THE DAY THE WASP RUINED OUR SUNDAY AFTERNOON
The weather was perfectly fine last Sunday afternoon. It was a lazy day and I had nothing lined up for that day. The sun was shining, with some clouds up above to not make it very hot, only a fool would let something so beautiful pass. I decided to pick up the phone and called up a few friends. The weather is perfect for a Sunday barbeque in my backyard. My pals always look forward to my backyard barbeque parties and have been bugging me for some time now. So when I called them up at around 2 PM, it did not take them a lot of convincing.
Fast forward three hours later, and the whole gang was here. While exchanging stories over some beer, a single wasp made a sudden appearance. Of course, I have seen wasps before, and I have always known that these wasps do not directly attack humans. I told my pals to just sit or stand still wherever they are. Someone suggested we kill it, but I said it is not an option and then I would explain later. Unfortunately, one of my pals seemed to have panicked and tried to shoo the wasp away. This was a big mistake; the wasp took it as a threat, and to defend itself from that threat, it went straight to my friend and stung him.
Treating a wasp sting
With our Sunday outdoor party practically ruined, I took my victim friend inside my house. He said it was painful. I observed the sting for a while, and Rob did not seem to have an allergic reaction to it. His reaction was what is referred to as a normal local reaction. There was a tiny, raised welt around the sting site. At the middle of the welt was a small white mark, which was the actual site where the wasp’s stinger pierced through the skin. I told Rob it would be alright, and that the pain would subside in a few hours. I then washed the sting area with soap and water. This removed whatever that’s left of the wasp’s venom. I also took my cold pack from the fridge and pressed it against his skin to make him feel comfortable and to reduce the swelling.
“Just keep it clean when you get home. Cover it with a bandage if you want.” I told him. “And if it continues, you may take Ibuprofen.”
“Do you have some?” Rob shot back.
Usually, I would call him a cheapskate, but this time I felt guilty for having them come over and that I am responsible, so I reached to my desk and gave him a couple of these meds.
One of my pals, Lucy, then said Rob was lucky, she remembered another friend of hers who was also stung by a wasp about a year ago. The same thing, Lucy said, they were having an outdoor picnic at some park when a wasp suddenly made an appearance. To make the long story short, someone was stung and had a reaction totally different from Rob’s. He had extreme swelling and was reported to vomit the day after the bite. I said that one was a large local reaction, totally different from Rob’s. I explained that large local reactions have extreme redness and swelling that would increase for the next two to three days after the sting. Aside from the vomiting, her friend most probably had nausea. I explained to the gang that people with this reaction are probably allergic to wasp stings, but are not fatal. Symptoms usually subside after a week or two on its own. Lucy did say that her friend went to a doctor for treatment, and was simply prescribed an over-the-counter medicine. I said that was most probably an antihistamine.
Why killing the wasp right there and then was a bad idea
“Why did we not just kill it, it could have saved Rob from all this discomfort, and our barbeque party as well?” Lucy asked.
I explained to them that wasps are very social insects.
“Wasps care for each other. They have each other’s backs and they protect each other. Humans can actually learn from them, how a team should work.”
“So are you saying the other wasps are going to come to save the day?” Ty asked with a grin like the idea was preposterous.
“In fact, yes. Wasps release pheromones when they are in trouble, and even when they are dead. Pheromones are chemicals that are secreted not only by wasps, but by many other insects, that elicit a social response in other members of their colonies, and…”
“So killing that wasp would only trigger the rest of the wasps in their nests to come to her rescue?” Lucy interjected.
“That is right. Imagine how big of trouble we would be in if we killed that wasp. It would be a disaster!”
Types of wasps
By this time the sun has already set, and the party shifted inside my house. With beers still flowing, as I bought dozens of 6-packs, the subject still remained to be all about wasps.
“You seem to know a lot about these creatures,” said Rob, who now seem more comfortable.
“I have written about it in college. And besides, I have seen enough of them here in Burlington that I felt compelled to study more about them. Know your enemies, as they say.”
“Did you consider calling a pest control professional?”
“I once did actually. About 2 years ago, there was this big nest found just beside this house and it scared the hell out of me. You know, I just could not go out, knowing there are thousands of wasps in my backyard.”
“So what did you do?” Rob asked.
“I have this phone number that I got from Facebook. I looked for a pest control company that people would recommend. I did not want just any pest control company, but the best pest expert here in Burlington NC. My search ended up with me choosing Go-Forth Pest Control.”
“And were they good?” asked Lucy, “because I do have some roach problems that I would like to address with a professional.”
“Let us just say I am extremely happy with what they have done. I can say they are the best. I will give you their number.” I told her.
“I hear there are many types of wasps, and not just one,” said Ty.
“I can talk about this all night.” I said, smilingly.” “First off, there are social wasps and there are solitary wasps. Social wasps are those that form colonies and build nests for their colonies. A colony, by the way, has a queen, males and female workers. The queen lays all the eggs and ensures the survival of her colony, that is her only reason for being. The males live only to mate with the queen. All the dirty work is being done by the female sterile wasps. The solitary wasps, on the other hand, do not form colonies and do not really build nests that are like those of the social wasps.” I told my audience, who now seemed enthralled by wasps. “In the United States,” I continued “there are four types of wasps: the paper wasps, the yellow jacket wasps, and the wasp hornets. Of these three, the yellow jacket wasps are the ones to watch out for, as they are the most aggressive types. They can number to as many as 5,000 in a single colony, so if a wasp gets into trouble, expect thousands to come to its rescue.”
Ty, still holding a bottle of beer, went for a follow-up question: “Why are paper wasps called paper wasp? Are they as thin as paper?” “They are called as such because they make their nest from chewed wood that becomes a papery material. Their nests are paper-like with no external coverings. By the way, their colonies consist of only around 25 wasps, though that may swell to about a hundred as the season progresses.”
Look for Go-Forth Pest Control for your pest extermination needs
“I am afraid these wasps will come back to haunt me or build a nest near my house,” Rob said. What is that company you mentioned a while ago? Do you highly recommend it?”
“Its name is Go-Forth Pest Control, which to me is the best pest control expert here in Burlington, North Carolina. Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned company. They have pest control experts who can take care of all your pest problems, like wasps, roaches, mice, mosquitoes, weevils, spiders, and many more.
“Are their methods safe?” asked Lucy.
“Yes. They use family friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination, so do not worry about your safety as well as the safety of the kids.”
“Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of us locals and businesses here in Burlington Get your pen and paper out, their number is 336-841-6111. Call them and set an appointment with them. I promise you guys, you won’t regret it.”
“Hey guys, did you see last night’s game?” Ty asked. So we moved on, finally to enjoy the rest of the night.