Wasps (including paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets) These insects are all in the Hymenoptera order, and thus stings from them are occasionally called Hymenoptera stings. Because many of these species live in colonies, if one stings you, you may be stung by many. Although most stings cause only minor medical problems, some stings may cause serious medical problems and even death. An ordinary uncomplicated sting can be treated with ammonia or alcohol or cold poultices, followed by an antihistamine ointment. If the victim becomes pale and feels unwell with giddiness and nausea it is advisable to seek medical advice immediately
The over wintering fertilized queen wasp emerges from hibernation in early April and searches for a suitable undisturbed site for her colony. The first brood of wasp eggs laid (sterile female workers) then take over the task of enlarging the nest and providing food to sustain it. The process of egg laying will continue until late summer when the queen will lay eggs to produce males and new queens. These will mate and the fertilized queens will fly away to select a suitable site to hibernate.
With the onset of cooler weather the workers will become more sluggish and aggressive towards anyone interfering with them, often feeding on overripe fruit they can also become ‘tipsy’. The onset of colder weather and frost kills off the workers and males with only fertilized queens surviving individually in hibernation to start a new colony (nest) the following year. Once a nest dies in the autumn the queen never uses it again the following year. She will always start a fresh nest the following season.
Control & Prevention Tips
- Ordinary uncomplicated sting can be treated with ammonia or alcohol or cold poultices, followed by an antihistamine ointment.
- If the victim becomes pale and feels unwell with giddiness and nausea it is advisable to seek medical advice immediately.
- Always keep garden area neat and clean.
- If you spot a wasp nest it is better to go for a solution by a professional pest control company than to handle it on your own.