[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Wasp smoke-out sets house ablaze
Wasp
The woman tried to smoke the wasps out of her home
Firefighters have criticised the actions of a woman who set her house on fire while trying to smoke out a wasps nest in her home.

Officers from Merthyr Tydfil were called to the property in Hillcrest in the Penydarrren area on Sunday night.

It took 10 men two hours to bring the blaze under control.

Station officer Gareth Davies said: "I've been in the service for 15 years and this is the first time I have seen an incident similar to this."

It is thought the woman had lit a small fire outside the house to smoke out the wasps but timbers caught, spreading the flames to the roof.

Our advice would be never to take this kind of thing into your own hands, always contact your local authority who can get rid of the wasps by using cosmetic smoke
Station officer Gareth Davies

No-one was injured during the incident on Sunday but the fire crews had to pull down ceiling and wall boards because the fire was burning within the cavities.

Although the house was filled with smoke, the wasps remained in their nest until pest control officers were called to remove them.

Station officer Gareth Davies said that it was one of the most unusual call-outs he had had to deal with.

"The woman had tried to smoke out the wasps by lighting a bit of cardboard and blowing it out and putting it under a board," he said.

"But that just acted as a chimney and the cardboard re-lit and began to burn through the cavity walls up to the roof.

"There was a lot of smoke there when we arrived and we had to take down a lot of ceiling and wall boards to get to the fire because it was burning behind the walls.

"The woman was very concerned how easy it had been for the fire to spread.

"Our advice would be never to take this kind of thing into your own hands, always contact your local authority who can get rid of the wasps by using cosmetic smoke."

Wasps usually live in colonies and thousands can inhabit one nest.

They build a paper nest by chewing small amounts of wood from trees, reeds or garden fences and mix it with saliva to form a pulp which is added to the nest in thin strips.

The wasps do not construct their own burrow but will choose one which already exists, such as an abandoned animal burrow, a garden shed or the loft of a house.




SEE ALSO:
Wasps attack historic building
06 Mar 04  |  Hereford/Worcs


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific