How To Avoid Wasp Stings and Still Save Pollinating Wasps

Brown_Paper_Wasp

Wasps are super important for the environment – they function as pollinators and also consume other insects. I love the wasp photo above as you can see the pollen on his bottom and legs. What is interesting about a wasp is that while it might be one of the smallest creatures in our garden, it is also one of the most feared. Here is the news – killing a wasp is unnecessary unless you have them stinging and swarming near you, your pets, or your children. I am severely allergic to their sting, but since I had one traumatic swarm incident when I was young, I have never been stung again. Here are a few steps I take to make sure I avoid getting stung by a wasp while not having to kill or harm the insect.

How To Avoid A Wasp Sting

When you see a wasp -

  • Do not run.
  • Do not swat.
  • If there are only one or two wasps, stay calm and keep your body very still like a statue. Wait for the wasps to fly off.
  • If there is a swarm of wasps and they have stung already, calmly cover your face with your hands and slowly back away from the swarming wasps. Do not run even though you feel panicked. Seek treatment immediately.

When a wasp lands on you -

  • Do not run.
  • Do not swat.
  • Gently wipe the wasp off of you with a paper or cardboard or something that is not your hand.
  • Slowly walk away without panicking.

Eliminate the things that wasps are attracted to near public areas to prevent stings. This includes-

  • rotting garbage
  • fruit from fruit trees and at picnics
  • sweet foods and drinks
  • compost piles
  • heavy perfumes
  • pet food left outside

While I would prefer you do not kill your wasps, it is sometimes necessary. Therefore, if you must kill a wasp, it is much safer to use a trap rather than insecticide. While the insecticide is deadly to the wasps, it is also harmful to humans when inhaled and not good at all for the environment.

How To Build An All Natural Wasp Trap With No Insecticide

  1. Get an empty two-liter plastic bottle.
  2. Cut the top third off of the bottle and turn it upside down.
  3. Insert the upside down  portion into the bottle.
  4. Tape the bottle pieces together.
  5. Fill with fruit juice to attract wasps.
  6. Hang the bottle near the nest and away from high traffic areas in your garden. (Hanging it after dark means the wasps will be less active and not as likely to sting.)
  7. Wasps enter the upside down cone, but cannot find a way out.

Once the wasps are removed, you might want to collect and save the empty nest, be sure to view it in warm weather to make sure all the wasps are gone before handling. Earlier this season I showed how my friend Austin made Wasp Nest Mobile out of his collected wasp nests.

Remember when a wasp comes near you to be cautious, be calm, and be still. Avoid wasp sting and save the wasps whenever possible by following the above tips on what to do when a wasp is near you. Only kill the wasps as a last resort; they help mother nature and we want to keep them as pollinators and friends to the garden.

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