The most common wasps encountered by people are: Yellow jackets, Bald-faced hornets, and paper wasps. Generally, wasps feed on other insects and avoid areas with human activity.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Narrow waists with slender bodies
  • Approximately 1.3 cm (0.51 in) to 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in size
  • 3 pairs of thin, cylindrical legs
  • 2 separate pairs of wings
  • Appear shiny with smooth skin
  • Bright or dusty yellow to dark brown to ivory in color with black markings
  • Little or no hair on the body
  • Only female wasps have stingers

WHAT ATTRACTS WASPS?

  • Sweet things such as sweet-smelling food, perfumes, lotions, suntan lotions, cosmetics, and nectars from plants
  • Wasps enjoy protein-based food such as meat and other food scraps during warmer months of spring and summer
  • Floral-print clothing or bright colors
  • Fruit trees
  • Movement such as running around, swinging your arms, swatting, etc.

EFFECTS OF WASP ACTIVITY ON HUMANS:

  • If wasp nests are not close to human activity, they pose no threat to humans
  • They can cause the most medical problems when stung
  • The venom injected by a wasp sting can cause severe allergic reactions
  • When stung by a wasp, a person may experience a severe stinging feeling, followed by swelling, itching, and redness
  • In rare cases, a bacterial skin infection may also occur

 

 

PREVENTION OF WASP BITES:

  • Use nets or screens outside to lessen contact with wasps that may be nearby
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Avoid perfumed soap, lotion, shampoo, or perfumes
  • Make sure your clothes and body are clean
  • Do not leave sweet food or drinks out during the warmest hours of the day
  • Do not swing or swat at a wasp when it is near. Doing so may cause the wasp to sting

TREATMENT OF WASP BITES:

  • Reduce swelling by applying an ice pack
  • Prevent infections by using an antibiotic on the wound
  • If severe allergic reactions occur other than redness, itching, burning, and swelling, call your doctor or seek emergency medical attention