Stinging wasp activity, like that of the pesky yellow jacket, happens to peak during the late summer; and boy did I find out the hard way. I was stung… No, I was attacked!
Wasp Ruins My Labor Day
It was a typical Labor Day holiday. Like most Americans, I was spending my holiday outdoors, at a park, with my family. Among the sweet soda and grilling hotdogs, something sinister was lurking.
While enjoying my outdoor Labor Day picnic, I feel this small quiver underneath my blouse. I brush at it, thinking nothing of it at first, when I realize that ‘quiver’ inside my blouse has legs… and a bad temper! It’s a wasp who was flying happily along, and somehow flew inside my blouse, and it definitely does not want to be there. The wasp starts stinging. OUCH!!!
I started running around, frantically screaming! The people around me must have been wondering if I was on bath salts or something. Each time I slap at the wasp, my blouse shakes it loose. The wasp falls a little lower into all-new sections of my body; and the wasp would get mad again, and sting again!
Eventually the wasp made its way out of my clothes; or maybe I just mashed it. Either way, I was in pain. I began to swell up and itch. Needless to say, my fun day was over.
So much for a happy Labor Day!
One of the scariest and most notorious stinging pests is definitely the mighty wasp. There are about 30,000 species of wasps in the world. They all range in color and size. The most common is definitely the yellow and black stinger, but they can also be brown, orange, bright red and metallic blue. Unlike bees, wasps can sting multiple times, but only the female wasp is able to sting.
In nature wasps are some of the most beneficial stingers. Most insects are preyed upon by at least one species of wasps. The adult wasp will eat only nectar, but will hunt out insects to feed to its young and growing larvae. Wasps are even used in the agriculture business as a way of controlling the pest population, because they will only prey on other pests and not cause harm to crops.
Wasps can be either solitary or social. We commonly see solitary wasps on flowers. All solitary wasps are fertile, and after laying an egg have no interaction with their larva. In social wasp colonies, generally, only the queen will be fertile. Nests are built in holes underground, in trees and plants, along riverbanks, and preferable in sunny spots.
Castes systems amongst wasps are not predetermined like in other bees. A female can earn her way to royalty by dominance and behavior. Some become queen, by being able to eat all of the other fertile females’ eggs and some by simply producing the most eggs.
Heydi Ruelas is a journalism student and blogger for Bulwark Exterminating, an industry leader in providing high quality pest control services. When I’m not playing with my two adorable nieces, I’m rocking out to the newest One Direction song.