Not So Wicked Wasps

How can I avoid being stung by a wasp?

Believe it or not a wasp sting is purely a defence mechanism to allow the wasp to escape or protect its nest from harm. Wasps only sting when they feel threatened.

Avoid antagonising a wasp as far as possible. Never try to swat a wasp and where possible avoid wearing bright clothing that will attract them. Favour neutral clothing and keep an eye out for nests so you can stay well away from them. If you do come a bit too close to a wasp then stay calm and move away slowly to avoid attracting the wasp’s attention.

What should I do if I am stung by a wasp?

Wasp stings aren’t always harmless! Although your first sting won’t trigger an allergic reaction, once your system has become sensitised, further wasp stings may cause a serious allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock.

These allergic reactions are potentially life threatening. You must seek medical attention immediately if after suffering a wasp sting you experience:

  • breathing difficulties

  • feeling light-headed or faint

  • rashes on your skin that are itchy, red and/or raised

  • swelling of the face and other parts of the body

Why do I have wasps in my garden?

Wasps have got a bit of a bad reputation. They are actually accomplished natural pest controllers of flies and aphids and help maintain the natural balance of your garden.

Early in the season they feed their prey to their young. The trouble comes later in the summer when the mature wasps start craving sugar, the most attractive of which comes from human food.

Can I deter wasps from my garden?

It is possible to live alongside wasps and benefit from their presence in your garden without fearing a sting!

Strategically placed wasp deterrents that are widely available from garden centres can keep wasps away from regularly used parts of the garden. Make sure they are non toxic to help protect the other insects that may be using your garden such as bumble bees!

I’m still worried about a wasp nest in my garden, what should I do?

If you are still worried contact your local council’s Environmental Services to discuss your options.

Keep in mind that pest controllers use strong chemicals that may pollute your garden and adversely affect other beneficial wildlife that might be using it!

What should I do with a wasp nest in my house?

A wasp nest in your house poses a significantly higher risk to your health than one in your garden where control measures could be put in place to allow you to co-exist.

If you find a wasp nest in your house do not attempt to destroy it yourself.

Wasps are very good at communicating. If one wasp becomes injured, stressed or dies it will release an attack pheromone that will trigger the other wasps to defend the nest. This could leave you with numerous stings that will not only be uncomfortable but could have been avoided.

Your local council may offer their own pest control service. Details on how to report a problem, which can be done online, as well as enquiries for pest control services can be found here.

 

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