(Image: flickr.com/slgckgc)
(Image: flickr.com/slgckgc)
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Local News Summary of August, 6th

  • Car accident because of a wasp: the insects are becoming a nuisance again
  • Grenade from Second World War found in Haltingen
  • Apartment fire in Zunzgen causes severe damage

Car accident because of a wasp: the insects are becoming a nuisance again

Many people in Basel will have noticed by now: the wasps are back. However, while the situation is not as bad as a year ago, another plague of the insects is looming.

The insects are potentially dangerous; a driver caused an accident in Liestal on Friday after being stung while on the road. Fire fighters are called to emergencies involving wasps up to three times per day. And while this is well within the average and far from a bad year, the emergency services say the wasps are two to three weeks earlier than usual this year because of the mild spring.

“Experts” have been warning about a wasp plague for weeks. After the horrible summer in 2016, this could be a record year for the insects. The reason: the spring was too warm and a winter that was too mild. Other than in the Swiss midlands, the winter was rather warm in the North of Switzerland compared to the average temperatures. This was beneficial for wasp populations, and even the weaker queen wasps survived. January was very cold, but December last year and February were rather warm in comparison. Spring was warm too, which made not only humans happy but also wasps. Their larvae – the insects, not the masks of carnival members during Fasnacht – have grown quickly and strongly.

So far, so good: no plague

So far, there has been no plague. And the strong populations are spreading. Particularly these days, people notice their aggressive behaviour and increased number, fire fighters have confirmed.

Once they are here, the drama begins

Once the wasp summer is here, these annoying insects have little to fear. They love their season, and the hotter, the better. If it rains for a few days, they can hide within their nests and wait for better times. After the recent storms, they are hungry and ready to swarm. Perfect conditions to grow in numbers and gather food. Therefore, you should always keep an eye on your drinking glass. Even for those who are not allergic, a sting near their airways is dangerous and small injuries still hurt.

So we wave our arms about like crazy – and this is exactly what we shouldn’t be doing if we want to get rid of these insects. The wise saying about dealing with wasps is: Just ignore them! Waving around only makes them more aggressive. Granted, it is not easy either to simply sit still and wait for them to go away. But it is the only way to avoid getting stung automatically. It is puzzling why wasps can’t just fly where they want, take what they want, and fly away again. But no, they have to buzz around as if in a frenzy. And land in a glass or on an arm or on a piece of bread with jam. Therefore, keep your eyes open and hope for the best. Avoid strong perfumes. Tea tree oil and white clothing should help – no colours!

Grenade from Second World War found in Haltingen

A team of workers found a grenade while carrying out construction works on Friday at a riding arena in Haltingen.

The 30-centimetre long throwing grenade was found during excavation works, the police of Freiburg said on Saturday. Access to the discovery site was blocked while the object was secured. According to the police, the old grenade is most likely a legacy from the Second World War.

Apartment fire in Zunzgen causes severe damage

A fire on Saturday morning caused severe damage to an apartment building in Zunzgen, Baselland. Nobody was injured.

A call about the fire, in Alte Landstrasse, was made to the Baseland police control room in Liestal at 6.27am. When the fire fighters and the police reached the scene, there was already thick smoke billowing from the house.

According to current information by the police, the fire had broken out on the ground floor. The fire fighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames. Due to thick smoke however the entire building suffered severe property damage. The total cost of the damage is not yet clear. The house is currently uninhabitable. 

The residents of the two adjoining houses were evacuated but could later return to their homes.