WASP: FRIEND OR FOE?
Humans have a natural aversion to stinging bugs. There are a lot of possible reasons, from their hairy carapace, to the intimidating buzz that they make, up to the painful stings that they can give. And one of the most notorious of them all is the wasp.
The biggest problem with wasps is that while some may be harmless if left alone, they can invade our houses and cause potential threat to us and the people around us. So how do we get rid of them? Are they friend or foe?
Difference with Bees
One of the commonly mistaken identity of bees wasps are bees. While they have a few similarities, here are two distinctions that will help you determine which is which.
First is the appearance. They may look the same at first sight, but upon careful examination you will see that wasps have pointed, narrower lower abdomens that bees. Moreover, wasps are less hairy than bees, which is why bees are more efficient pollinators than wasps by a mile.
The second distinction is their nests. Bees create their hives through waxy substances, and can be easily spotted. Wasps, on the other hand, use wood fibers or papery objects to form their nests.
Types of Wasps
To better combat this “enemy,” you need to understand it first. There are two main groups of wasps that you need to know about:
These are those that come in swarms and, like any other insect colony, has a queen that is responsible for its population. A nest can have as much as 5,000 members.
As the name implies, this type of wasp hunts alone and has a venomous stinger to help it do its job. It can reach an imposing size of 1.5 inches, making it intimidating.
Diet and Behavior
This is how you know wasps are more beneficial than harmful to humans. While they are not the best pollinators, they are great predators who control the pest population, such as other bugs that plague gardens and even venomous spiders.
Most of them only pose a danger to humans when taunted. Social wasps will release pheromones to alert others to assist them in their defense, while solitary wasps have venomous stingers. But the same thing about the two groups is that they can sting multiple times.
How to Control Wasps
As a rule of thumb, if you plan on getting rid of wasps on your own, you should do it during night time when they are less aggressive. Make sure to wear protective covering where no part of your body is exposed.
However, it is more advisable to seek for professional help. Experts in the field can do a thorough inspection and also implement the necessary steps to control the wasps that can be in the area.
Danger to Humans
Like what we’ve said, wasps normally do not attack humans if left alone. The problem, however, is that while their sting can generally cause significant pain and irritation, there are some individuals who are highly sensitive to wasp toxins.
Some individuals experience only local reactions, such as redness and swelling. It subsides after a few hours and can be treated at home. The danger happens, however, when a person is severely reactive, which can cause life-threatening conditions like anaphylactic shock.