ARE WASPS IN CHARLOTTE DANGEROUS?  

ARE WASPS IN CHARLOTTE DANGEROUS?  

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We all probably have developed a natural fear of the wasps.  Anyone who stumble upon a wasp colony, whether accidentally or on purpose, will be quickly swarmed and stung.  And unlike bees who can sting only once because of their stingers being lodged onto the skin of their victims, wasps can sting repeatedly and as often as they want.  Imagine a boxer jabbing his way repeatedly into an opponent’s face in the heat of a boxing match, and that is how wasps can go. So when you see a wasp flying around and disturbing your Sunday barbeque or picnic, just let it be.  Disturbing it would mean trouble for you.

Wasp sub-groups

Wasps are basically divided into two sub-groups.  There are social wasps and there are solitary wasps.  Social wasps like the yellowjackets, paper wasps and hornets live in colonies.  Of the 30,000 species of wasps, only a thousand are social. Each spring, a single queen builds a colony out of nothing.  This queen was fertilized the previous year and hibernate the rest of the winter, only to emerge in the spring. She then builds a nest where she would lay her eggs, then soon rear her young who would eventually be female workers.  These workers would soon increase in number, then take over in expanding the nest. Their numbers can increase to as much as 5,000 wasps. A social wasp’s nest last only a year, since all the colony’s members die off, including the queen.  The newly fertilized queens are the only ones who survive the winter.

On the other hand, solitary wasps, as their name suggests, live alone and do not form any colonies.  This is the largest sub-group, An adult female solitary wasp looks for food alone, and if ever she builds a nest, it is not for a colony but for herself and her offsprings only.  Unlike the social wasps who use their stingers only for self-defense, the solitary wasps use theirs for hunting. Solitary wasps feed their larvae with meat. They paralyze their prey first instead of killing it so that once their larvae are ready to feed, the meat would still be fresh.  Some solitary wasps build nests and some do not.

Solitary wasps are also identified into three groups, depending on how they build or acquire their nests.  The squatters do not build their own and usually use only holes that are already existing, or those left behind by wood-boring beetles.  The builders are those who build nests on their own, built from materials that they collected themselves.  The diggers dig holes on the ground for their nests.

They can be identified by their long and thin bodies  They usually attack humans only when they are threatened.  For food, they prey on insects like beetles, spiders, crickets, and aphids.  While they may not be aggressive, they still incite fear and can become a nuisance pest.  

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Types of wasps in the United States

It is extremely important for us to know the type of wasps there are in the United States.  Each type of wasps has different characteristics. Some are territorial and aggressive, and some are not as aggressive and sting only when threatened.  

Here are the types of wasps:

Paper wasps

Paper wasps are among the most common types of wasps.  They are slightly longer than a yellow jacket wasp and their colors vary from one individual to the other.  Paper wasps gather fibers from wood, which they use to make nests. The nests are shaped like umbrellas and can be found hanging on the roof that meets the walls of the buildings.  The nest is paper-like and has no external coverings. A single colony can only have as much as 25 wasps but may swell to as many as 100 by late season. They help rid gardens of pests, but they attack humans when they feel that they or their nests are in danger.  Their sting ate quite painful and may even cause anaphylactic shock.

Wasp Hornet

A wasp hornet is an inch long, dark in color with white, cream, or yellow markings on the abdomen, thorax, and face. They are highly aggressive and can attack without provocation and their stings are painful.  Like paper wasps, they also make paper-like nests out of chewed wood and their saliva. Their nests are large and are usually found in wooded areas and are hanging on tree branches. But be aware that they can also build nests at the side of houses and utility poles.  Since they can be dangerous, the removal of their nests is of utmost importance. Ask help from the professionals in doing so.

Yellowjacket wasps

Of all the types of wasps, the yellow jacket wasps are the most dangerous.  They are ½ inches to ¾ inches long, black in color with yellow markings. Yellowjacket wasps are usually spotted near garbage bins foraging for food.  Since yellow jackets do not travel far away from their nests even when foraging for food, spotting one means their nests are just nearby and there are plenty more within the area.  There are about 5,000 yellow jacket wasps in a colony. Removing their nests if you see one is of utmost importance also. They sting when they feel threatened and are highly territorial.  They have a powerful sting and can be deadly for some people who might be allergic to their venom. Do not try removing their nests by yourself. Make sure you call only the best pest control experts in Charlotte NC, Go-Forth Pest Control.

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How to avoid wasp stings

Wasp stings are very painful, so avoiding it is much better than having to treat it when it is already there.  And to avoid being stung, it is always important to know their habits. To avoid getting stung, here are a few tips:

  1. Do not wear sweet smelling perfumes.  Do not use heavily perfumed soaps, detergents. Wasps and even bees are attracted to these sweet scents.  Once they find out that you are the source of the scent, they may approach you and check on you. This could cause panic on your part which the wasps would perceive as a threatening gesture.
  2. Wasps feel that threat is nearby whenever they may smell someone sweaty.  When you sweat, perhaps from heavy physical activity, they get agitated and might come near you.  To avoid this, always freshen up with unscented soap or powder before you go outside.
  3. Be careful when eating sweet foods outside.  Cover these foods if you have to eat them outside.  Do not bring canned sodas outside, transfer the soda into a cup as wasps like to climb inside a soda can.
  4. Wear light-colored clothing only as bright colored clothes may attract wasps’ attention.
  5. When you are confronted by wasps, do not panic.  Do not walk around flailing your arms as these may be interpreted as a threatening gesture.  

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What to do when stung by wasps

Sometimes, getting stung is unavoidable.  Cases of wasp stings are common during the warmer months when people are out to enjoy the sun.  People tend to avoid them because their stings are very painful. To some people, it can be fatal.  

When stung, seek immediate medical attention if you have an allergic reaction to wasp stings.  If you have none, you can do the treatment at home yourself. A mild sting can be treated at home.  

When stung, wash the site of the sting with soap and water.  Remove any traces of the wasp venom. Applying a cold pack to the sting site reduces swelling.  Let it stay there for 5 to 10 minutes while elevating the affected area. Cover with a bandage the bite site if you wish for added protection.  Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen to reduce pain may also be taken. For the itchiness, take antihistamine drugs to relieve itching as well.  Baking soda can be used to soothe the skin.

To treat the stings incurred by people with a severe allergic reaction, use epinephrine to calm the immune system.  You may also use oxygen to improve breathing, but if breathing suddenly stops, perform CPR. Then seek immediate medical care to get additional treatment.

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Seek help from the best pest experts in Charlotte

Go-Forth is a family-owned company specializing in the extermination of all kinds of pests.  They have a team of highly skilled and well-trained technicians with excellent experience in pest control in Charlotte NC, utilizing the latest and the most advanced equipment in the business.  Go-Forth Pest Control has excellent experience in exterminating pests such as cockroaches, termites, mosquitoes, ants, moths, weevils, bed bugs, mice, and silverfish. They have family friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination, so you are assured of your family’s safety.

Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in Charlotte for more than 50 years.  Check our Facebook and Google to see what our satisfied customers have to say about us.

For more inquiries, or to set an appointment,  just call 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.

Go-Forth Pest Control is a family owned exterminator company based in High Point, NC. The company covers The Triad, The Triangle, Charlotte, Hickory, Wilmington, Columbia SC.

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