Retailers are advised to take extra precautions to protect against wasps and flies this summer as favourable breeding conditions lead to greater numbers of the pests than usual.

A dry April and the earlier than usual ripening of soft fruit means that wasp activity is three weeks ahead of normal, Cleankill managing director Paul Bates warned.

"We are advising business owners to have a thorough check around their premises and in spaces like lofts and get nests removed now. There is nothing more off-putting than wasps, or flies, particularly if customers see them landing on food," he added.

Steps can also be taken now to limit fly problems. These include installing electric fly killers at key points around the premises and making sure bins, including recycling bins, are washed out regularly.

"If the food waste bin is not emptied regularly, or bins aren't collected frequently, the vegetable matter will break down and this will provide a breeding ground for the common house fly," Bates added.

Higher numbers of pests could also lead to consumer demand for pesticides and sprays.