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If you have been seeing a large number of wasps around your home or if you have spotted a nest, the first thing you should do is call in the professionals. Ehrlich Pest Control has wasp removal and prevention services to get rid of and prevent wasps from returning. Contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control office today.
A sting by a wasp or hornet is an unpleasant experience. It can be very upsetting and frightening for young children, and can also be stressful and very painful even for those who are not allergic to insect stings.
The main reason wasps sting humans is because they feel threatened. A wasp sting is a defense mechanism as its venom delivers enough pain to convince large animals, and humans, to leave them alone. In the wild, wasps sting to catch their prey. Their venom is powerful enough to paralyze their prey, making for easier transport back to the nest.
There are two main reasons you might get stung by a wasp.
Unlike bees, wasps do not die after they sting someone. In fact, they can sting multiple people, multiple times during their lifetime.
A wasp's stinger is not like a bee’s stinger. It is designed to be used again and again, striking the possible threat multiple times, and stabbing the intended prey or potential threat like a small needle. A bee's stinger is barbed at the end, which is why a bee will sting and then die. When the bee takes off, the stinger stays in the flesh of the prey and disembowels the bee. A wasp's stinger is smooth and does not stick in a person's flesh. It retracts into the body, able to extend over and over again.
Wasps will attack in large numbers. When a threat is detected, wasps release a pheromone that summons the rest of the soldier wasps. They will pursue a potential threat over long distances and swarm the threat, the entire time stinging repeatedly.
Wasp stings are packed full of venom, which is why they are so painful. Different people have different reactions and having one type of reaction doesn’t mean you’ll always have the same reaction every time you’re stung.
Though painful at first, you may not see much on the skin right away. There could be a small puncture wound and maybe a tiny dot of blood, but that's about it. However, the area can turn red and the actual sting area will likely swell. Once you see the raised welt, you may see a small white mark near the center. That's the spot where the stinger entered your skin.
The areas around the wound will be very painful to the touch and the entire area can become quite swollen based upon a person's threshold for pain and insect stings. Allergic reactions can cause severe swelling and other symptoms which can become very dangerous.
If you have been stung and find yourself having trouble breathing, or the pain is very intense, seek medical attention. Extreme swelling is also a potential sign of trouble and medical attention should be sought then, too.
When discussing wasp stings we have to mention the Schmidt Pain Index. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the Schmidt Pain Index is a pain scale reflecting the stings caused by different insects, including wasps.
The Schmidt Pain Index was created by Justin O. Schmidt after subjecting himself to a range of different stings from different insects. It consists of his experience when suffering these painful stings, giving them a rating of pain (from 0-4), as well as a description and the duration. To sum up Schmidt’s Pain Index, “Level four you don’t want to know”.
Mild and moderate reactions to wasp stings can be treated at home with a few simple remedies. We recommend consulting a medical professional for advice along with these tips below and to always follow the instructions on the label of any medication.
How long a wasp’s sting lasts depends on a person’s reaction to the sting. It may remain swollen or painful for several days on people who are sensitive to insect stings. For others, the wasp’s sting may disappear in as little as three days.
If there is intense pain or swelling for days, it is possible you could be experiencing an allergic reaction or perhaps some kind of infection. You should seek medical attention if the pain is intense for longer than a couple of days.
When people say they are allergic to bees, wasps, and/or hornets it is not the insect they are allergic to, but rather the venom in their sting.
Wasp stings can be life-threatening to people allergic to the poison in stings. This allergic reaction is known as anaphylaxis. If you are allergic to wasp stings, make sure you carry your medication and seek medical attention right away if you are stung. Wasp stings can happen multiple times due to the nature of wasp stingers and how wasps attack. People who have been stung several times previously and have become sensitized are more likely to suffer this systemic reaction. The good news is that this type of allergic reaction is rare and rarely fatal.
If wasps feel threatened or if their nest is disturbed it makes them very aggressive and provokes them to sting. Do not approach a wasp’s nest during the day when they are the most active. Maintain a safe distance as they will defend their territory at a larger distance than most bees. Do not try to knock down or remove a wasp’s nest - save that for us, the professionals.
In the spring wasps hunt aphids, greenfly, and other insects to feed grubs in the nest. At this time wasps will only become aggressive if they think their nest or their young are under threat.
In late summer and early autumn wasps do not have any young to feed so they do not get any sugary secretions from them. This is when wasps seek fermenting fruit and sweet things and become more of a pest at picnics, barbecues, and outdoor meals in general.
Luckily there are some easy, practical things you can do yourself to try and avoid being stung.
If you are having a problem with wasps around your home or business then don’t try dealing with it on your own. Instead, call your local Ehrlich specialist for reliable wasp removal and prevention service.