'Drunk and irritable' wasps are going on 'stinging rampages'

This gives new meaning to the term bar fight.

So-called "lager lout" wasps are attacking Britain after getting drunk drinking fermented fruit and leftover pub-garden cider, stinging anyone and everyone they can find, the Daily Mail reports.

The angry insects are getting into the booze since their normal diet, which consists of flies and sugar-spit that is produced from the queen's larvae, is scarce. The change in diet is said to happen every year but this year has been especially worse, due in large part to the unusually cold winter Britain experienced, letting the wasps build larger than normal nests.

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Even just a small drop of alcohol is enough to make wasps angry and more likely to sting, say experts. It's the sugar that is attracting them, so other sugary foods and drinks, like soda, are also likely to attract wasps.

Shane Jones, who runs Ridtek Pest Control, said the wasps are aggressive this time of year, but the cold winter caused the wasp season to start six weeks earlier, making them a greater nuisance to people.

"Wasps have built absolutely massive nests and, now that all the larvae have grown up and the queen has stopped laying eggs, the colonies have a workforce with nothing to do – and nothing to eat. So they go down to the pub, obviously," Jones told the Daily Mail. "Wasps can't handle their booze, so they get tanked-up and fighty – like lager louts."

A spokesman for the Sussex Wildlife Trust said that the conditions of this past winter and spring, which led to a late summer, are the cause of the outburst.

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"In the spring, queen wasps wake from hibernation and start to build their nest, laying eggs and raising their first brood of daughters," the spokesman said in comments obtained by the Daily Mail. "These worker wasps can not produce fertilized eggs, so they spend their time helping their mother to expand the nest and raise more young."