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Why do Aggressive Wasps Always Bother People?

Updated on June 9, 2016

We've all experienced it, the mad flapping and screaming of a person who has discovered a wasp buzzing around them when they are quietly enjoying a meal or a drink in the great outdoors. Not many of us are overly fond of wasps, especially the unlucky few who have been stung in the past and see these "pests" as vindictive, spiteful, venomous tormentors, apparently dead set on making our lives a misery and forcing us back to the dark realms of "Indoor Land".

One thing I have learned in my years on this planet, is that most of the problem is caused by the people themselves. Who can blame a wasp for stinging a person who is running round like a crazy person and flaying all their limbs around wildly in the vicinity of the wasp in question! As a child of about six years old I was unfortunate enough to be stung by one of these poor creatures. I was in the close vicinity of it's nest, (albeit unwittingly), and for no obvious reason to a six year old, it flew over and stung me on the hand. At the time it hurt, I cried, and my young male playmate killed the offending wasp, before returning me to my Mum for cuddles, ointments and reassurance. What I did learn from this experience was that moving around rapidly where wasps were flying was not a great idea. From that day on if a wasp flew anywhere near me I simply froze like a statue until it flew away again, and hey, guess what, I haven't been stung since, although I am now nearly 34 years older.

Wasps are actually pretty amazing little creatures if you make the effort to find out more about them. Next time one lands on your hand try examining it more closely without frantically trying to swat it away or kill it. It is also worth bearing in mind that if you do kill or harm a wasp, they will release a chemical signal that alerts the other wasps in the nest, (anything up to 10,000 of them), to send out a rescue mission. Unlike a bee, wasps do not die after stinging once, so potentially you could end up being stung multiple times by many thousands of these creatures. Even after they are dead, their sting can carry on going like a virtual machine gun, so it isn't as simple as just killing the insects, the sting lives on!!!

Of course part of the problem is that towards the end of the Summer these worker wasps have nothing left to do. They have fulfilled their mission of providing insects to feed the young grubs back in the nest, and now the queen has stopped rearing workers, and is concentrating her efforts on producing fertile males, mothers and new queens. To make matters worse she has stopped producing the hormone that keeps the wasp colony together within the nest. Needless to say the worker wasps act like many human males do after they have finished their work, and due to their sweet tooth they tend to head off down to the local pub and go for a beer and a snack, (sadly, in the wasp's case, usually someone else's!) Again, like many men, they become somewhat anti-social, or even aggressive after a few beers, so provoking them is not really a sensible move.

Believe it or not wasps do have their uses, and to lose them would be a tragedy in the food chain. Wasps help to control a host of insect pests in their hunt for food to nourish their hungry grubs back at the nest. If it wasn't for wasps we would be over-run with other less appealing insects that would otherwise destroy crops etc.

Hornets are another victim of bad press. Looking much like a huge ( up to 2 inch) wasp, they are victimised by people even more so, yet are not aggressive unless provoked, in which case they can both sting and bite.

Another common, (and sad) misconception, is the misidentification of hoverflies for wasps. These harmless insects look like a much smaller version of a wasp, but have developed the black and yellow stripes as a form of protection to deter predators. Hoverflies have no sting, do not 'buzz' like a wasp or hornet, and are actually very good for the garden in terms of pollinating plants. There are over 270 varieties of hoverflies in Britain, many of which are migrants from the continent. It is incredible that a creature so small can travel so far, and a tragedy if they are killed by humans who are fooled by their colours, and ignorant of their true nature.

So next time you see a flying black and yellow striped insect in your immediate vicinity, try to curb your desire to swat them away, hit them with rolled up papers, scream out loud or run around flapping your limbs like a demented spider. Not only will this be a big plus for the environment, but you should avoid getting stung as well (plus avoiding the risk of killing the harmless hoverfly)!!! Instead, allow them to enjoy a few mouthfuls of your beer, a snack on your jam and a buzz round your table. They will soon move on, (and once they are slightly drunk they won't be capable of bothering you any more anyway!)

Hornets
Hornets
A Hornet
A Hornet
A Hoverfly
A Hoverfly
A Hoverfly
A Hoverfly

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    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I'll try to follow your advice, Misty, but I'm not so sure I want to share my beer with hoveryflies. I retain the right, however, to swat those menacing mosquitoes before they drive me right out of my mind. You always do nice work.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Cheers William, I don't think Hoverflies will be interested in your beer, only wasps, mosquitoes however are worth a hub unto themselves for being so horrible and irritating :) Glad you enjoyed this hub.

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      ralwus 7 years ago

      Oh boy are they some wicked sisters when they need to be. Frogdropping wrote about her experience with them too, very funny hub I might add. I admire these sisters and their cousin the ants. Good hub Misty.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Ralwus, I don't mind them at all, and ants too, so long as they stay outside of the house.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      I agree with you totally, Cindy, that it is the fault of the people! I have actually released wasps that have been captured under glasses at a beer garden at a pub in Cardiff and the wasps flew off happily, although I got some not so happy looks from other people there. I have tried experimenting too by not shooing the insects away if they come by my glass. I let them take a drink and go on their way and they do not attack if I do this. The ones I see that do go for people nearly always do this if they are hit at or if the people are near the nest.

      Hoverflies are amazing and their larvae do a brilliant job of eating aphids. I have an ongoing colony breeding and living on my balcony and they keep the aphids way down.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Steve, especially as you are confirming the information I am passing on. Wasps are not the bad guys, we simply need to understand them. Hoverflies need even more knowledge and understanding, as they are victims of human ignorance.

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 7 years ago from san diego calif

      Misty I reserve the right to run at top speed from a wasp If there Is more then one In my vicinity ! But this hub was both educational and Interesting

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL, thanks Tony, I shall keep my fingers crossed all the wasps leave you alone or fly with a 'limp', as otherwise I doubt you can outrun them :)

    • sheristeele profile image

      sheristeele 7 years ago from Siler City, NC

      Not sure I can maintain my composure around the wasps.. but Your infomative hub was very well written and kept my interest! THANKS

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Cheers Sheristeele, thanks for the compliment and good luck with the wasps! :)

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      "Wasps are not the bad guys" - I don't think any insects or animals are the bad guys but I can't say the same about humans!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I totally agree with you Steve :)

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      Juanita 7 years ago

      Thanks

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      lola 7 years ago

      I dont know if I want to let a wasp on my body

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      geordierobin 7 years ago

      This is crazy! I only came on here to find out what the crack is with wasps being the devils servants. One came in my kitchen yesterday and i caught it out the corner of my eye hovering, I froze and it proceeded to land on my shoulder, crawl down my arm and plunge its sting into my wrist! first time I have ever been stung. This is because usually I would have ran and got something to knock it into next year with, but being sort of a nature fan and the recent decline in bees and all that I decided against it. Fat lot of good. If you see a wasp run! If its in the house Kill it by whatever means possible. 1 less wasp to ruin somebody's day. I dont mind bee's though.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL geordierobin, clearly not a fan of wasps I can tell. I do admit they seem to be far more aggressive than bees though, but it is worth remembering that if you try to kill them the chemical they give off will attract more to the scene and you could end up with more stings than you bargained for.

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      maisy 7 years ago

      do wasps get used to people

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi maisy, well, not sure about that, but my gut instinct says that with wasps, probably not, but if you don't flap around them they will generally not sting you.

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      Mel 6 years ago

      So.. ok, I'll admit I'm one of those screaming idiots.. but I want to know, how do I discourage them from seeking me out in the first place. I don't use hair products or perfume, or anything sweet smelling.. Yet they constantly find me, even try to land in my hair.. I had one go down my shirt!!! (And of course I freaked and got stung SEVERAL times... it was fall... aggressive season) So how do I keep them away from ME in the first place? I can only find info on keeping them away from the house... Winter and very early spring are the only times I ever feel "safe" enough to do the things I enjoy outside, like camping, hiking... Hard to enjoy camping in 24 degree weather :P

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Good question Mel, I don't know the answer myself, but maybe someone else with have some ideas and post here. Thanks for your input and good luck with those wasps that are targetting you.

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      tjnice 6 years ago

      I cannot get over my fear of wasps.i fly when they get anywhere near me. not good for my son to see but i cant risk getting stung nice info tho:)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Are you allergic to their stings tjnice, it is just you say you "can't risk getting stung", and of course for those who are allergic it can be very dangerous to get stung? It is a shame that your phobia will be passed on to your Son by example though, as even when people are stung by wasps it isn't excruciating pain, more of an annoyance.

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      Coolies 6 years ago

      i hate wasps i couldn't bear to have them on my skin

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I think the fear if getting stung by them is why so many people feel the same way you do Coolies. Thanks for commenting :)

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      Megan 6 years ago

      I am absolutely terrified of wasps. I can't seem to get over my fear, so I've been doing some research and came across your article. The information you provided was very helpful and made me rethink my decision to scream and run away every time a wasp comes near me! I love to lay out by the pool, but wasps seem to always find me, so I do a lot of running away during the summertime. Maybe next time I'll be able to lay still and the wasps will go away. I can only hope!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Good luck Megan, grit your teeth, close your eys and don't flinch, (and try to avoid wearing perfume that might attract them), they soon get bored and move elsewhere. Thanks so much for commenting here :)

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      Natalie 6 years ago

      Just popped on to research the wasp a little more, living in a small village surrounded by countryside there seems to be a large amount of wasps. I am going to relax a little more this summer, there's no escaping them so we will have to get along! I'm also pregnant again so running around like a crazy person is not a good idea. We do need to do more to help the bees though, amazing creatures and very friendly. Enjoyed reading your page, made me smile

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Natalie, so glad you enjoyed this hub, and good luck with your baby. Just chill out re-the wasps, if you stay calm you will most likely not get stung, and as you say, bees are great, (they don't want to die) so all should be kind to them.

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      Jaye 6 years ago

      As a person who grew up on animal planet i never thought of them as bad just more of annoyance. I just stand still if one goes near me or atleast walk away from it... ive only been stung once from what my dad says was a yellow jacket. Was mowing the lawn (the odd thing is there wasn't any nest on the house to idk where he came from) i try to sit on my porch but i tend to see redish looking wasps amongst my floor bed and to make things worse on occasion i see these black/blueish wasps in the floor beed too ><

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I have only ever been stung once too Jaye, and much like you I stand still if one comes near me until it flies away. I love Animal Planet too, so tend to take most creatures in my stride, although I am still rather uncomfortable with spiders, but far better than I used to be. Thanks for your comment and feedback.

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      Zach 6 years ago

      I still can't muster up the courage to stand still. I'm allergic to their stings you see, and I can't help but run. P.S I just got three nests on my front porch, I'm terribly scared!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I can completely understand your fear Zach, not least because you are allergic to their stings. What you have to convince yourself on every level, is that staying still is how to avoid having an allergic reaction to a sting. You could try hypnosis! You could also try getting in the pest control people to move the nests for you. Good Luck.

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      Dylan 6 years ago

      Wow Misty - you've been replying to this post for nearly 2 years now! Look, I wouldn't say I "hate" wasps, but there are principles involved here: if one wasp is annoying you, you as human are well with in your right to let it know - and the wasp should realise it's completely out matched, but they're too primitive to understand! 5 or 6 wasps or a nest is a different story tho!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOl Dylan, I so wish wasps were clever enough to 'understand' but as you agree they don't sadly, scary thing is that if you don't kill one outright it will give off that chemical scent that causes all the rest of the nest to pile in and defend the 'victim wasp'.

      Thanks for your comment though, seriously! :)

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      6 years ago

      I hate wasps and I hate the fact that you are defending these things. I hope you understand that they don't like you so giving these things love has no point. I'm not saying to go out and kill them but there is nothing special or amazing about them. they are just boring asshole bugs

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL 'D' "Love" is a strong word to describe what I feel for wasps. I also think that describing them as having the ability to not "Like" is a bit over the top too. I don't "love" them, and they don't have the capacity to "like" or not "like" me. I choose not to "kill them" because they don't bother me if I react correctly around them, i.e. not panicking, waving my arms around etc. I have encountered thousands of wasps over the years, but have only ever been stung once, and that was when I was under 6 years old.

      I never said they were "special" or "amazing" either, but they are a part of nature, and no matter how much they might annoy us we should stop before we react, and remember, just like us they have a place on this planet and we just have to learn how to act around them, and therefore get along.

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      Melissa 6 years ago

      First of all, I'd like to say that I love that you have replied to all of the comments :-). Second, thank you so much for this article! I, too, am one of the crazy idiots running about with her arms flailing in the air. I am 32 and have never been stung...HOWEVER, I am always the ONLY person they are after (and now I may know why - ha!). Of course, it may be my excessive use of hairspray :-P. My dad is deathly allergic, though, and I am worried I could be, too. I will do my best to stay still next time they are flying near me...but if they try to land on me DEAL'S OFF - LOL!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for the feedback Melissa :) I can see why you could be worried if your Dad is really allergic to wasp stings. Just do your very best to keep as still as you can if they fly near you. I know it isn't easy, but fight your instincts and they will fly away, (I guess not wearing hairspray or perfume in the daytime could well help lol).

      Good Luck

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      Martyn 5 years ago

      I just got stung by a wasp today while walking the dog in the countryside. I was minding my own buisness when I felt something stinging my arm and when I looked it was a wasp. I had to sho it off as it didn't seem to be giving up but I don't think I killed it. I think it's about the first time i've been stung by a wasp though (and lets face it it's not a really bad pain anyway), I normally stand there and leave the flapping to other people which seems to do the trick lol. I've actually been stung by bees a lot more though, but that's always been when I feel something crawling about in my hair etc..... go to move whatever it is that's there and find a bee (can't really blame the bee for stinging me then as it's only defending itself because it thinks it's being attacked)

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      anbo 5 years ago

      I liked your article but you dont consider those with phobias of wasps. What if a wasp is near you then?!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I freeze when a wasp is near me anbo, and I have only ever been stung once, and that was when I was a young kid who instinctively flapped my arms around because I was scared.

      I appreciate phobias, as I am scared of spiders (although I have learned to control this in the same way someone who is scared of wasps can!)

      I feel this article helps people to understand wasps better, and why they behave the way they do (hence the title), so those with phobias not only learn how to act around wasps, but also realise that their phobia is not rational and can be handled if they follow the suggestions here.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I totally agree with you Martyn. Actually I have never been stung by a bee (yet), and utilise the same tactic of freezing still until they fly away. If they persist in flying near my face I will simply move away, but avoid flapping arms around at all costs.

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      lease16 5 years ago

      i have never been stung,and im not really scared of being stung,but i have the worst phobia of wasps, i know its stupid to be scared of them,but i cant even look at the pictures! i stand still when one comes near,or slowly walk away as im too scared to try and flap them away,but im like a magnet to the little beasties! so im interested to hear about any tips to keep them away from me,im so scared that after one landed on my shoe yesterday and slowly walked up my leg onto my shirt,i was a wreck! i cryed was shaking and breathing like a lunatic, it took 2 hours to calm me down! being a keen gardener,i need some tips!!! i tryed vinegar in a tub next to me,and a cheeky wasp got in the tub,walked out and flew away! i have traps and citronella candles...nothing works,i dont have a nest anywhere...but i do have a big problem going outside now...someone help me!!!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Have you tried a basic insect repellant lease16? This might be all it takes. Avoid wearing scents too e.g. aftershaves or perfumes, and if in a high risk environment avoid deodorants etc too.

      I am a very keen gardener as well, but mostly they leave me alone thesedays.

      I hope you manage to get your phobia under control soon :)

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      lease16 5 years ago

      thanks, ill try that...maybe try a hypnotist as well!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hypnosis is definitely worth a try lease16, and could well work if you are susceptible to hypnosis.

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      Sean 5 years ago

      Interesting that you compare the aggressive wasps to men after a few beers, almost all the wasps you are likely to see and certainly all the wasps that will sting you are female. :)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      It was a behaviour comparison based on 'Human' behaviour Sean, in other words mostly it is men (emphasis on the word 'mostly'), that get 'aggressive after a few beers'. It was not a comparison related to different sexes within different species. I hope this clears this up.

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      Natalie 5 years ago

      I've noticed there have been far less yellow jackets in my area over the last few months, not complaining! Could this be because I got rid of my pond? I think the local buzzy insects used it as a drinking spot for 4 years. My fear is still there but I'm learning to control it better, shall see how well I do when the drunken ones are flying around me lol.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Can't speak for the pond removal Natalie, but sincerely hope you don't get any problems with wasps in the future!

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      Pintoman 5 years ago

      I thought the title was funny. Hey, maybe they bother people because they're aggressive! They don't bother me and I think it's pretty funny to watch people flail about at pic-nic tables. I like those hover flies too. I just ran across a few on a backpacking trip, so fun to watch.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Pintoman, I love Hoverflies, but feel bad that so many people try to kill them thinking they are wasps, even though they are harmless and good for the garden.

      The title I totally agree with you on, but unfortunately it was originally "Why do Wasps always bother people", but HP's title tuner suggested adding the word 'aggressive' so I went along with it in order to get higher viewing figures (hopefully).

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      hortensia1 5 years ago

      Well, I also used to live and let live re wasps despite having been stung by wasps which had crawled into my clothing but now I live in southern spain and the local paper wasps have had a field day with me this last week. I must have some nests around my patio as they just fly in and attack, no messing. There is no chance to avoid them - they are the spitfires of the insect world. They specialise in a one/two strike effect which is no fun at all. I am afraid the old spray has got to come out. As I live in the countryside and have only a small patio I feel that they have plenty of choices elswhere so will NOT feel guilty. So any remarks about people being worse than wasps fall on deaf ears after my experiences here! Aggressive little critturs.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I agree a nest is a good idea to get rid of if it is around your home hortensia1, in fact my own Step Dad does exactly this if they are in his garden. I suppose I am referring to individual wasps when they bother you as opposed to large groups.

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      hortensia1 5 years ago

      Hi again. I have just located the wasp nest. Underside of my patio table. When I sat down to eat I was obviously too close and they were defending their nest. still I am defending my 'nest' and have sprayed them. luckily paper wasps only have small nests and this one is new so was only about 2cm across. The stings, though, are very painful and the swelling lasts for days. I do not remember wasp stings in the UK lasting andy longer than a nettle sting. Same chemical of course. Maybe i am a bit allergic but one on a finger also became infected so they are not exactly harmless.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      No, not totally harmless if you have an allergy I agree hortensia1. My Step Dad found a large wasp nest in their outside shed, and he got rid of it with sprays. This year he has had the best crop of eating pears ever, probably because hardly any have been lost to wasp damage. One wasp sting is not a big deal, multiple wasp stings are, so a nest is well worth avoiding or even removing/destroying if it close to your home, (especially if you have young children).

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      craigie 5 years ago

      Im so scared of them which is strange because I'm a bit of a ruffy tuffy lol, but one little wasp turns me into a quivering wreck. I'm sure one day they will cause me to have a heart attack

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I guess that is a proper phobia craigie, a bit like me being scared of spiders. Funny thing is that most people find that when they do get stung for the first time it isn't nearly as bad as they thought it would be pain-wise.I find immediately putting some Aloe Vera sap on to stings or bites from any insect seems to alleviate the pain/irritation within minutes.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Annoying aren't they? I have stopped wearing perfume if I am going to sit outside, but I guess you have to work with nature, not against it. If perfumes, aftershaves, gels etc are attracting them, we have no choice but to either put up with them bothering us, or adapt. Nature usually wins if we don't work with it.

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      zara 5 years ago

      I'm going to have trouble standing there while a wasp is flying around me. When it stung me it felt like a never ending pinch LOL, thanks for the advice I'll try my hardest not to wave my arms in the air.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Good Luck Zara, that really is your best course of action.

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      mackinzie 5 years ago

      a few days ago, i was walking with my friend and 2 wasps or hornets (think they were wasps, my friend described them as small, but it did bite and sting...)came out and stung me and flew away! it hurt a lot, but my best advice is to keep the bite cold for a couple days-i learned that as soon as i tried to rinse my bite off in the hot shower :)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Running cool water or putting an ice pack on the sting will ease the pain for sure mackinzie. You will have been stung, not bitten, as wasps or hornets sting, they don't bite. Try Aloe Vera sap straight from the plant to ease the sting, or Eurax cream is great for stings or bites from any insect. A teabag dunked in hot water and then applied as hot as you can bear it on the sting can draw out the poison too, (leave it on for several minutes).

      Hope this helps if you ever get stung again.

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      dk 5 years ago

      HI Misty,

      I live in Canada and we have an equally bad problem with paper wasp nests in the late summer and early fall. To discourage wasp nest building, we either put a paper bag in a tree or at the edge of th roof, or get a phony wasp nest from the hardware store (more expensive but just as foolproof) Since wasps are territorial, once they see a 'nest' in the vicinity of our yard, they keep away. In the fall especially, since they are much more aggressive, this really helps. I don't like destroying wasp's nests, so this is an effective prevention measure.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi dk, thanks ever so much for commenting. What a wonderful idea, I just love it, wasp friendly and solves the problem of nests in the garden. Thanks for sharing the idea here.

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      JZM 5 years ago

      wasps are cool

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      JZM 5 years ago

      one time when I was 8 years old i was walking in a garden and I saw a live bumblebee flying around and pollinating flowers so I got excited and I proceeded to grab it and the bee let me pick it up and examine it. It was the weirdest experience I have ever had because it should have stung me thinking that I was attacking it.Do you know any reason why it wouldn't have stung me?

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I wish I knew why it didn't sting you JZM, but apart from the obvious fact it would die if it did, I can only assume you must have been very gentle with it, or it was already sickly.

      Cheers for commenting here :)

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      Pont 5 years ago

      When I was a teenager, I stepped outside onto our front porch, and for whatever reason I don't exactly remember, my hand was up in the air. A Yellowjacket proceeded to land on the top of my hand. My instinct, having been told before hand was to literally freeze. I was wearing a short sleeve shirt, and it started to crawl up and down my arm. It tickled, and to make matters worse, it crawled about me for a good 4 minutes. At first I was just numb with fear not thinking anything, then after a minute my arm started to get tired. By the end of the 1st minute, the pain from keeping my arm up started to set it, and I was just thinking "Go away go away go away" over and over. By the 4th minute, I was in agony with keeping my arm up, but it finally got bored and flew away without stinging me.

      Longest 4 minutes of my life, and more relief for escaping unscathed than I've ever felt since.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL Pont, great story and proves they won't sting if you avoid flapping your arms around to shoo them away. Thanks for sharing :)

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      kpzleo 5 years ago

      when i was little my dad was and still is alergic to bees. luckily im not but my dad was swating a bee and it came near me and landed on me and stung ME when i didn't do anything. does anyone know why? also ever since whenever im around bees i freze, hold my breath, close my eyes and put my arms by my side and none has ever stung me since exept for when i stepped on one

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      It possibly stung you because it was already being forced into 'self defence' mode because your Dad was swatting at it. This probably wouldn't have happened otherwise. I am glad to know that you do the sensible thing in general though, and don't flap about. Clearly this technique works because the Bee has no reason to feel threatened and sting you.

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      Scottyukdragon 5 years ago

      Now i feel a lot better about my roofspace being full of them ,, Not !!!! especially as apparently you say there are over 10,000 of them ,,,O M G !!! Help !!!!!!!!!!

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Nightmre Scottyukdragon. I think if they are nesting in your roof already, calling in pest control might be your best option. Then you could try the suggestion from an earlier commenter of putting up a fake wasps nest to discourage new colonies from nesting there again, (they will see the territory as already taken and go elsewhere).

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      Chrissie 5 years ago

      Ive have just been woke up by a wasp in my bedroom at 5am which stung my daughter, my partner did then kill the wasp, I'm just wondering now if that could have been the queen trying to find a new home?

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I hope not for your sake Chrissie. The other possibility is there is already a nest nearby and this wasp was out doing its thing and strayed into your daughter's room.

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      Diane 5 years ago

      So there was a wasp in my house yest. when i arrived at home. My mom picked it up with a towel and then walked downstairs and flushed it. Since then, yest. and now so far all day today, they are hovering outside my window. will they go away? what are they doing?

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Diane, they may go away, or if they still have a queen they may just build another nest instead. Your best bet is to get them treated by a professional exterminator, and when they are gone invest in a few 'fake' nests to place around your exterior walls so any other wasps believe there is already a nest in residence, so move on to find their own territory.

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      Diane 5 years ago

      thank you, and now everytime i go outside to take my dog out, I look up, andthere is another wasp, look up again, and there is another one, i get to my door, and then there are 3 above my head...and everytime i open that window that the other hornet was captured in, they start coming around more and more...i can't believe this...

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      The 'distress' smell they will have emitted when the nest was disturbed will also have called in the others to help defend it. If you follow my advice I am sure the problem will be solved.

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      Yus 5 years ago

      Hi! I was wondering, ever since I was little me and wasps have been on great terms. But not so much with bees, whenever they see me they attack me- just bees. This one time when i was little a couple of bees came at me so my older brother took a dustpan and whacked them away and we ran into the house. They were bashing against the glass door trying to get to me, do you know why this might be? Thank you. By the way, i also have arachnophobia.

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      Yus 5 years ago

      One more thing, when i said good terms with wasps i meant it, i was five years old and they let me carry their nest, i didn't get one sting. it was funny because i brought it into my house and my dad freaked out.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Yus, I have no idea why the wasps left you alone. Perhaps it was 'time of year thing' or based on the weather conditions at the time (but I am guessing). I also have no idea why the bees target you as this is really odd because they sacrifice their lives in order to sting a person.

      I have arachnophobia too, but got it under control by using methods I explain in the following hub:

      https://hubpages.com/health/Scared-of-Spiders...

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      Yus 5 years ago

      I believe it was late summer when i brought inside the wasp nest.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I am not an expert on wasps, but if the weather was cooling down they may have been becoming less active, but honestly that would be a guess on my part.

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      Caris 5 years ago

      I'm terrified of wasps and they always seem to come near me and no one else. I'm wondering if it's just because I notice them more than anyone else, I've never been stung and think that's making it worse. Il try the standing still thing though. I normally squeak and run if I hear anything buzzing, even strimmers 2 doors over lol.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL, those strimmers hurt a lot more if you get 'stung' by one of them. Good luck Caris, remember to freeze like a statue and the wasp will soon move on.

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      dakota 5 years ago

      Haven't you always wanted to know if bees die when they die well read this and you will find out. It's true -- female honey bees die after they sting. Their stingers are actually ovipares, tubular structures extending from the abdomen that sometimes contain eggs.

      When the barbed stinger is left inside the victim, the honeybee mortally tears her abdomen in the process. Alas, she dies. female honey bees die after stinging. Fortunately, honeybees are relatively docile, and only commit suicidal acts when provoked. And they only die if they sting a mammal, because of the thickness of our skin.

      Bees die when they sting you because when they sting you their stingers get caught in your skin. When they fly away, their guts are ripped out (yes it’s disgusting) because half of them is stuck in your skin. Honey bees sting only as a last resort to protect against what they perceive to be a threat to the colony, and yes, stinging is the honeybees death sentence.

      But wasps and hornets can sting as many times as they want. For a honey bee worker it depends on what it stings and how deeply it manages to penetrate. Stings originally evolved to fight other insects.

      When a bee stings another insect it just punches a hole in the insect's hard exoskeleton and has no difficulty withdrawing the sting through the hole it has produced. However, along came mammals which, by a cruel twist of evolution, had an elastic skin.

      If a honey bee stings a mammal the skin closes up around the sting and grips it. If the sting has penetrated far enough for the barbs to be gripped when the bee tries to pull away the sting may be pulled out of the bee's abdomen, together with the venom sac, the muscles that pump the venom and the nerve ganglion controlling the muscles.

      This is why the sting will continue to inject venom after the bee has gone. A honey bee will sting when it perceives a threat to its hive, but when it’s away from the hive foraging, it will rarely sting unless someone steps on it or handles it roughly. And when it does sting, it dies.

      A honey bee's stinger is made of two barbed lancets. When the bee stings, it can’t pull the stinger back out. It leaves behind not only the stinger but also part of its digestive tract, plus muscles and nerves. This massive abdominal rupture is what kills the bee.

      bees sting for self defence and worker bees have no stingers queen bees have curved barbed stingers. All the sterile worker bees exist for the same exact genetic interests of helping the fertile queen they came from do its job of reproducing.

      All the thousand stingers on a giant bee are working for the same exact genetic interests of helping the reproductive organs in the giant bee do their job. Most importantly, neither the stingers on the giant bee, nor the sterile worker bees can pass on the DNA they contain, they can only help other DNA very similar to theirs be passed on.

      well now you have found to your answer on why do bees die after they sting.

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      dakota 5 years ago

      i learnd that my self in 7th grade

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Ummm, thanks for the great info dakota, (I already knew this), but why did you think we were looking for that info on an article about Wasps as opposed to Bees?

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      Littlejadegirl 5 years ago

      We have a wasp nest up under a folded up yard umbrella. It is about 5 ft from our back door. They have been coming back every year for a number of years. We tried the fake wasp nest trick last year and it didn't work. I don't like the idea of killing them, and they've never stung us. I still don't like that I am always having to be so cautious to avoid being attacked in my own back yard.

      Lately every time I go to the outdoor faucet to get water, there is the same wasp there, keeping me from using the faucet. Today my husband killed him, even though I pleaded with him not too. I already knew about the retaliation of the other wasps. I went around to our front door to get back in the house safely. I looked out the back window and saw wasps flying around where the wasp was killed. Another one flew at my window. Will I ever be able to go out my back door again, or do they eventually forget?

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I expect they 'forget' after a while once they feel the threat is gone. This is probably within hours rather than days so I would chill out if I were you. I suspect the fake nest failed because your wasp colony were already established. I would imagine the fake nest idea will only work if there are no nests yet on the premises, otherwise the new nest would be the intruders. Generally the existence of a nest would ensure a new nest was not built, so putting up a fake one when a real one was already in existence would seem 'odd' to the existing colony and probably not taken seriously.

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      AmyP 5 years ago

      I have a small yard full of trees. My husband, 4 year old and I have all been stung, and we were doing nothing but standing outside. I am 22 weeks pregnant and would like to be sure wasp stings would not affect the baby

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Providing you are not allergic personally, I can't imagine it would be a problem to your unborn baby (but probably best to check this with a doctor or midwife). If you have all been stung it is likely there is a nest very close by, in which case you might want to consider getting it removed to avoid future stings.

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      Jman 4 years ago

      I live on the third floor of an apartment and trees surround my balcony and wasp are always flying from leaf to leaf in search of bug prey but mostly stay away from my balcony window, except when it is really hot here. Then they ocasionally try to get into the window because they feel a slight cool draft at the door edges, but have only had one get in and was not aggressive and had to do was slowly walk up and swat it with a broom and knocked it to the floor and then it was game over ! Now its nats once in a while that pester me and my beer then clap your hands and plat... its gone. To catch a fly on the wall slowly move your hand near the back side of it and in and upward swoosh of your hand over the fly you can catch it and let it loose or your choice slam it on the ground to daze it and then the shoe works just fine.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Nice and useful comment Jman, thanks for sharing :)

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for commenting Kae-cee, nice to know you haven't been stung due to the 'freezing' method. Just goes to show it works.

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      tt 4 years ago

      im 13 and got stung a few weeks ago due to a nest of i think wasps in our gutter. i knew they were their so i guess i provoked a defender scout guy from my fear. i swear i barely moved our outdoor trashbin, and i hear lour buzzing and a wasp comes for my face killer fast. our terminex guy got rid of the nest buy im still scared to death when i have to go move the bins. i can freeze with bees but with wasps i totally freak out. why?!!!!

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi tt. It is not surprising you are now scared of wasps after being stung once, but also bear in mind we are constantly surrounded by people telling us 'bees rarely sting unless provoked, wasps sting without provocation'. This is not strictly true, (at least the latter part certainly isn't), if you forget everything you have been told and stay calm, even a wasp will not just land on you and sting you. You were stung due to what you were doing at the time. Had you simply been standing there and not doing anything and ignoring the wasps you would have been just fine. Remind yourself of this next time one is buzzing around you and you won't get stung :)

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      tt 4 years ago

      wow really? i feel bad for having their nest removed now :(

      but they would ignore everyone else. it was always me they were attracted to. I've always had that affect on nature related things. like i have a green thumb, get along with animals, but my panic attack apparently sent the guy into a raging frenzy.

      I'm gonna try to do this. thank you :)

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      tt 4 years ago

      but u should have seen me. when i saw him coming i ran for my life screaming like a maniac! but at some point it left and i was just running around screaming making a complete fool of myself to all the neighborhood. (since they didn't see anything following me) i ran to the front of my house and tried to break down our door. my mom finally decided to open the door and saw the sting on my face -.-

      everyone always said: their harmless. they dont bite. they're more scared of you.

      well he attacked me. even though it was partially my fault i guess, lol

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      tt 4 years ago

      oh btw, anyone who ever gets stuck, do not be putting chemicals on it. aloe vera and/or honey are better, my mom put fresh aloe vera from our plant and it soothed the stinging sensation within a minute,

      and the mark and swelling disappeared within an our. the experience just freaked me out. lol

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Yes, Aloe Vera works a treat for stings, and I am sure if the circumstances had been different you would not have been stung, but hey, we all live and learn, and next time you will know what to do :)

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      Oz 4 years ago

      I was stung by a wasp a few days ago for no reason. I was not screaming or moving fast. I was enjoying a conversation with my sister and I got stung in my finger. I screamed so loud and saw it on my finger. I kept shaking and shaking my finger until it left. It was a very painful experience.

      I also don't like the suggestion of sharing my drink with a creature who could pollute my drink or food. Hence, I am not convinced with the article.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I am sorry you got stung Oz, but this is incredibly unusual in cases where people are behaving calmly unless they were wearing perfume, aftershaves, possibly lotions handcreams? or any other scented and unnatural products.

      Why would you assume a wasp would 'pollute your drink or your food'? Wasps are not flies, they don't spend their time on dog mess or other nasty places. On the contrary, wasps will usually be around flowers and plants, sweet tasting liquids etc. Honestly you need to re-read this with an more open mind and apply some basic knowledge as to what wasps actually 'eat' and the fact they carry no more bacteria than a child's hands do (in fact no doubt much less).

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      St. Lunatic 4 years ago

      Very interesting page. And some of these stories made me just about bust a gut laughing. Not that I'm poking fun at anyone - its just - I know what its like to be out mowing the lawn and a huge B-20 bomber of a hornet started dive bombing me a few years back. I am allergic to wasps and do all my yard work, at least I did, but anyway when this hornet kept dive bombing me I let go of the mower and it was a self-running kind that I had clipped the handle to keep it from dying since its so hard to start again and I hit the ground kissing the dirt hoping it would get away. Instead a few neighbors must of got a good laugh as they watched me hit the deck and my mower running across my huge front yard and into a tree. I'm not as afraid of bees but the wasp and hornets in this town are like crazy - they act different every year. One year I had these huge hornets at my back door screen, 3 of them and my dogs had to pee really bad when we woke up. I couldn't get the things off the screen for 1/2 hour - I told my poor dogs - pee on the kitchen floor if you can't hold it cause these monsters want to get in here with us. I watched thru the glass door for a chance to get my poor dogs out but these hornets kept body slamming themselves into the glass at my face level. Freaked me out - never seen them do that. And then they started crawling to the edges of screen like looking for a way to get in. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't having a bad dream. I called exterminator out that day to spray my property - He said there were a lot of complaints like mine in the area that started earlier that week - he thought it was weird too. I've now become a prisoner in my own home the last few summers because I was diagnosed with a blood-clotting disorder related to Lupus. I had a stroke and then they figured out I had Lupus Anti-DNA clotting disorder that caused it. Now my doctor said that if I use my Epi-pen the chances are very high I will have a massive heart attack from the epinephrene shot. So now I see all wasp, hornets, bees as bullets flying around me and I'm in a war zone. If they sting me I sufficate to death from allergic reaction - no hospitals close by here. Or if I use my Epi-pen I can have a heart attack. Can't win for losing man. It seems i can only choose how I will die - smother or cardiac arrest .I got rid of my lawn - bought a bee keeper suit so I can spray down nests and water my floweres gardens, (neighbors freaked out at 1st but its a conversation starter) I've met a lot more people curious when they are walking their dogs past my house and catch the crazy women in her white full body straight jacket watering the lawn. I don't go outside except to fill bird feeders - clean up after dogs area. This year I had a good size nest on front porch and sprayed the crap out of it with hornet spray, but I decided to leave nest there, not knock it down. I spray it every few weeks with more wasp/hornet spray and I gotta say this year I havent' seen many wasp/hornets like in the past. Could be a fluke of nature or maybe a nest in the yard keeps others away. And this is a real nest not a paper waspinator nest. I am experimenting. Cause my situation stinks and I have a 6 year old grandson and I try to teach him not to be scared - even though I'm terrified since dr. said no epi-pen for me. But despite this I laughed really hard at the other runner stories, cause I've been there and you have to laugh at yourselves once your done being scared. Good luck to all us bee/wasp/hornet phobes!!! God help us!

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      A truly great comment St. Lunatic, you really did manage to make me laugh at the same time as I truly sympathised with your predicament. I hope your Grandson does not end up suffering from the same allergy, and that he does manage to cope with being around wasps or hornets. Sounds like you are handling your situation very well all in all :)

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      ST. Lunatic 4 years ago

      Thanks for your comment. Its hard having these issues and a lot of people don't understand. I forgot to mention that I attract these critters to me even when I don't move or run. I've tried everything over the years and friends of mine that thought I was exaggerating at some point got a chance to see that these things and mosquitos as well are just attracted to me. (I'm allergic to mosquito bites too) . But that didn't start till after I had my daughter, like something hormonally was now different that attracts those to me. But you can pop a benydryll asap and keep it from swelling to the freak size of Mr. Olympias bi-cepts. And a tips for gardners is do gardening on overcast/light sprinkle days in spring/summer: weeds come out easier, its cooler to work in and less wasps and bees out when there is some clouds above. Also cover your drinks when outside because stings to the tongue are usually the most fatal since your throat can become obstructed much faster. So no open pop cans outdoors. they can sneek in quickly and be furious when you try to wash them down unsuspectingly. Leave you with a little treat (funny/scary true story.): Years ago in the early fall my friend and I were in a cemetary doing a black and white photo essay on masoleums/cemetaries and crow gatherings .I walked up to the door of a really cool victorian one and had not noticed the buzzing till I got to the door where I was gonna prop up my huge fake raven (His name is Poe and he looks real) lol. My friend was about 60 feet away setting up tripod and looked up to see me walking very slowly and stiffly away from the area toward where my truck was parked. He kept hollering my name and I just ignored him and got in my truck. I was surrounded by thousands of huge black wasps that had made a home in a crack on that masoleum, I walked right up to it and froze as I realized there were thousands of them crawling all over the cracked wall about 8 inches from my face and then the drone of buzzing I heard all around me . They were in the air all around me too and the buzzing was now like a jet engine in my ears. God, only my eyes moved in my head as I was frozen to the spot with my mind racing and my eyes moving very slowly to to see that I was trapped in my worst nightmare. All I could think was DON'T SCREAM, DON'T SCREAM, DON'T RUN, DON'T RUN and I wasn't even sure if I was saying those words in my head or screaming them as I tried to slowly move away and out of the cloud that surrounded me for at least 30 feet or more. My friend finally came to the truck door to realize that he was locked out and I was sitting in there frozen and unable to move or speak (like that kid on Jeepers Creepers, Darious). He kept banging on window and I finally snapped out of it and said ,"get in quick." I told him what happened and he went back to investigate despite my warning not to: I told him if that nest attacks you I can't save your butt and you won't deserve to be saved for doing a jackass stunt like walking up into a huge nest of wasps, knowing that they may attack feeling threatened by you. He went anyway. But God protects fools. He grabbed our equipment and came back knowing I wasn't gonna be getting out of that truck to shoot any pictures in that place. As we were driving away he said, " I can't believe how many wasps were there , I've never seen so many in one place and he didn't even walk all the way up to the crack in the wall, his common sense kicked in just in time. Then he says," I was wondering why you were all frozen and then walked away with your eyes just about bugging out of your head- pale as a sheet, you looked like a bloody zombie walking to your truck. Then we both busted up laughing so hard, but as we were leaving the cemetary traveling down a treed path about 1/2 mile from the wasp nest, all of a sudden wasps started banging into my truck windsheild and more started coming and surrounding my truck and landing on it as I was going maybe 3-4 miles an hour down the little road among the tombstones and even my friend was like, " What the hell, what are they doing?" And I said ,"they are always like this with me, they just keep coming, that's why I got in truck asap." So I have always wondered if they can sense fear - that day was one of my top 2 most frightening encounters. And I am actually surprised that I didn't piss or crap my pants. No really! If those things would have swarmed they would have killed both of us - even though my friend isn't allergic, that many stings would kill anyone. So watch out for those scary old masoleums, cause I almost became a real life scary movie that day. Happy Halloween everybody!

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      So glad you are here to tell the tale. I especially understand the mosquito thing, as they seem to target me too. Apparently Mozzies find women softer skinned than men, therefore we get more bites (so unfair). I am lucky in the wasp/bee dept as in spite of being an avid veggie gardener I have only ever been stung once, and that was when I was a child, and by a wasp. Even now I can be picking beans etc, surrounded by bees, and they leave me well alone. I totally understand your fear though, because you know what happens if you get stung, and that fear is a natural reaction designed to protect you. I don't know if they would attack a 'fearful' person (not least because a fearful person is surely no threat to them, so it is not logical). Who knows, maybe we never will, but right now I just make sure I am 'careful' and avoid stings. Even today I found what was probably a dying bee on its back by my runner bean plants (probably because Autumn is near). Poor thing was trying to right itself but couldn't, so just in case it had a chance of survival I used a picked runner bean to tip it the right way up again. I have no idea if it survived, but I doubt it did.

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      St. Lunatic 4 years ago

      Your right - I've never heard a guy say,"Wow, those mosquitos are eating me alive!" It's always women who get chewed up in the summer. Poor little honey bees, I actully like them, they are quite cute. Wasp and Hornets have always made my skin crawl - They just look creepy with those thin bodies and long dangling legs. And the Hornets with their armored bodies look like bullies on steroids. Honey bees have cute puffy, fluffy little chubby bodies. I don't blame you for trying to help save it.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi St. Lunatic, I am a softy over virtually all wildlife and frequently save trapped butterflies and moths from my greenhouse too. Even spiders that venture into our house (and which I am scared stiff of) only ever get caught in a glass and put outside because I won't kill them, (luckily all our spiders are non-venomous here). I have to agree with you that bees are far more cute than wasps and hornets, plus bees do such a fantastic and essential job in our gardens that I actively do my best to encourage them wherever possible.

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      aramara 4 years ago

      After being chased by a tarantula hawk (which I would rather prefer to avoid being stung by one since its sting is said to be excruciatingly painful...) I stumbled upon this page.

      I was searching for why wasps chase me (I have yet to know the answer). They have done so my entire life. I've often had them stuck in my hair.

      Bumble bees also have an attraction to me. I have had staring contests with them. They like to be about an inch or two from my face, and they stare at me. I stare at them. I try to move out of the way, and they proceed to follow me... (directly in front of my face).

      It's rather creepy, and I've had other witnesses claim it was rather creepy to watch too...

      Unfortunately, I have a rather intense phobia of wasps (especially). The more I learned about them, the worse this phobia became.

      I am not so scared of bees or bumblebees (though I would rather not have them crawling all over me or limiting my vision).

      Honeybees leave me alone. I used to have a fear of them too (the fear of the sting), but this fear subsided as I found they left me alone (for the most part).

      I don't wear anything scented. I don't drink sugary drinks. I prefer water. I always have. I wear plain clothes. I even tried to give myself that beekeeper look by going all white. It doesn't make a difference.

      Most days I feel like a prisoner in the home. If I so much as see a wasp in the vicinity, these days, I retreat indoors.

      I've done the following: run (which logically is pointless as I know they are much faster than me), scream (which is more instinctive than anything else), wave my arms (which provides much comic relief to others around me) etc...

      In those situations I have NEVER been stung (oddly enough).

      I have been stung one time in my life... I was 9 years old. I didn't know a wasp was there. I was taking a stroll with my sister down the street. First she got stung 3 times. I was then stung.

      We didn't hear or see anything (very weird).

      My sister pointed to the ground. Breathing quite heavily was a small wasp. It then flew away (rather swiftly). There was only one. There was no nest in the vicinity.

      To this day... I don't know what provoked the sting...

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      How very strange, you sound like you are a bit of an anomaly. Thanks so much for your comment and anecdotes :)

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      Keenan 4 years ago

      What a load of tosh. Wasps are evil, simple as. And i must refute the claim that if you kill one 10000 are going to suddenly be on the case. I've killed many with no further problems. I've been stung for no logical reason before and by the sounds of it so have many others. I would not call that an anomaly! P.s I have nothing against hoverflies as they are pretty chilled and easily identifiable :)

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thank you for your opinion and thoughts Keenan. Glad you can recognise hoverflies and leave them alone at least. In fairness I work in gardens all the time and in my entire life have only ever been stung by a wasp once, which was when I was a child and knew no better than to flap my arms around trying to get it to leave me alone.

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      Emma 4 years ago

      I appreciate your article, and today either a hornet or a hoverfly (I'm now starting to think it was a hoverfly) landed on my arm. I'm incredibly scared of wasps/bees but I managed to stay still, until it started crawling up my wrist. That's when I lost it, and became a flailer. Do I just brush it off, or flick it, or what? Thanks!

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Emma, you don't do anything, just relax, watch the wasp or bee (or whatever else it might be that is harmless like a hoverfly), and sooner or later it will fly away leaving you unharmed. It is the flailing, brushing it off, flicking it etc that causes the stingers to actually sting you.

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      Carol 3 years ago

      Misty....I appreciate your wisdom here and thanks to all for the stories and comments! I am absolutely terrified of yellow jackets - and now, late summer here I am trying to enjoy my last days of summer and here they are! Not many..but even ONE flying around sends me indoors! And I cannot even get groceries until dusk - they lurk at my car. And they have that sideways back and forth ready to attack pose...I'm thinking they know I'm afraid. I was only stung once when I was little and it was not bad at all. I so wish I could get over this......thanks to everyone! PS - I do not wear perfume or bright colors...I am blonde, though...;) do they like that hair color? lol

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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Carol, re-hair colour, good question. I am fair haired, but I can't say I notice any major difference between the attention they pay to me and the attention they pay to 'non-fair haired' people.

      So far (apart from my young one-off childhood sting) I have never been stung since. I stick to the 'not flapping my hands' method, and never try to kill the wasps.

      Wasps actually do help with pest control on vegetable allotments too, so this is yet another reason to tolerate them and attempt to avoid panicking around them.

      To get to 43, work outdoors most of the time (surrounded by wasps and bees) and socialise in outside restaurants/hotels where wasps are everywhere, yet never get stung apart from the one time when I was a young child seems to prove that we just need to exhibit the correct behaviour if we want to avoid being stung.

      Simple :)

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      Carol 3 years ago

      Misty..thank you for your reply! Are you speaking of wasps or those yellow jackets? I know they are the same 'family, but those yjs are especially annoying come mid-August..they only 'appear' and it's scary. I have conquered my fear of all other summer bees finally. But those things are so frightening. I was outside today and no one else was bothered but I reacted and went inside behind a screen...perhaps I just notice them more than others. OMG...I want to get over this...where are you located? Again, I am so appreciative of your comments and experience. Thank you...

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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I am not sure I would know the difference between a Yellow Jacket and a standard wasp to be honest Carol, we get so many types of wasp and we do also get hornets which are like very large wasps. I am located in Guernsey in the Channel Islands where the mild climate seems to make the island a perfect haven for all sorts of wildlife, including wasps and bees.

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      Anon123 3 years ago

      Those pictures give me panic attacks, that's how far my phobia has spread.

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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      That is a real shame Anon123, as wasps are so very useful in the garden and destroy numerous pests, plus pollinating important vegetable crops. Generally they will buzz around you for about 20 seconds or so before flying away (assuming you don't panic and start flapping your hands and arms around). Try it, you should quickly feel much more relaxed around them. If they are too close to your face for comfort, then just quietly stand up and walk away a few metres until they move on.... at all costs do NOT flap your limbs around if you don't want to be stung.

      Good Luck

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      Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      I'm actually the same as Anon123 - wasps and bees are my biggest phobia. Anytime I see any sign of nests or hives, I phone the Environmental Health to come and get them killed. I always have a huge supply of anti-wasp and bee chemicals for the summer to spray in profusion anywhere near where they may exist. I don't care how good they are for plants, I'm afraid - I just want all the buzzing vermin killed...

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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      But they aren't vermin:( and if we all did that then we would equally all soon starve due to lack of pollination on our essential crops). Bees are particularly unlikely to sting you, so why kill them when there are professionals who can come and remove them for you and relocate them somewhere else along with their queen, so avoiding you having to be concerned by their presence, but equally not contributing to the already declining bee population? Phone any local bee keepers group and they will happily take the bees away for you free of charge rather than see you kill them.

      Spiders are still my biggest fear, but I never ever kill them because I know it isn't their problem I am scared of them, it is my problem!

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      St. Lunatic 3 years ago

      Hello everyone, just thought I would let all of you know how my experiments with keeping wasps from nesting on my house have been going. I don't think I've been here for over a year. Anyway, tis the season of fear for all us people who are allergic or afraid of wasps, hornets and bees. I have constant nest issue under the roof overhang, fascia board areas of my house and I don't like to use poison constantly so here are my 2 best tips from my time experimenting. First I tried hanging a gold or silver ball christmas ornament in the roof corners and this seemed to work great, not one nest. One of the balls fell off during a big storm and all that was left hanging was the little metal cap and surprise, surprise! They still stayed away from that area. Tip number 2, I had 2 wasp nests under roof in front porch and I sprayed them with wasp spray and left the nest intact. Then once a month I hit that nest with a lttle wasp spray and No Wasps have set up shop in the front of my house. I still get panicked if I see a lot of hornets around so I might even hit the ornaments with some wasp spray once in awhile . Well I wish all of you luck and hope this may help some of you. I would rather have a pretty sparkled christmas ball hanging from my roof fasica board than have to use poison every few days trying to knock down the constant nest building that goes on here in the past summers. Cheers all!!

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      Mr.CSG 2 years ago

      Great post Misty,

      Your dedication to responding is admirable, and in turn, has made me feel compelled to say so.

      I'll definitely try and be more accepting of wasps in the future. They are 1 of only 2 creatures I would ever harm, mosquitos being the other, (I reserve the right to kill anything and anyone who tries to steal my blood whilst I sleep) and of course the occasional accidental snail "Sorry Mr Snail! :("

      My father, who is a funny character deploys a shouting tactic which surprisingly seems to work. He simply shouts "Get out!" With an almost rumbling, deep loud voice and off the fly to my amazement. I have no idea if they can hear him but it seems to work for him.

      Thanks again for the read,

      Kind regards

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      Cindy Lawson 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Not sure what you meant about 'blatant sexism' Ro so have had to delete your comment because this article is about wasps and obviously it is impossible to show blatant sexism on such a topic.

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      Caitlin 2 years ago

      Hello! I like that you are very real about the wasps in this blog. In general, I also try to slowly move away from the area (in case I'm near a nest) when a wasp is buzzing around my head, but other that that I heartily agree with what you've said.

      I did want you to know that one of your pictures is mislabeled. The large 'hornet' on someone's arm at the end is actually a wasp-mimicking moth, probably in the family Sessidae. You can tell from the antennae, and because it is much fuzzier looking than a wasp would be. Probably still good to include so it doesn't freak someone out though!

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      Cindy Lawson 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Caitlin, when I get a moment I will change the image for a different one just to keep the article on subject

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      Sonny 22 months ago

      Hi Misty, nice info but the thing is, no matter how many times a wasp goes near me (On a Bus, in the house, out with friends and so on) it comes after and stings me. I stand still and they sting whichever piece of flesh they can find, I must have been stung at least 25 times, what could it be?

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      Sonny 22 months ago

      Hi, nice info but no matter what i'm doing, if i'm out with friends, on the bus, with a group of friends or so on, it comes after and 99% f the time stings me. I just stand there and let it really because I don't want to look stupid with a wasp around me. I must have been stung at least 25 times but what must it be? Any idea

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      Cindy Lawson 22 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Tricky to answer that one Sonny, unless you are wearing something scented that is attracting them e.g. Aftershave, certain deodorants etc. You could try changing these things to other brands, and even consider changing the brand of washing powder you use in case that is the problem.

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      Sonny 22 months ago

      Thanks, will try to make changes, it happened today again haha but they are

      very interesting creatures. Great work by the way, I can see how much time you have put into these pages so thank you for that also.

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      Cindy Lawson 22 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thank you for the lovely compliment Sonny, and good luck with your wasp problem. I hope you manage to resolve it :)

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      Karen 11 months ago

      I really hate wasps have been stung many times 2 of them being a nasty reaction one time got stung on my arm 3 times so it swelled up, nxt one i got stung on the back of my arm on a day out 3 days later ended up having a neck abcess drained under GA as the venom went to my neck & caused a abcess so my fear has not gone away i try to stand still but hate them & move slowly away but they still seek me out

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      Candace Maree 11 months ago

      I just wanted to thank you for this information! I'm a painter and I have been doing exterior work on an apartment building that has a LOT of nests on the building (mostly under the open roofs for the porch/deck and doors.) I've already counted 14 nests! Some almost thr size of a softball! Anyway, It really helped me understand what I was doing wrong to try to deter them and why they're so hostile towards me. It's caused a ridiculous amount of stress and unproductive hours trying to work around these guys! :-( Do you have any suggestions on how I finish this job without getting lit up with stings at the same time? (BTW I'm moderately allergic. I was stung by a sweat bee 8 days ago and the sting site is STILL swelled and itchy. I can't imagine what a few hundred wasps, stinging multiple times, would do to someone like me!) :-( I read somewhere about hanging paper bags? Or wearing red? Any legitimacy to these, that you know of? Thanks in advance for any pointers you can offer me!

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      Cindy Lawson 10 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      You can buy fake wasps nests or use a brown paper bag tied with string to look like a wasps nest. It can deter the wasps from nesting in the same vicinity as they see the fake nest as competition. In the meantime avoid aftershaves and try not to panic when they are around you. If they don't receive aggression from you they are far more likely to leave you alone.

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      Jon 10 months ago

      I can honestly say i cannot stand wasps

      I find them naturally aggressive for no reason. I have an immense fear due to one getting inside my t shirt as a child and getting stung multiple times. Since then i am petrified. I find that even keeping still that they will still attack for no reason. I dont like them and have tried ways of being ok with them but have given up. Wasps just interfere, sting for no reason and upset lots of people.

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      Kirk 10 months ago

      I was stung on numerous occasions as a young child (primary ground wasps) and as a young Adult a few more times when I was working over the summer at a fair (lots of cotton candy and lots of wasps)… Then nothing for… about 35 years and in the last 8 days I have been stung 3 times (while down town) no nests and the only time I saw the wasps on all three occasions was after I had been stung. I don’t know if all of a sudden I am giving of a sent that they don’t like or what but I am starting to change my view from “don’t bug them they won’t bug you” to “spawns of the devil”.

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      jim 3 months ago

      love it !

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      Laura morrow 4 weeks ago

      I would throw gasoline on their nests & set them on fire! Wasps are garbage eaters, they destroy honey bees & bumble bees nests! I see no good function for them.

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