Wasps are interesting insects and for the people who do not know too much about them, we can even say that they are misunderstood creatures. One of our recent articles contains a lot of information about wasp traps and if you check it out, you will surely find a lot of useful information.
When it comes to wasps stinging, nearly everyone has been stung at least once in their lifetime. If you think that they do this because they are aggressive and pure evil, you would be wrong. In this article, we would like to discuss why wasps sting and what happens to them afterward.
Why Do They Sting?
The main reason these insects sting people is that they feel threatened. Usually, a wasp stings humans as defense, but they do the same in the wild to catch their prey.
If you get stung by a wasp, there are generally two reasons for it. One of them is protection. The stinger is the only defense mechanism these creatures have, and they will use it if they feel their nests are in danger.
The second reason is agitation. You see, they are like people in some ways, and can get annoyed. For example, the constant waving of a newspaper or hands to get rid of a wasp flying near you can get you stung, as the creature feels annoyed and even threatened.
A sting by a common wasp otherwise known as a yellow jacket or a hornet is a really unpleasant experience. It can be frightening and upsetting for young children and very stressful for anyone, for that matter. For allergic people, this can be painful and very dangerous.
Wasp stings can even be fatal to people who suffer from allergies, who develop a reaction called anaphylaxis. In case you are allergic to wasp stings, you need to carry your medication all the time and make sure you seek immediate medical attention in case you get stung.
Also, people who have been stung repeatedly in the past and became sensitized are likely to suffer this systemic reaction. However, this type of allergic reaction is rare and seldom fatal, especially if treated right away.
Do Wasps Die After Stinging?
Unlike bees, wasps do not die after they sting. Actually, they can sting multiple times this being one of the reasons why they are so dangerous, especially for allergic people. A wasp’s stinger is different from that of a bee. It has a much stronger construction which allows these creatures to sting again and again. It can be compared to a small needle.
Usually wasps attack in a large number. When they feel a threat, these insects release a pheromone which summons the rest of the soldier wasps. They can pursue a potential threat over long distances, stinging repeatedly.
The bee’s stinger is barbed at the end so when she stings, the stinger remains in the flesh of the prey. This is the reason why they die after stinging. A wasp’s stinger, on the other hand, is smooth and does not stick in the flesh, retracting into the body and extending over and over again.
When it happens, a wasp’s sting is painful but you may not see too much on the skin at first. Usually, there is a small puncture wound and perhaps a tiny dot of blood and that’s about it. After a few moments, the area around the sting may turn red and the actual sting point is very likely to swell.
As soon as you can see the bump, you will also be able to see a white mark in the center. That is where the stinger punctured your skin. Usually, the areas around such a wound are painful to the touch and the entire area can become quite swollen.
This also depends on the person’s threshold for pain and insect stings. Severe swelling can be caused by allergic reactions, as well as other dangerous symptoms.
In case you have been stung and you start having trouble breathing or the pain is too intense, you should seek medical attention immediately. Another sign of trouble that requires medical attention also is extreme swelling.
How long a wasp’s sting lasts really depends on the person’s reaction to it. Individuals who are sensitive to insect bites may have the sting last longer and remain swollen and painful for a few days. For other people, the sting can disappear in as little as three days.
In case you experience intense pain and swelling for several days, it is also possible that you are suffering from an allergic reaction or even some kind of sting infection. In any case, you should definitely seek medical attention if this lasts for more than a couple of days.
Who Stings and Why Does it Hurt?
In case you did not know this, it might be interesting to find out that it is only the female that stings. Males physically cannot do this because they do not possess a stinger as part of their anatomy.
Similar to other males within the insect world, their only purpose is pretty much breeding, even though they pollinate in some cases.
The reason why these stings are so painful is that they are packed full of venom. Of course, different people have different reactions to wasps stings. Also, having one type of reaction does not mean that it will always be the same every time you get stung.
You should also know that you might not have a serious reaction one time you are stung, and suffer from anaphylaxis the next time, as allergies can develop over time, you do not have to be born with it.
The venom serves two purposes. For once, it is an offensive weapon that is powerful enough to paralyze the prey which makes it easier to carry back to the nest. Secondly, it is a defensive weapon, since the venom generates enough pain to convince any human or large animal to leave them alone.
Preventing Wasp Stings
Now that we have established that wasps stings are painful and even dangerous and that the creatures do not die after stinging but can sting you over and over again, we believe it is safe to say that it would be better not to get stung at all.
As previously mentioned, a wasp sting is a form of defense. If these creatures feel threatened or if the nest is disturbed, they can become aggressive, and they will sting. Therefore, it is best not to approach a wasps’ nest especially during the day when they are most active.
It is also recommended to keep a safe distance from the nest because wasps defend their territory at a wider distance than most bees. It is definitely not recommended to knock down or remove a wasps’ nest without full body protection.
In case you find yourself in such a situation, and the wasps begin to swarm and attack, try not to wave your arms around. It is best to back away quickly but without flailing so you can reduce the number of stings.
All in all, wasps stings are not pleasant experiences. Although they can rarely become dangerous, it is best to leave these creatures alone and not to perform any actions or movements that can get them agitated. Wasps do not die after they sting, so if one gets really annoyed by you, she could be stinging you more than once.