Or several tiny things. Sound familiar?
I’m talking about wasps. They are everywhere at the moment, whether they're buzzing around your face when you're sipping a drink in a Biergarten or stepping all over your food while you're eating al fresco. And, if you’re unlucky, you might feel the horrible dull ache of a sting.
Except it’s not only if you’re eating: just being outside, perhaps near a bin, a shop selling sugary delicacies, or if you’re beside anyone else who’s eating or drinking, you’re also at risk from being terrorized by one of these insects.
Meanwhile, in Düsseldorf, cafes have even lost business because of the influx of wasps.
The Westdeutsche Zeitung reports that the cafe on the terrace of Benrath Palace had to close last Saturday because there were too many of the creatures buzzing around.
If you’ve lived in Germany for many years you’ll know the high number of Wespen (wasps) around this time of year is not unusual. In fact, many Germans don't seem to be phased by the presence of them at all, even when they've been climbing all over their Pflaumenkuchen in the bakery.
But that doesn’t make it any less annoying, and for expats who’re not used to this influx, the presence of so many wasps can be quite intimidating.
We did some research and spoke to biology experts to get the lowdown on wasps in Germany.
Why are wasps up in our faces all the time?
Apparently, the wasps are bothering us so much this year because they’re hungry and thirsty.
The queen wasps, which are much bigger than the offspring, are now getting ready to head into hibernation and that leaves the worker wasps with lots of free time – so essentially they're unemployed.
Dr Ralf Einspanier and Dr Benedikt Polaczek, of the Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry at the Free University (FU) in Berlin told The Local: “Due to the larger nest sizes and high numbers, and the fact that the wasps are currently missing their natural feed, these wasps are choosing more human sources like sweet beverages, jam and meat, etc.”
Have you experienced this scene? Photo: DPA
Are there definitely more wasps than usual this year?
Quite simply, yes. You’re not imagining it. 2018 is a record year for wasps thanks to the heat and a mild winter last year.
According to the Westdeutsche Zeitung, the Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) has confirmed that the weather conditions this summer have been perfect for wasps to flourish.
There was no cold spell in June, no flooding and continued heat, which means wasp nests were able to grow bigger.
Düsseldorf exterminator Dirk Kemmerling told the newspaper it was “extreme” this year.
“The population is certainly 10 times as strong as last year,” he added.
Einspanier and Polaczek, agree that the number of wasps has increased this year, which they said was because of the effects of last year.
They told The Local that the wasps had been well fed and had a high water supply in 2017, which has led to more wasps developing.
Einspanier added that the queen wasps, who hibernate over winter and then build nests to share with offspring worker bees in spring, were fitter because of this. And, because last winter was not so cold overall, it increased the survival rate of queen wasps.
What types of wasps are we seeing?
Does the world need wasps?