You might associate wasps with the tiny little blighters that pester you when trying to eat picnics, but these sting-laden insects are in fact very intriguing.
Here are ten awesome facts about one of the most maligned pests in the animal kingdom:
- Unlike many bee species, most wasps are capable of stinging numerous times because their stinger is not barbed. A wasp or swarm of wasps that feels threatened will sting continuously until they feel safe again.
- Some species of wasp are known to strip the bark from trees. This can cause great damage to different types of trees, bushes and shrubs. The material collected for nesting is chewed, shredded and mixed with saliva and wax to make a paste material which is then used to construct the nest.
- Wasps are carnivores and they feed on flies, caterpillars, spiders and bugs. Wasps chew their prey and feed the paste to their larvae.
- Both the queens and the workers are females and develop from fertilised eggs. The males do very little except fertilise eggs. If the nest becomes threatened, they will defend it, but otherwise they contribute very little to the colony. The male wasp is called a drone and its only job is to mate with a queen so that she can give birth the everyone in the colony. Once a male has done this (or failed in the attempt) it will die soon after.
- Wasp workers (infertile wasps) only live for 12 to 22 days, which is longer than drones (fertile males). Queens, however, have an average lifespan of a year.
- The venom of the wasp contains a pheromone that causes fellow members of the colony to become more aggressive and attack. This is why you should try and avoid swatting a wasp that is near its nest or other wasps. Even when the sting is not left behind, the venom can cause significant pain and irritation.
- Though wasp stings hurt, symptoms normally improve after a few hours but you may still feel irritation and swelling for a few days. A growing number of people, however, are allergic to wasp venom and can die from anaphylactic shock. If you have received multiple stings, stung in the eye or you suffer symptoms of infection (fever, pain, puss) you should seek medical advice.
- If you are stung by a wasp, there are a number of home remedies you can try such as honey, toothpaste or vinegar.
- Like ants and termites, wasps live in colonies that follow a rigid caste order of queens, males and females.
- A wasp colony produces queens and males in the summer. At the same time, all the queens and males will fly into the sky to mate. The vast majority of males will fail to find a mate but the one that does will heir a future colony when the fertilised queen starts to build a new one.
We at Eliminate Solutions know that pests can be a nightmare in and around your home and can even be potentially harmful to you and your family. If you own a business, an infestation could be a disaster for your company! Thankfully, you can trust Elimate Ltd to help with your bee, hornet and wasp control, anytime you need us. We also have huge expertise in bedbugs, birds, cockroaches, falconry, squirrels and moles.
We’re proud to say that we are available 24 hours of the day, seven days of the week. Severe infestations can be damaging to businesses and can have a knock-on effect not only to your walk-in customers – but nearby businesses as well. Our team work across Scotland and Northern England, so whether you are in Liverpool, Manchester, York, Newcastle, Carlisle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee or anywhere around and in between, your wasp, bee or hornet problem can be eliminated. Get in touch with the pest control services team at Eliminate today. Contact us on 0800 731 1164 or email us here.