Wasps have a way of ruining your picnic, or evening outing with your loved ones; the ominous black and yellow stripes insect is irritating and creates fear as the deep humming sounds fill the air. However, not all wasps sting; the stinging wasps are not popular, and they are divided into many species, but the common ones are the Paravespula vulgaris. We have outlined some facts about wasps that will help you identify, and deal with them.
Wasps are commonly seen in the late summer because that is when their nests fall to pieces. September and October wasps are mostly ill-tempered; they wait for death, and they no longer take care of the most important duties in the wasp nest. They focus more on their favorite food, which is sugar that is why they can be a nuisance at your barbecue or picnic baskets filled with cakes and other pastries. Even though wasps share similarities with bees and bumblebees, they do not sting and die; wasp’s sting does not have barbs, and it is smooth, which enable them to sting several times.
Wasps love meat, and their venomous sting is enough to kill insects like caterpillars, flies, and grasshoppers. The bites serve as a defensive weapon as well as an offensive weapon. When a wasp stings its prey, the prey becomes paralyzed, which makes it easy for the wasp to take it back to the nest. Also, the sting hurts so much that larger animals steer clear from their path.
Furthermore, wasps pollinate flowers, when they hunt for the sweet nectar; they serve many wild plants such as rare orchids. Wasps may be annoying, but they are also beneficial to the environment; they eat insects that are dangerous to the crops in the garden.
One of the species’ queen, Vespa crabro (hornet) can grow more than 3.5 cm long, and the workers will be one centimeter shorter. The hornet builds its nest in hollow trees, and they are found in the forests. In addition, the sting of a hornet is more painful than the average wasp because it has a greater amount of poison.
The wasp venom is linked with snake venom, but the amounts are smaller thus making it not dangerous to humans, except when the victim is allergic to the sting. The venom contains peptides, which break down tissues.
When a wasp stings an individual, it pumps the venom into the bloodstream, and the peptides and enzymes start to break down the cell membranes. When the cells are connected to the body’s central nervous system, they send signals to the brain that it hurts. Moreover, the venom contains norepinephrine that stops the flow of blood for some time. This is why the pain lasts for many minutes after the sting. The hyaluronidase and MCDP serve as cell-destroying components and work their way to the cell walls to the neighboring cells by destroying the tissue. In essence, the sting swells and becomes red. The wasps are creative; they build their nests with paper pulp made from old wood, and saliva. Wasps do not survive the winter except for the queen; she uses the spring to build the nest and take care of the first larvae. As soon as her offspring are more and strong enough to do the work, she leaves the work for them. A wasp’s nest can hold more than three thousand wasps. If you notice a wasp’s nest around your home or garden, call a professional wasp control operator near you.