three emergency departments were treating a much larger number of patients. “We also have an increase in the Cantonal Hospital in Baden,” explains Stefan Wei, Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Among other things, due to “wasp stings on the tongue and throat.”

Reason for approaching: The wasps are looking for food containing protein for their larvae. But many lawns have been mowed, which makes finding caterpillars even more difficult. So put your dinner plate away? Experts think little of it. “I don’t know of any really viable solution,” explains Hannes Bohr, curator of the Natural History Museum in Bern and a board member of the Berne Entomological Society.

“The only thing that helps is removing the nests – but only for nuisance species like the common hornet and the German hornet.” These wasps do not build freely suspended spherical structures. Their nests are found in hollows. But: Don’t remove it yourself, there are pest control tools for that.

But you also show understanding: “Not every type of wasp is aggressive,” he writes «Swineapple BBQ»And he’s right. For example, the red hornet (see photo 4) is not aggressive, nests underground and is not interested in pork. And: many wasps regularly visit the flowers and pollinate them – so they take care of our fruits, too. They also hunt other insects such as mosquitoes to feed their offspring.

Wasp pretending to be only one

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Do you know those hornets with huge stings? They are harmless to us: the Ichneumon wasps have arms up to 40 mm long, which they use to dig wood and lay their eggs inside. Only the larvae of insects that live in the wood have to worry about this.

Second place: Mosquitoes

Insect number 2 this summer. “And if you want to break it, you have to search and search and search… Annoying, especially when it’s hot and at night,” user CPM writes. It doesn’t help much that only female mosquitoes have a biting apparatus and the males leave us alone. By the way: The latter can be recognized by their dense tentacles.

What helps against mosquitoes?

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imago photos / imagebroker

There are countless remedies against pesky insects. But only a few are really effective, explains mosquito expert Bai Muller of the Swiss Institute of Tropical and Public Health in Basel. True, mosquitoes are guided by smells and can be frightened, for example by essential oils of lemongrass. “But these are very transient and the effect quickly wears off.” In this regard, taking a shower before bed also helps. But on hot nights like this summer, this effect quickly wears off.

User “Falaffel-Dönerskebab” found a proven remedy: “Fortunately, I’ve had a mosquito net since last year, and it makes a huge difference!” Expert Muller confirms this: as long as the diameter of the mesh is no more than 1.2 mm ». In addition, the network must be properly connected. A good old fan is also effective. On the other hand, young mosquitoes become very noisy. Another plus point: “Our perfume is well distributed. That makes us hard to find,” says Muller.

What is the benefit of mosquitoes? for other animals. Frogs and toads like to eat mosquitoes, as do, for example, birds and dragonflies. Without mosquitoes, other animals would lack an important food source.

Third place: ticks

User “Martin German” writes: “Ticks! There are insects everywhere today!” It’s common: you don’t hear it or feel it at first. Even meaner, you can sit and vacuum anywhere. What applies here is what no one likes to do: Find the body after every visit to the forest.


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This viral disease can be reported: according to the BAG, 157 cases were recorded in Switzerland by the end of June 2022. Looking back over the past five years, the BAG has identified an annual increase in cases of tuberculosis. Ticks also transmit Lyme disease, but there is no vaccination against it. There are no reporting requirements here. However, the federal government assumes there will be more than 4,000 cases this year.

Ticks transmit many diseases, including meningitis called tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Vaccination, which is recommended by the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) across Switzerland, can help prevent this from happening.

Avoid tick bites

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imago images / perspective

Tick ​​bites can be avoided by using wide paths and avoiding contact with grass and shrubs as much as possible. Ticks like to stay there and then attach themselves to a host. Long clothing and tick repellents are other tick prevention methods. If you spot one, you can carefully pull it out in one piece with tweezers, disinfect the sting site, and see a doctor if you develop symptoms.

By the way: Ticks are also a common food for other animals such as birds or insects. So there are reasons for them to be with us.

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