Friday, May 13, 2011

This Wasp is a Yellowjacket

When it comes to wasps, people who don't like them don't like them a lot!  A Yellowjacket is a type of wasp. With its potential to be nasty and dangerous, they make us avoid them at all costs.  Even though we can logically say that it's a small insect and its sting are no big deal - the irrational fear of wasps can make one react dramatically.

Yellowjackets are common throughout Newfoundland in summer, though not enough to impede most folks.  They will be most noticed in early summer when searching for a place to build or late summer when searching frantically for rare nectar.  If you camp or sit outside with food they will be attracted to sweet things.  Wasps will mostly not bother you - but sometimes whether you wave your arms wildly or stand still, one will make you a target.  They can sting as a many times as they like and do not die from the act of stinging.  Your best bet - move slowly and gain some space from them.  If you react to the sting get help immediately.

You'll find wasp nests in dry, undisturbed places.  Before you move the overturned boat in mid-summer take a quick peek inside. Some are also built into the ground.  If you find one it's best to have pest control remove it.  If you're adventurous the small beginning ones (baseball sized) can be destroyed at a safe distance with a water hose. If it's football sized - danger!

Wasps are excellent pollenators and we need them.  Take care to avoid contact this summer.

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