A wasp sting can spoil a picnic or an afternoon at camp. It can really hurt!
The good news is that you can reduce your risk of getting a wasp sting by taking some common sense precautions.
Wasps are territorial creatures. The theory is that if there is another wasp nest nearby, they will stay away.
You can make your own fake nests by inflating brown paper bags with air and tying them closed.
That's a good question! We have tried using both paper bags and the Waspinator.
There are lots of different wasp traps on the market. Most of them involve luring wasps and bees into a bottle filled with sugary liquid.
The insects get trapped and drown in the liquid.
The sugary liquid definitely does attract wasps and bees.
The design of the bottle does prevent them from getting out.
However, since bees and wasps can smell sweets from a long way away, you may be attracting more than you trap.
When we tried this, we trapped lots of bees - but were bothered by many more.
It can't hurt to try one of these, though. They are quite nice to look at!
In spite of your best efforts, wasps and bees may invade your campsite.
You can still minimize your chances of getting a wasp sting.
Bees and wasps sting in defence. They are not biting you or feeding on your blood like mosquitoes do. They are just trying to warn you away from their territory.
The best way to avoid being stung is to avoid attracting them to you, and let them know you are not a threat.
Wasps and bees feed from flowers.
Let them know that you are not a flower!
Don't wear brightly colored clothing - especially floral prints!
You don't want to smell like a flower, either!
Wear long-sleeved tight-fitting clothes to prevent wasps from flying inside your clothing.
Wear shirts with tight cuffs, and tuck your pants into your socks.
This is an especially great idea for those who are allergic to stings, or for small children (and others!) who have a particular fear of being stung.
Be especially alert when eating sugary foods and drinks.
Look at your can or bottle before you put it to your lips. There may be a wasp inside the rim!
As soon as you finish a drink, rinse out the empty glass or can.
Don't leave food scraps sitting around.
Clean up immediately after a meal.
Don't leave fruit peels or pits out.
Wrap up your garbage and dispose of it as soon as possible.
If a wasp or bee does fly around you, resist the obvious temptation to run - or to slap it.
Stand still and breathe quietly.
Once the bee or wasp realizes that you are not a flower or a threat, it will leave.
If you follow these suggestions, you probably won't be stung by a wasp - but if you are, visit this page to learn about wasp sting first aid.