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Do Wasps Bite or Sting? And 4 Other Wasp Questions Answered!
People seem to know a lot about bees, but when it comes to wasps there seems to be a lot of confusion. For example people have asked, do wasps bite or sting? And if a wasps attacks you, how do you treat it? Understanding wasp traits and how to react when they attack is very important, because they are different than bees and you could have an allergy to them without knowing. Wasps are scarier looking than bees and they come in several different breeds, such as hornets and yellow jackets.
Do Wasps Bite or Sting?
Wasps have stingers, and that is what they attack with when they feel threatened by you. The stingers are actually used for eating as well, as wasps paralyze their prey. This has two serious implications. First, it means that the stinger does not come out when the wasps stings you, so they can sting you multiple times. It also means that when a wasp stings you it injects venom, which can cause significant pain and irritation to your skin.
How Do You Treat a Wasp Related Wound?
The treatment of a wasp based wound depends entirely on whether you are allergic to the venom. Scientists have estimated that 90% of people are not allergic, which still means 10% of people can be seriously harmed by wasps. If you are not allergic to the venom, the area or areas where you were stung will hurt and will likely turn red, it may also swell and become itchy as it heals; it is common for the site of the sting to appear white as the wound heals. There are a number of ointments on the market that will help soothe the discomfort of a sting, as well as homemade remedies.
If you are allergic, it is best to seek help, even if it appears minor at first. While only few people will have a severe allergic reaction to the sting, it can be fatal. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives and itching on the body away from the site of the sting, dizziness, swelling on the face, nausea, changes in pulse, and difficulty breathing.
Are Wasps Pollinators?
Wasps are pollinators. They are not as effective at moving pollen because of the hair on their bodies, but they do still help plants thrive. For example, the fig wasp is on record as having helped ensure that roughly 1,000 species of figs are pollinated because entry point to pollinate the plants is so small. It is much easier for a wasp to slip in, leave some pollen behind, and carry pollen to another fig plant.
Do They Hibernate?
Only the queen wasp hibernates. The rest of the insects die over the course of the winter. The queen will remain in her old nest throughout the winter until early spring. She will start the new nest on her own when she wakes up.
When Are Wasps Active?
Because wasps have a relatively short life span, you aren’t likely to see them most of the year. The queen starts her nest in the spring, and through June and July wasps are busy with construction and managing young wasp development. However if you disturb their nest, you could get stung during this time. Wasps tend to be a problem from late July or early August through November.
Know you have the information to keep informed, and answer any curious friends when they ask, do wasps bite or sting? If you think you have a wasp problem, or need more information about how to have them safely removed, contact us today!