Wasps: Natural Pesticide or Deadly Neighbor?

    
Wasps bugging you?

A wasp sting can be excruciatingly painful and can even cause your body to go into shock.

by Jason Johnson

Well, well, well… When I said burn the house down with that bold mouse and claim from insurance no one wanted to listen to me. Now that we have a wasp infestation, I bet my idea doesn’t seem so bad, now does it?

Even though I have had many encounters with pests in my short life, I have been relatively successful with whatever DIY and housekeeping methods I have employed. If things really get hairy, I generally just call the folks at Rentokil to come and see to it and I have never been left wanting. When I found out it was wasps though, that was a completely different story. DIY wasp control was not going to help me in this case.

Once I found out about the wasps, I booked myself into a hotel room and decided to do some research on them. Aside from being completely vicious, I found wasps to be quite fascinating and complex. The first thing I found out was that wasps are somewhat on the top of the food chain as far as pests go. Almost every species of insect has at least one species of wasp that preys on them.

While it might seem like a good idea to keep wasps around your home as an all natural method of pest control, you might reconsider if you knew that wasps have poisonous stingers much like bees. Unlike bees though wasps’ stingers don’t break off when they sting you. This means that they can sting you more than once.

Oh and don’t even think about just taking a frying pan and swatting them out of the air. This will only cause the dead wasp to release a pheromone that causes the other wasps to go completely insane and turn you into a human pin cushion. So before you decide to go all macho-man on a wasp, it would be good to remember that these things destroy bee hives for fun. They are extremely aggressive and they will attack you once you attack one of their own.

And as if it’s not bad enough that they’re aggressive, they’re also venomous. Is it not enough that they sting? Yes they are venomous and they pack quite a punch for such a small insect. A wasp sting can be excruciatingly painful and can even cause your body to go into shock. Wasp venom has been known to be fatal in high enough doses and to people who experience allergic reactions to the venom.

What makes their venom amazing is that it is actually quite complex. The venom contains enzymes and peptides that actually break down cells and cause these cells to spill its content into the blood. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds very painful!

Wasp venom also contains a chemical called norepinephrine and this where wasps and their venom just become purely spiteful and evil. The chemical slows down blood flow so that the venom does not wash away for a while. This means that the venom will remain at the point of entry and it will feel like someone is holding a lit cigarette against the spot for as long as the chemical is active. Once the pain stops the wasp’s sting just becomes red and itchy like a normal insect sting or bite.

While there are many creams and anti-histamine treatments available for wasp stings over the counter at your pharmacy, I think the best idea is just to avoid getting stung at all. If you suspect that you may have a wasp infestation, avoid them and their nest at all costs, and get a professional to come and remove the nest as soon as possible. It is always a good idea to keep treatments at home in case you do come across a wasp and things don’t end very well for you.

Okay, research done; now I need to proceed with an action plan. I think I will just call in Rentokil to get rid of wasps on my property. I’m sure they’ll be able to assist me with my wasps like they’ve assisted me with all my other pests. If they can’t I’ll just have to stick to my original plan of burning my home down. I’m sure that won’t be necessary though as Rentokil always has an ace up their sleeves.

 

To DIY or not to DIY
Braai Day or Fly Day?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *