NEWS

Vaudreuil-Dorion on the offensive against sand wasps

07/14/2015 05:00 EDT | Updated 07/13/2016 05:59 EDT
The city of Vaudreuil-Dorion is warning residents that sand wasps have taken up residence in at least six of the municipality's parks.

Vaudreuil-Dorion sent out workers to check parks for sand wasps after the city received calls from concerned residents.

"They're afraid for their children," said Olivier Van Neste, public works director for Vaudreuil-Dorion.

"They all call us and ask if it's dangerous."

The city sent out a notice warning residents that while the wasps aren't overly aggressive, they can sting. 

Stéphanie Boucher, an entomologist at McGill University, said residents shouldn't be too concerned. 

She said as long as parkgoers wear shoes and don't try to catch the insects, they should be safe.

​Boucher said sand wasps live a solitary life in the small tunnels they dig in sand, although sometimes multiple wasps do live next to each other. 

"They're not social like a paper wasp, they don't live in hives," she said.

Van Neste said the city of Vaudreuil-Dorion has dealt with sand wasps in the past — last year, they had as many as 15 infested parks.

He said they'll be doubling their visits to affected parks over the coming weeks.

In order to get rid of the insects, crews will pass over sand beds using a tractor that pulls a rake to destroy the wasps' tunnels.

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