A wasp sting is painful at best. For people with allergies to the venom contained in the stinger, it can be life-threatening. More bad news: A single wasp sting can put you at risk for more. A wasp does not lose its stinger after an attack as a bee does, so it can continue to sting you. It also secretes a pheromone that attracts other wasps and induces them to sting you too. It is no wonder that so many homeowners call residential pest control over wasps. Learning more about wasps and how to avoid them can help you to prevent getting stung.
Why Do Wasps Attack?
While wasps can be more aggressive than bees, they do not go around looking for humans to sting. Wasps would prefer to avoid an encounter as much as you would, but when they feel threatened, they do not hesitate to attack.
Wasp species are divided into solitary wasps that mostly live on their own and social wasps that live together in colonies. Solitary wasps are less aggressive and usually only sting in response to rough handling. Social wasps have a responsibility to protect the entire colony, so they are more likely to sting if you get too close to the nest. This can cause problems because the nests are sometimes well hidden and you may not even know that one is there.
What Should You Do if a Wasp Lands on You?
If a wasp lands on you, it will only attack if it feels threatened. Therefore, you do not want to do anything that could spur the wasp to act in its own defence. The most important thing is not to panic. Stay calm and avoid any abrupt movements.
The wasp may have landed on you because there is something on your skin or clothes that has attracted it. This may be sweat or a fragrance of some kind. If you give the wasp a chance to investigate, it will eventually leave on its own. If it isn’t possible to wait that long, you can take a piece of paper and slowly brush the wasp away using gentle movements. This should be a last resort because even this may be enough to make the wasp feel threatened and sting.
If you do get stung, back away slowly from the wasp without making any jerking motions. Don’t swat at it or the wasp may attack again out of a defensive instinct.
How Can You Avoid Getting Stung?
Like most animals, wasps are always searching for sources of food and water. They are often attracted to garbage receptacles. If you have outdoor trash cans on your property, keep them covered at all times and be wary around uncovered trash cans in public parks. Watch for wasps in swimming pools too as they sometimes get trapped in the water.
Brightly-coloured clothing or perfumed hygiene products could confuse the wasps into thinking you are a flower. They may become attracted to what they think is a food source and land on you. Avoid these products to keep from attracting wasps.
You could get stung on the foot if you step on a wasp while walking outside in bare feet. Wearing shoes when outside not only helps prevent wasp stings but also parasites and foot injuries. That doesn’t mean that you always have to wear closed-toed shoes; sandals protect the bottoms of your feet, the most vulnerable parts.
Your likelihood of getting stung increases if there is a wasp nest on your property. Wasps like to build nests in hidden areas, such as inside holes and behind loose siding, so be sure you address these issues.
If you do find a nest on your property, call Truly Nolen for wasp removal in Waterloo. Our comprehensive process starts with an evaluation to determine whether the pests are really wasps rather than bees.