We all know them. We all hate them. Wasps are a menace to every sugary drink swilling, ice cream licking, and window opening person at this time of year. They are the culprits of many death defying seated dances of fear seen in offices with open windows everywhere and the cause of millions of smashed ornaments and photo frames. People are scared of them and people don’t like being scared.
The common wasp, or ‘yellowjacket,’ is found in the Northern Hemisphere and has been introduced to Australia and New Zealand. It builds nests in hollow trees and abandoned mammal holes in the ground and houses a Queen wasp who is often the only fertile female among 10,000 worker wasps in a colony. Their colony is made up of the Queen, who is a birth machine, workers who look after the young and protect the Queen and foragers. It is these foragers which cause us the most grief on a hot sunny day. With the following advice you can avoid further terrorization.
Don’t Attack Them
The worst thing you can do is attack a wasp. In general you will not have any problems with wasps if you leave them alone. They are not vampire bats out to suck your blood. They are just looking for food. With this in mind, if you do get annoyed by a wasp buzzing around you, the chances are you have something it wants. Try moving away for a minute so that it loses interest. If it follows you stand near something sweet smelling like some flowers or a sugar bowl, so that you seem less inviting. Or spray yourself with some deodorant. Again, try not to anger it.
If you’re stuck inside and really can’t get away from your new friend, wait for it to settle nearby and cover it with a glass or cup. Without lifting the vessel, slip a narrow piece of paper under the lip catching the wasp inside. Now all you need to do is take it outside and it is free. If you really annoy it and it becomes aggressive, you may have to be aggressive back, use a strong piece of disposable paper, (a rolled up magazine is best,) and wait for it to land on a flat surface. Make sure to hit it first time or it will just get angrier.
Try closing your windows or conservatory doors securely if you are inside and you fear wasps coming in. If you are outside, wear some insect repellant or limit any food you may have to the minimum. So if you are having a picnic, try keeping everything in a cool box. Finally, if your tiny tormentor is just not going away, you have only one option. Run for it!