Bees and wasps can be extremely dangerous, especially for those who are allergic to their stings. Nevertheless, they play a crucial role on our planet, so you shouldn’t think of how to trap wasps for your own pleasure or revenge. If you want to learn more about the defense mechanism of these insects, as well as what you can do to protect yourself from them, keep on reading.
Wasp stings are more common than you would think, especially in the hot summer days where people spend lots of hours outside, enjoying the sun and the light. Stings generate discomfort and can even cause severe allergic reactions due to the venom they contain, so you should know how to react under these circumstances.
Similars to hornets and bees, wasps also feature a stinger that is made for self-defense purposes. The insect’s stinger contains venom that is transmitted from the sting to the target.
The main difference between regular bees and wasps is that the latter have no problem stinging more than once throughout an attack. Unlike bees, their stingers remain intact, so they can use their weapon as many times as needed. Nevertheless, the venom of the wasp can cause severe pain and irritation, especially for those who are allergic.
Another thing that we consider worth mentioning is that male wasps don’t sting as they aren’t anatomically fit to do so. They don’t possess a stinger as opposed to females, showing once again that, when it comes to the animals and insects living on our planet, females are often more aggressive and territorial than males.
Health concerns regarding wasp stings
There are numerous symptoms that might appear as the result of a wasp sting and, although the majority of people will only experience some of them or mild reactions, it is still best to consult a doctor or a pharmacist.
Some of the most common local reactions include burning or sharp pain of the affected area for a short period, as well as itching, redness, and swelling.
More severe symptoms can also include vomiting, nausea, and even anaphylaxis. This condition occurs when your entire body goes into shock as a reaction to a wasp’s venom. In this case, you should be prepared with specific medicines or an EpiPen.
Some of the symptoms of severe allergic reactions refer to severe swelling of the lips, face or throat, itching on other parts of the body that weren’t affected by the sting, dizziness, breathing difficulties, stomach cramps, and racing or weak pulse.
How to treat wasp stings
Although being stung by a wasp won’t put your life at risk, it would still be better to ask for professional help treating it. If you are a beekeeper or have been around bees and wasps long enough, you can try treating yourself.
The first step you need to take is to wash the affected area with water and soap to remove the venom as well as you can.
Secondly, you should apply ice or any form of a cold pack directly on the affected area to reduce pain and swelling. You can treat the wound by applying a disinfectant solution and keeping it clean. Lastly, you should also put a bandage for a couple of days until it heals completely.
Are there any differences between wasps, bees, and hornets?
Often enough, people generically call these insects “bees”, without knowing that there are many differences between species.
Although bees and wasps come from the same family, they are more distant relatives than siblings.
On the other hand, hornets are a specific type of wasps, usually bigger. The main difference between hornets and bees or wasps is that the first ones come in a black and white color, and sometimes tend to be brownish red. By comparison, most wasps display the popular black and yellow colors, although there are slight variations depending on the species.
The similarities between wasps and bees probably stop at them being part of the same large insect family. Bees are known for their hard-working personalities, always keeping themselves busy and ready to perform their duties inside the hive. On the other hand, wasps are slender, smoother, and seem to look more graceful than bees.
Their personality is also different, with the main difference being that wasps are generally more aggressive. They can sting more than once, which makes them more dangerous to be around. In addition, they can get territorial and don’t really need a good reason to go after you.
By comparison, bees can only sting once and, if they do that, they will die. Thus, they tend to have a higher tolerance level and will probably think twice before attacking you. However, their sting is more painful and their venom is more powerful, meaning it can cause various allergic reactions and skin irritations.
Wasp nests and what to do if you find one
Just like bees, wasps build their own nests which, in the summer, can house a few thousands of these insects at once. They build their nests out of saliva and chewed wood pulp, making the interior walls look unique.
Many people question the exact role of wasps in our society since they don’t produce honey. In fact, a less known fact about wasps is that they are generally carnivorous insects, feeding on other smaller insects and larvae to survive. They don’t produce honey either but they will steal as much as possible, given the opportunity to enter a beehive.
However, wasps have a pre-established role in the ecosystem and are beneficial creatures because they help to pollinate flowers, trees, and other plants. And, since they are carnivorous, they can also feed on other smaller insects that are considered pests.
As for their hives or nests, you should know what you are dealing with before planning on removing one. It is best to talk to a specialist instead of taking things into your own hands and consider removing a wasp nest all by yourself. Keep in mind that we are talking about quite aggressive creatures that won’t hold back from stinging you to defend their territory.
If you find such a nest on your property, it would be best to alert the local responsible authorities and wait for specialists to handle things. If you consider going near the nest, you should always wear appropriate gear, including a bee suit, a special bee hat, and gloves.
To sum up, wasps are very interesting creatures that can only be considered distant relatives to bees, and especially honeybees. Wasps don’t produce honey but they rather steal it from the bees and, unlike the latter, they can sting more than once. Their venom isn’t as toxic as that of bees, but it is still dangerous to humans, especially if they are allergic.
Therefore, we always recommend wearing appropriate attire during the summer if you want to keep away from the nasty sting of a wasp. Don’t come near their nests and do not, under no circumstances, try to remove them on your own.