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Do Wasps Sting For No Reason

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  • wasps sting, hornet sting, wasp, hornet
  • Posted date:
  • 27-10-2021
Do Wasps Sting For No Reason

Have you ever asked: Do wasps sting for no reason? It is a common belief that wasps will sting without being provoked. We look at why wasps sting and reasons that they might attack someone.

Do Wasps Sting For No Reason? 

 Though it may seem like it during the summer months when you are under attack, wasps do not sting without good reason. Wasp attacks are almost always a result of the wasp's defense mechanism. 

Wasps use their stinger to hunt and attack prey. They will hurt and make sure their prey is immobilised, but wasps are smart enough to know that there is no point trying to attempt this strategy on a human. They know we are not part of their food chain. For a wasp, human beings are not prey but simply a threat to their home and their nest. 

 If you have ever been stung by a wasp, it was done because the wasp believed it was in danger. Did you know that when wasps use their stinger, it sends out a chemical so other wasps can detect their location? Once the chemical has been picked up by the other wasps, they will begin to swarm so that they can assist in attacking the 'enemy'. Wasps are not vicious creatures, whenever they attack, it happens for a reason.

Why do Wasps Sting? 

 The number one reason why wasps will sting humans is because they feel under threat. Wasp's stingers are a defence mechanism; it's full of venom, which, while not being lethal, will hurt considerably. 

If you've ever been stung, then you will know this. It's a way to convince humans and other large animals to stay away. It also functions as a way to paralyse their prey when hunting. Once paralysed, the prey is easily transported back to the nest.  

Below are the two reasons you may be stung by a wasp:

Protection 

 If a female wasp feels like the nest or her life is under threat, then they will attack. This is only done as a defence mechanism. It is not done as a way to purposely harm.

Agitation 

In many ways, all creatures on Earth are similar; we all get irritated. This is usually linked to some kind of threat, but not always. If you are constantly batting wasps away with your hands then this can make them feel like this. 

Why do Wasps Attack? 

 If completely left alone, wasps will seem completely easygoing and tranquil. They will dart around the air going in and out of their nest to do their duties. If not inside your home and not causing any danger, then it is recommended that you simply leave them alone. They will become aggressive only once they feel threatened. 

 Within a wasp nest, the wasps have different jobs and different duties to perform. If you look carefully, you may be able to see that some wasps work within the nest doing maintenance on the nest's structure and caring for the larvae, while others sit outside the nest. 

These wasps act as lookouts for imminent danger to the nest. If a person or any other creature is to bother these lookouts, then they will take it as an act of aggression and will begin to protect the nest. 

Using pheromones, they will communicate with other wasps that there is an intruder and this intruder needs stopping. The wasps, at this point, will be swarming and ready to sting and attack the intruder.  

Do Wasps Die After They Sting You? 

 Wasps dying after they sting is a common misconception. Wasps can sting many times during their lifespan. The misconception comes from confusion with bees, who can only use their stinger once. 

A wasp's stinger is designed completely differently than a bee's. It has been crafted to be used multiple times, formed as a weapon as well as a defence mechanism. It can stab prey like a needle. 

A bee's stinger has barbs at its end. This is why a bee will die after stinging. As the bee attempts to fly away, the stinger will stay buried in the prey's flesh, and the bee will be torn apart. A wasp's stinger is completely smooth, so it can be pushed into flesh and be retracted over and over.

How Many Times can a Wasp Sting? 

 Wasps can sting a threat multiple times in quick succession without any kind of negative effect on the wasp. This is completely different from a bee that can obviously only sting once. 

The only minor threat to a wasp is the risk of being swatted away. Wasps can, however, run out of venom in the process of stinging. Wasps only possess a certain amount of venom and have the ability to change the amount of venom injected into each target. 

Small or minor threats do not warrant huge amounts of venom, as it would be seen as a waste by wasps. But the large major threat of a human absolutely warrants a large dose of wasp venom. Going as far as to inject their whole supply into a human.  

What does a Wasp Sting Look Like? 

 Wasp stings are completely full of venom. This is why it is so painful to be stung by a wasp stinger on the unfortunate times that it happens. Everybody has different reactions to a wasp's venom and sting, and the same person can have wildly different reactions on two different occasions. So your body might not react the same way each time it is stung. 

 The sting will be painful at first, but you may not see any physical damage. There may be a small wound where your skin was punctured, and perhaps even a minuscule amount of blood. Not much to see. 

But over time, the area will probably turn red and even swell. If you look at your raised skin welt carefully, you may be able to notice a small white mark. This is where the wasp's stinger punctured your skin. 

 Around the wound, the surrounding areas may become very painful to the touch, and the swelling may be excruciatingly painful depending on how well the specific person deals with wasp stings. 

What does a Wasp Sting Look Like?

At the first sign of these symptoms, medical attention should be sought;  

If you are allergic to wasps and wasp venom, then more severe swelling and other highly dangerous symptoms may take place. Extreme swelling, as well as intense pain and an inability to breathe, are dangerous signs of an allergic reaction. 

Wasp Sting Treatment

If your wasp sting has only brought on a minor reaction, then it can absolutely be treated from home. There are some simple remedies that can ease the pain. Below is some advice:

Wasp Sting Treatment

Clean the sting - It is important to wash the area which has been stung with soap and water. This is done to remove as much of the venom from your skin as possible. Any kind of medical use disinfectant can also be a huge help. 

Ice the sting - If you are struggling with the swelling of your wasp sting, then you may want to place an ice pack on the problem area. This can reduce swelling massively. Place the ice pack for ten minutes every hour, and the swelling should be reduced in no time.

If you are experiencing a serious allergic reaction to a wasp sting, then you must call an ambulance and visit the hospital as soon as possible. A wasp's sting's effect can vary a lot depending on the person's reaction. For people who are particularly sensitive to wasp stings, the swollen area and its associated pain may persist for several days. Whereas for most people, the sting will usually dissipate within a day or two.

Allergic Reactions to Wasp Stings 

 People will often say that they are allergic to bees, wasps or hornets bit this is simply not true. It is not the insect that they are allergic to; it is the venom lurking inside. Wasp stings can be incredibly dangerous and even life-threatening to people who are allergic to wasp venom. 

They can suffer an allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. It is recommended that anyone who is allergic to wasp venom carries medication with them at all times. It is also recommended that they find medical attention as soon as they are stung. If you have been stung by a wasp previously, you are more likely to suffer this kind of reaction due to some wasp venom already being processed by your system. Although, this allergic reaction is very rare and is often not fatal.  

Preventing Wasp & Hornet Stings

Wasps will only become aggressive if they feel like their nest is under threat. This makes them likely to sting. 

We would not recommend approaching a wasp's nest during their active hours, and we would also recommend that you keep a safe distance away as some wasps can detect intruders from quite a distance. 

Never attempt to remove the nest yourself, this is highly dangerous, and you are risking great damage to yourself and those around you.In the spring months, wasps will hint for small insects such as greenflies and aphids; these are for feeding the small wasp grubs in the nest. 

At this point in the year, wasps will only become aggressive if they feel as though the grubs are at risk of being hurt.

The summer and autumn months are very different. The wasps do not have any grubs to feed, so the wasps don't retrieve the sugary secretions from them. 

This is why the wasps will hunt for old rotting fruit and other sweet foods. This is why wasps are such a pest if you are attempting to eat outdoors.

Preventing Wasp & Hornet Stings

Below are some small tips you can try in an attempt to avoid wasp stings:

If there are wasps close to you, try to keep calm and just move away slowly.

This will just irritate the wasps and make them more likely to sting.

If you are wearing a highly odourful perfume, shampoo or body wash, then this may attract wasps. 

So if you want to avoid wasps at all costs, then perhaps avoid bold colours and patterns.

Fruit plants and containers holding fruits will absolutely attract wasps.

Wasps will always be attracted by the scents of unattended food.

Make sure your hands are clean after eating or drinking anything sweet.

Are you looking for wasp nest removal in Bedfordshire or Hertfordshire? Our wasp pest control experts offer nest removal services for Milton Keynes, Stevenage and the surrounding areas. To learn more about our wasp pest control and nest removal, feel free to follow the links below.