Do Wasps Bite or Sting?

Wasp flying over a flower

Do Wasps Bite or Sting?

Wasps are very defensive and their sting can be deadly for some people. Most wasps are predators and feed on other insects. Wasps usually sting humans but will also bite people if they feel threatened. The aerial nesters and the yellow jacket will guard their territory by stinging and biting.   In fact, aerial nesters are extremely aggressive and will actively protect their nests.

There is a big difference between the bite and the sting of a wasp. The bite does not leave a stinger stuck in it and requires removing.  Bites from wasps are not less deadly than stings but medical assistance is needed if the individual is experiencing an allergic reaction. Since bacteria are present in wasp bites, washing and disinfecting the area is necessary to avoid secondary infection.

Types of Wasps

There are two kinds of wasps, solitary wasps and social wasps. The social wasps’ population such as the Hornets, Yellow Jacket and Paper Wasps is usually bigger than the solitary wasps such as Cicada Killers and the Mud Daubers. Wasps that sting are of the Vespidae family. Although solitary wasps sting, they rarely sting people. They usually use their stings to overcome their prey. You can identify a stinging wasp by looking at the wings when they are resting. Folded lengthwise wings make the wings look half their width. The majority of wasps use wood fibres to build their nests.   The queens are the nests builders and they feed the baby larvae.

Social Wasps

The Bald-faced or white-faced hornet, the European, also called the giant hornet and Yellow Jackets are social wasps that live with thousands of wasps in colonies.  Their hostile behaviour makes them dangerous because they nest in attics and openings in buildings. They hunt for food in trash bins and food and drink eaten outdoors. They also eat ripe fruits in vineyards and gardens.  During the fall months as their food supply diminishes, they find shelter in warm places and so invade human buildings. Paper wasps belong to the social wasps’ category and are called umbrella wasps because of the shape of their nests.

Yellow Jackets

You will know a yellow jacket wasp by its black and bright yellow pattern. Since they are social wasps, they guard their nests aggressively. They usually build their nests in the ground. Most times they use an abandoned animal borrow to start their nests. Their typical meal consists of sweets and meats.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps have red or brown patterns on black colours. Like the Yellow Jacket and Hornets, Paper wasps usually build nests from their own salivary secretions and the wood pieces they chew.  The typical places for building their nests are porch roofs or under eaves. Paper wasps are not as hostile as hornets or Yellow Jackets and are very easy to eliminate. Use hornet spray for the effective wasp control.

Giant European Insect Hornets

The Giant European Insect Hornets are yellow and brown in colour and will guard their nests aggressively. A fertilized queen sleeps during winter and appears during spring to build new nests.  They live in colonies with each colony having 300 workers. During summer and spring, they are very active and they’re addicted to sweet foods. These wasps are not as hostile as the Yellow Jackets and some are sometimes mistaken with Yellow Jackets because of their yellow and black colour.

How to get rid of Wasp and Hornets

The best time to get rid of wasps is at night when all the wasps are present and because they are less aggressive at nights. Ensure you are wearing protective clothing when you tackle your wasp control activity.  Wasps control consist of using an insecticide to spray wasp nests but you must also remove sprayed nests to get rid of any surviving wasps.

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