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SpannerInTheWerks
19th Oct 2018, 16:03
I was fighting off a wasp trying to share my beer when I thought - what use is a wasp anyway?

A bee, yes, but a wasp ... ?

Similar conversation ensued in the pub afterwards.

There must bee a scientific answer of course - but it's hard to reconcile with the nuisance they cause.

rogerg
19th Oct 2018, 16:07
I did hear that wasps are more use than bees at pollinating crops. Still a nuisance tho.

BehindBlueEyes
19th Oct 2018, 16:14
This explains quite well why they are a nuisance in the late summer. Having read it, i actually felt quite felt sorry for wasps.

https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/discover/in-your-garden/article/154

nonsense
19th Oct 2018, 16:28
Evolution doesn't require a "use" or purpose, just a niche.

lomapaseo
19th Oct 2018, 16:44
They keep amateurs from painting the outside of the house

SkodaVRS1963
19th Oct 2018, 17:01
Where insects are concerned, I am very much a "they're God's creatures, treat them accordingly".

Wasps are the sole exception. I don't know what purpose they serve, horrible, permanently angry things.

Come to think of it, a bit like my wife actually.......

izod tester
19th Oct 2018, 17:23
Wasps kill a lot of grubs to take to their nests to feed their larvae. A lot more plant damage would occur without their intervention. It is only in the late summer that they become a nuisance.

pax britanica
19th Oct 2018, 17:48
As a wasp hater I used to feel the same way but their have recently hired a good publicist and we learn as has been pointed out they kill a lot of undesirable bugs and are a significant contributor to pollination.

They do have quite hard life though I did a lot of tree cutting in my garden this autumn and found a huge hanging wasps nest - thought I should leave it alone , went away for a week and the wind had dashed it to pieces on the ground and wasps all gone or dead.

S I have bit more patience with them now when they try and share my food or buzz around annoyingly

Uplinker
19th Oct 2018, 18:07
Unlike bees, wasps prey on garden bugs and pests, and like bees, they do also pollinate a significant number of plants.

The first reaction of a home owner, (myself included) is to eradicate a wasps nest, (at significant cost), but by doing so, we leave our plants open to attacks by certain insects, which we usually counter with poisonous sprays etc.

Much better - if the wasps are not directly causing a problem, (and they will leave you alone if you leave them alone*) - to leave them be and help control our garden pests. The wasps will die off over the winter, and if they were causing a problem, once the nest has become inactive, one can block up the hole in the roof where they got in.

* wasps do have a weakness for, and strong attraction to sugar, be that in your beer or your picnic, or your coffee, so they can be a nuisance. But it is important to remember that they are not attacking humans, merely trying to eat. Normally, if the source of sugar is hidden or covered, the wasp(s) will fly away. :ok:

dook
19th Oct 2018, 18:54
Wasps are very good pollinators and bug killers. In the former case they are as good as bees.

They are not a danger to humans - it's the other way around.

If you are eating outside it's very simple to place something sweet nearby which will keep them away from you.

VP959
19th Oct 2018, 19:09
I've been watching wasps kill cluster flies that have been gathering on our sunny walls for the past few weeks. As far as I'm concerned, the more of the flies they kill the better, saves me having to deal with them.

We had refreshments at a cafe with an outdoor seating area in the summer, that had an interesting wasp repellent. Hanging under the umbrellas on every table was a yellow balloon. When I asked why they were there I was told that they repel wasps, as the balloons seem to them to be other wasp nests, and being territorial they scare the wasps away. No idea whether it was true or not, but there weren't any wasps around.

Argonautical
19th Oct 2018, 19:49
I keep bees and the wasps have been a real pain this autumn entering the hive to get at the honey. Despite having three wasp traps I had to reduce the usual 3 entrances to only half of one to give the bees a chance to fight them off.

Flypro
19th Oct 2018, 20:04
'Not a danger to humans' ??

Whilst standing very still on the local golf course yesterday waiting for a mate to miss an easy putt, I felt a very sharp pain in my forearm which was bad enough to make me curse frequently and loudly.

A wasp had stung me for absolutely no reason.

\ My arm is now severely swollen, hot and painful and itchy, all at the same time.

I have only ever been stung twice. Funnily enough both times this year, and I appear to be rather allergic to the little sods.

Tankertrashnav
19th Oct 2018, 21:56
I have always been firmly of the opinion that the correct place for a civilised human being to eat is at a table in the home or at a restaurant

Those who are troubled by wasps at picnics or barbeques have the solution - go and eat indoors!

Pontius Navigator
19th Oct 2018, 22:13
​​one can block up the hole in the roof where they got in.


They move around and tend to find different places each year. One year they were in my garage roof. I checked and the inside had no sign of them. Best I could determine was they were between slates and sarking.

There are also burrowing wasps. One year I saw them going in a hole about 2 inches wide. I dropped a stone in and filled it in. Next day it was open again. I tried petrol and fire. Even to I dug them out. The best was 3 feet from the entrance. Larva in the comb was still viable even after more petrol and fire.
e

reynoldsno1
19th Oct 2018, 23:21
My arm is now severely swollen, hot and painful and itchy, all at the same time.
When I was young my Mum used vinegar for wasp stings - seemed to alleviate the pain. Blue bags (a now obsolete washing whitener) was used for bee stings - also seemed to work. Be thankful you don't have these buggers about - well, not at the moment ....

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/970x647/giantasianhornets_6fdbc29d9eae436787d945ef9f999a807aee0f5d.j pg

WingNut60
19th Oct 2018, 23:32
ooooh .....they're biggies.

Indonesian remedy for bee or wasp stings is to apply the pollen laden stamens of a (yellow?) flower to the sting site.
It may be a case of association rather than causation, but it does seem to work.

cargosales
20th Oct 2018, 00:38
As mentioned, they have hired a good PR consultant and actually it seems aren't as bad as previously painted, with lots of good points.

EXCEPT, when in Autumn and the little gits are dying off and become seriously bad tempered (still no sympathy for them as such but wouldn't you, if caught in the middle of keeling over, get a teensy bit shitty?)

CS

treadigraph
20th Oct 2018, 00:49
Reynoldsno1, somebody has a very small hand. Or... there's always a sting in the tail...

Uplinker
20th Oct 2018, 01:00
'Not a danger to humans' ??

Whilst standing very still on the local golf course yesterday waiting for a mate to miss an easy putt, I felt a very sharp pain in my forearm which was bad enough to make me curse frequently and loudly.

A wasp had stung me for absolutely no reason.

What might have happened is the wasp landed on your arm or your clothing unnoticed and then you accidentally squashed it between your arm and clothing, so she defended herself.

LowNSlow
20th Oct 2018, 01:01
Have you noticed that bees tend to bang into windows but wasps don't? This observation prompted research into which were the more intelligent, bees or wasps?

This research showed that wasps, as omnivores had more acute eyesight than bees and could see microscopic dust specs on the window whereas bees focused on colour rather than detail and consequently bumped off the glass.

The researchers came up with learning tests for the insects and discovered that they appear to be equally intelligent. They then discovered that the wasps, being omnivores, when they got bored, killed the bees......

however, they are equally important as pollinators: http://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation/bees-wasps-endangered

Maybe the world just doesn't like White Anglo Saxon Protestants but does like Beatific Ecclesiastical Ecstasy......

WingNut60
20th Oct 2018, 01:32
....... This observation prompted research into which were the more intelligent, bees or wasps?.....

And someone picked up his Masters for that little snippet of trivia, I would guess.

RatherBeFlying
20th Oct 2018, 03:47
In the summer I usually eat in the backyard. Later in the summer a wasp would visit for breakfast. It would accept being shooed away until I pushed over the emptied plate.

I have caught the odd sting in the woods, mostly because of standing or stepping on the entrance of a ground nest. Quickly vacating the premises satisfies them.

Children unfortunately react by standing still. I once had to run my hands down the pant legs of a friend's daughter and crushed several.

jimjim1
20th Oct 2018, 05:45
I was fighting off a wasp trying to share my beer

wasps do have a weakness for, and strong attraction to sugar, be that in your beer or your picnic, or your coffee, so they can be a nuisance.


Those who are troubled by wasps at picnics or barbeques have the solution - go and eat indoors!

The solution is to buy the wasps a small lemonade and place it a few yards upwind of you. Wasps much prefer lemonade to beer or cider.

Pontius Navigator
20th Oct 2018, 09:19
Once had a sting on my leg. Usual man thing, ignore it it will go away. It didn't.

My leg swelled a bit, got a bit red over my calf and shin. Ignored it.

Mrs PN recognized it as sepsis, got me an emergency appointment with the Doc, course of penicillin, and by the time we went on holiday the following week it was OK. Left alone I could have died.

Our dog sat on a wasp nest in the ground. She was attacked by dozens. I literally hit her hard all over killing them as you can't just shoo them away. I missed one in he feathers. We started off for home but after a few yards she collapsed. We found the wasp when we picked her up. Got her home and drenched the leg and her belly with vinegar. A couple of hours later she recovered.

WingNut60
20th Oct 2018, 09:36
Unlike bees, wasps do not normally leave the stinger embedded.
But it can happen.

I popped one out of the lump on my forearm several weeks after being stung on the golf course.
A colony of them inhabited a flowering hedge / windbreak next to one of the tees.
They were not appreciative of anyone's style; aggressive little boogers.

And my trivia contribution, from Oz :
In the past 13 years, 42,000 people have been hospitalised due to venomous bites and stings. A third of those were a result of bee stings.Hornets, wasps and bees have caused 27 deaths over the past 13 years and while that is the same number of deaths caused by snakes, the number of hospitalisations due to bee stings is double that of snake bites.

I have read somewhere that the most common serious invenomation is from swallowed miscreants who have taken up residence inside open drink cans.

bnt
20th Oct 2018, 10:14
I've found wasps to be no problem as long as you don't annoy them. At outdoor gatherings I would let one crawl on to my hand and drink a little beer. As noted they eat other insects, and also scavenge dead animals such as mice.

A couple of years ago I had a small nest outside my bedroom window, and wasps would occasionally blunder in through the window. It was cold, so they were dozy and mostly harmless. I got stung once, when I put on a shoe while one wasp was taking a nap inside and had a rude awakening.

Flypro
20th Oct 2018, 10:31
The point of my tale was that I was not moving when stung. I was standing perfectly still.
The swelling was so bad last night that I couldn't wear my (massive, pilots) watch.

Fortunately things are on the mend today, as, after reading the post by Pontius, I was beginning to worry !!!!

Pontius Navigator
20th Oct 2018, 10:36
FlyPro I think in my case the little bugger hit a vein.

Uplinker
20th Oct 2018, 12:18
The point of my tale was that I was not moving when stung. I was standing perfectly still.........Fortunately things are on the mend today.........

Glad you are on the mend. Just out of interest, were your forearms completely clear and a wasp just landed and stung you or were they against your body where the wasp might have become trapped between your arm and your body? I ask because they rarely attack like that unless you are very close to their nest or threatening it.

Wasp stings are smooth, whereas bee stings are barbed. Therefore, wasps can reuse their stings but a bee can sting only once. After a bee has stung it crawls away (or you swat it away) ripping the sting out of its behind leaving it stuck in you, complete with the poison sac horrifically continuing to pump the poison in.

The wasp however can sting repeatedly, as I found out when I was about four. I was playing in a sand pit and scratched the back of my neck. What I didnt realise was that there was a wasp on my hand or my neck which then fell down inside my tee shirt. Pressed between my shirt and my back, the wasp stung me and as I ran screaming into the house, it kept stinging me all the way down my spine - about 5 times. No reaction other than pain and shock, luckily.

Flypro
20th Oct 2018, 12:50
Uplinker, as far as I recall I was standing perfectly still whilst my mate took his putt. Me suddenly running around and screaming like a big girls blouse did not help his concentration !

I didn't actually get to see and despatch the little sod (wasp, not mate!)

cattletruck
20th Oct 2018, 13:24
I call the big ones B52s.

I also found they can be attracted to the smell of freshly shampooed hair should your head smell like a flower. If you don't bother them they tend to leave you alone. If they take a passing interest in you then moderately waving your arms around usually suffices in getting them to go away. If someone else has p!ssed them off then they will attack the first lookalike they find and there is nothing you can do about it. If you see someone aggravate them then run far away as fast as possible.

Always check the inside of your can of fizzy drink when on a picnic as they have a habit of flying straight into the hole.

pax britanica
20th Oct 2018, 13:48
The B52s are hornets and they too are a conundrum, encounter them a lot in France .

Hornets are bigger than wasps and have a nasty sting but unless you go close to their nests -when multiple stings could kill you they just wizz around at high speed very noisily but they dont want to share your barbecue or beer. Nonetheless the french have an almost 999 aversion to les Frellons and many pest controllers offer 'immediate response' because they area bit scary and also fly at night being attracted to light. On the other hand years ago holidaying in the Ardeche region in the south the campsite was inundated with seemingly tame wasps. They were not remotely aggressive but so tame they would allght on your jam covered baguette between plate and mouth and we were all duly warned to double check your intended mouthful as it approached your lips

However spreading west across Europe are Asiatic hornets which kill bees and therefore they are a real menace and in France the local authority will destroy them for free and quickly too. Still once we are out of the EU they wont be able to come to Britain will they?

SpannerInTheWerks
20th Oct 2018, 13:53
Mrs PN recognized it as sepsis, got me an emergency appointment with the Doc, course of penicillin, and by the time we went on holiday the following week it was OK. Left alone I could have died.

Sadly a friend of mine was playing golf a couple of years ago and reached into a bramble to retrieve his ball.

In doing so he scratched his arm, but continued to play and showed us the scratches on his arm back at the clubhouse. Apparently he later complained of 'flu-like' symptoms and thought nothing of it - by which time it was too late.

A few weeks later he was dead - from sepsis - at the age of 59.

You can thank your wife, because my friend's condition wasn't diagnosed until way too late. He was fit and healthy and playing golf on 23 July. We buried him on 12 September.

Pontius Navigator
20th Oct 2018, 14:30
A friend of mine, wearing a pair of baggy shorts and riding a moped at 30mph collected a hornet. It was a bit pissed off. Fortunately he was wearing tight underpants. You should have seen the scar.

Ancient Mariner
20th Oct 2018, 15:00
Shared a hamburger with a wasp once, greedy little thing. Interesting to watch, it went for the meat only.
Per

meadowrun
20th Oct 2018, 16:44
Never been bothered by wasps.

Anyone have one good thing to say about mosquitoes?
What purpose have they?

Pontius Navigator
20th Oct 2018, 16:58
Population control?

FLCH
20th Oct 2018, 17:14
Never been bothered by wasps.

Anyone have one good thing to say about mosquitoes?
What purpose have they?
Flying reece missions over war torn Europe ?

sitigeltfel
20th Oct 2018, 17:30
The B52s are hornets and they too are a conundrum, encounter them a lot in France .


We would get a single one turn up every night if we left the light on outside the kitchen door. Despatching it with the electric racket was the solution. But the next night another one would appear, then another for weeks on end. It was almost as if it was being reincarnated !

Fareastdriver
20th Oct 2018, 19:36
Despatching it with the electric racket was the solution.

Best thing since sliced bread in the tropics. Next was the UV electric perch which would pull in twenty flies a minute.

cavuman1
20th Oct 2018, 21:07
The West Hartford, Connecticut, mountainside home in which our family lived when I was but a youth featured a rapidly-running babbling, burbling stream in our front yard. Our upstream neighbor had dammed the brook and had stocked the resultant pond with good-sized rainbow trout. Some were nearly two feet long! After heavy rains, a few of those gloriously beautiful and delectable fish would find their way over the spillway then downstream where we would net, clean, broil, and eat them.

The brook's course was defined by slate and granite rock walls on either side, stacked carefully by a patient stone mason to a height of about four feet and a length of more than two-hundred feet. There was no mortar. This collection of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic stones was lovely and offered a perfect domicile for snakes, frogs, toads, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, spiders, water skimmers, and a veritable zoological garden for all sorts of other beasties. It was a treasure trove of life for my ten-year-old self! I spent hundreds of halcyon hours there, alone or with friends, filled with the childhood delight and mystery of being alive.

One of the denizens of the wall was Vespula maculifrons, the Eastern yellow jacket (a/k/a European wasp.) They would build large, concealed nests hidden from sight within the rocks. Those insect fortresses might house two- or three-thousand bright yellow and obsidian black stingy hymenopterous beasties. They never bothered us unless we got too close to their secret entrances; then they would then dispatch a number of airborne soldiers to hover menacingly around our heads. It was our job, I thought malevolently, to DESTROY THE SCOURGE! This required a couple of items: a gasoline-soaked rag, a friction match, and sufficient superhuman courage and hyperkinetic reflexes to jam the rag in the nest sally port, light it, and, as Monty Python & Co. advised with total accuracy: "RUN AWAY"!

The day in question was a crystalline, cerulean-blue-skied, crisp New England Autumn celebration of the harvest and of life. The deciduous trees were in all their glory, especially the sugar maples, with their orange leaves tinged arterial-blood red at the tips. Pumpkins, gourds, and corn shocks adorned front porches and stoops everywhere. Neighbors were raking leaves; the bittersweet scent of burning lay gently over our little place on Earth. Distant laughter and conversation, much of it cider-driven, echoed quietly all around. I was in the stream, exploring. A rainbow trout escapee chased a school of silvery minnows, hoping for lunch. Murmurations of gnats formed floating nearly-spherical insect planetoids, their orbits disturbed by the slightest breeze. A patient spider spun a perfect fractal glistening web across the brook. Several squadrons of yellow jackets hovered left-right-left, dipping and ascending, as they awaited permission from some unseen insect ATC to enter the landing pattern to their chewed-cellulose, hexagonally-chambered home amongst the rocks. That perfect moment - all of it, the smells, the muffled sounds and cathedral silence, the warm touch of the sun, the taste of the pure water, the cornucopic dioramas of vision - resides to this day in my otherwise flagging memory. I cherish the innocent joy of it. I call it up and relive it when I am able.

I stuck the old tee-shirt in the crack where those black and yellow wasps were flying in and out - hundreds each minute. The old shirt had been soaked in a half-gallon of AMOCO's finest, highest-octane white gas, which we used to fuel our Jacobsen lawn mower. My adrenalin-marinated body struck the 4-inch-long Blue Diamond match against a dry rock. The head of the match burst into flame, then fell off into the water to be extinguished and immediately consumed by that rainbow trout referenced in the foregoing paragraph. The rag just hung there, awaiting my next move. I had not another match!

Just call me Dead Man! Elebenty million yellow jackets swore an oath against the big, clumsy, apterous oaf who had deigned to assault their nest and insult their very existence with aromatic hydrocarbons. I swear I could hear the Queen urging her court in high helium dudgeon to "Sting! Sting! Sting the bastard to death!" They almost did! My father, who had just come home from work, spotted me face down in our stream. I was in full anaphylactic shock. My head and face were swollen to the size of a basketball, my eyes swollen shut, my breathing very shallow and erratic. I had been stung more than one hundred times! Sustaining a number of envenomations himself, my Dad jumped into the stream bed, threw me up into the yard, dragged me to his car, then sped to the hospital. I received adrenaline and apomorphine and survived to tell this tale. I am supposed to carry an Epipen with me at all times, but must admit that I don't, though I am highly allergic to insect venom (and penicillin, go figure!)

I did stop jamming gas-soaked rags into yellow jacket nests, however, so perhaps I have some kind of learning curve, no matter how shallow. Oh, in 1933 my Father was awarded a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in our hometown of Atlanta. As you surely must know, that fine college's teams are known as...

The YELLOW JACKETS!

- Ed

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/330x220/yellow_jacket_5bb2897d999a449157653a7bb455cce1ce86b600.jpg

meadowrun
20th Oct 2018, 21:37
What a glorious little place.

so you, as you so colourfully describe, decided to burn down one of their Frat Houses.

cavuman1
20th Oct 2018, 22:12
Good and Kind Sir,

You are so right! The trouble was that all those Frat Boys were drunk and they had stingers!

(I once resembled half of that! Your guess. Vanderbilt, Beta Theta Pi, Class of 1971.)

- Ed :ok:

FLCH
21st Oct 2018, 00:15
I declared war on a yellow jacket nest as it stung my 2 year old grandson so I won the war initially until I squashed /scraped one of the occupants ..... big mistake as the remaining horde sensed the remains of their colleague on the soles of my flip flop and made a “bee line” for me

jolihokistix
21st Oct 2018, 02:05
In the course of lunch at a boarding school one summer, a wasp flew into the dining room. One of the boys starting waving his arms and swatting at it. "Don't do that!" I said. Too late. By then it had gone and stung poor xxx, an innocent by-sitter; someone who was often bullied. I learned several lessons that day.

Hydromet
21st Oct 2018, 09:27
In PNG it was common to find a paper wasp nest in our instrument shelters, so SOP was to open the door slightly, take a peek and if there was a nest, fling the door open and at the same time, light the spray from a can of WD40 directed at the nest. As the wasps attempted to attack, their wings burned off and they could be easily but carefully swept away.

rogerg
21st Oct 2018, 10:06
Sad, they are just trying to live.

chuks
21st Oct 2018, 10:11
Here in Germany hornets are under protection. Wasps, on the other hand ....

If you leave them alone wasps leave you alone. Squish one, though, and that releases a scent that signals "Attack!"

I often enjoy watching an especially persistent one working away at my hamburger, sawing off a chunk of meat too big to fly with out of ground effect, when it finally has to give up and gnaw its treasure in half to make off with half as much instead.

At one time I was living in an upstairs flat in Nigeria with French windows that I would open to get fresh air. Big, steel blue wasps would sometimes enter looking for a hole to build a nest in, when they would focus on a nail head left in a wall, just a dark spot on a white wall that must have looked like a hole to a wasp. The damned things would repeatedly bonk their heads on the nail head, growing more and more pissed off, buzzing around the flat in a rather menacing way, until I finally would have to dispatch them with a rolled-up newspaper. Luckily, they only came one by one at extended intervals.

Nemrytter
21st Oct 2018, 14:51
Wasps are about as much use as Farage, an annoying noise that has an occasional tendency to get irrationally angry.

chevvron
21st Oct 2018, 15:48
Never been bothered by wasps.

Anyone have one good thing to say about mosquitoes?
What purpose have they?
What possible use are slugs?

pax britanica
21st Oct 2018, 15:52
Good question Chevvron

Winemaker
21st Oct 2018, 17:21
I discovered a wasp nest in the stonework of my chimney and it was a busy one. Several people got stung, so I decided to remove it. I built a vacuum powered machine to suck the little bastards out and capture them in a plastic jug. It worked a dream, sucking them down the intake tube with an estimated velocity of 30 fps, where they impacted the jug wall with a satisfying thump. I started the machine and soon had a three gallon jug full of very agitated wasps. It started to get scary when the nest went on attack patrol. We were driven inside as the kamikaze killers started circling in attack patterns. They were thumping into the living room window and getting more and more active. I wasn't sure what to do with the jug of flying venom, so left the machine running and drove to the store for wasp spray. One shot at the intake tube mouth killed the entire lot in about two seconds. I ended up putting water in the jug and incoming beasts would simply drown. The machine was a complete success as I eventually sucked almost all the monsters out, filled in their entrance hole (they managed to find another exit from the rocks) and eventually wiped them out.

Machism
21st Oct 2018, 17:55
Wasps kill a lot of grubs to take to their nests to feed their larvae. A lot more plant damage would occur without their intervention. It is only in the late summer that they become a nuisance.

Wasps are meat eaters and they kill all kinds of insects and bugs

Icare9
21st Oct 2018, 18:20
And someone picked up his Masters for that little snippet of trivia, I would guess.
Surprised no one queried that it should have been a Bee A.... not an M A..... hat, coat

fox niner
21st Oct 2018, 20:48
I heard that even scientists could not pinpoint what purpose mosquitoes have.

lomapaseo
22nd Oct 2018, 02:58
I heard that even scientists could not pinpoint what purpose mosquitoes have.

DNA rejuvenation

RAC/OPS
22nd Oct 2018, 07:46
What use are humans? How would a non-human answer?

double_barrel
22nd Oct 2018, 08:28
I heard that even scientists could not pinpoint what purpose mosquitoes have.
As someone said up thread, scientists know that nothing in biology has a purpose in that sense. Things evolve to exploit niches, which invariably implies multiple interactions, which often appear to make for a purpose, but that is a very anthropomorphic view.


Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. So don't ask what something is for, ask how it came about.

Ascend Charlie
22nd Oct 2018, 08:36
As Bill Cosby once asked, "Why is there air?"

Every sports enthusiast knows it is to put in basketballs, footballs, tennis balls, and so on. Everything has a porpoise.

WingNut60
22nd Oct 2018, 08:41
As Bill Cosby once asked, "Why is there air?"

Every sports enthusiast knows it is to put in basketballs, footballs, tennis balls, and so on. Everything has a porpoise.

By reputation he normally doesn't ask at all.

BVRAAM
22nd Oct 2018, 13:39
They move around and tend to find different places each year. One year they were in my garage roof. I checked and the inside had no sign of them. Best I could determine was they were between slates and sarking.

There are also burrowing wasps. One year I saw them going in a hole about 2 inches wide. I dropped a stone in and filled it in. Next day it was open again. I tried petrol and fire. Even to I dug them out. The best was 3 feet from the entrance. Larva in the comb was still viable even after more petrol and fire.
e

The "burrowing wasps" you speak of are likely the same species. They'll nest anywhere.

I was at RIAT this year and I had one land on my hand, as I was photographing the USAF F-35A display. I freaked out!

Didn't stop me from getting the shot though. ;)

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/37219773_10160577949410024_5847262583802822656_o.jpg?_nc_cat =107&_nc_eui2=AeG_zy1lW4nITKh7_YdwETAWxpH_d3Uh-qrsABJHDW2-SswV-WhCXTOpj4No514rGjZp_rvAQsa7vwwp6BHDnOlvzpc7Mty8SMpU3F0LFIpzb g&_nc_ht=scontent-lhr3-1.xx&oh=9880efc751b79e97c295d78027c2ab0a&oe=5C505532

gileraguy
23rd Oct 2018, 00:20
I have read somewhere that the most common serious invenomation is from swallowed miscreants who have taken up residence inside open drink cans.

No sh!t, this happened to me with a bee when I was a child! I thought I was the only idiot (unlucky one) for 45 years!

and I had a Wasp enter my jacket whle riding a motorcycle and can confirm the multiple stings and long duration pain this can cause...

apart from one more sting on my neck at 13, that's all the history i've had with bees... but it caused my throat to close and I needed anti histamines...

jolihokistix
23rd Oct 2018, 01:55
Of course, we are talking in this thread about wasps within the UK environment and culture. There is very little in nature that is threatening to the average human bod, except for cliffs, abandoned quarries, rivers etc. The occasional adder, bull, or frustrated tup might be dangerous, or an escaped boar or puma perhaps. Mosquitoes are generally rare. Midges are a pest if you insist in having your picnic in their gathering spots, flies are a constant nuisance in the countryside, and then there are wasps. The Brits love to eat al fresco whenever they have the chance and the weather holds up for a precious minute. Wasps are the bane of the occasion, the 13th fairy, pesky inside or out, and will sting when tipsy in the autumn or when some member of your party gets their dander up by stupidly swatting at one.
A wasp aiming for your beer or your sweet cider is the fly in the ointment, er, proof of the random cruelty of God. They have been sent to annoy us, just at the moment of greatest relaxation, just when we wish to be weak and sit back and not be bothered to stand up and actually do something. But a wasp DEMANDS action. It is not fair. The brain resents it, boils at the thought of this ugly conundrum.
And so we hang up our fake nests or set out clever wasp traps. Cunning, we need to be.

KelvinD
23rd Oct 2018, 08:35
According to QI on BBC2 last night, wasps eat their way through 14,000,000 Kgs of cockroaches and various other creepy crawlies such as aphids and caterpillars every year in the UK. More astounding than that is the number of them. There is about 9,000 species in the UK alone!

Auxtank
23rd Oct 2018, 10:58
I was told by a Botanist many years ago that wasps have earned their place amongst us as they prey on bugs and larvae as well as many other things.
Crucially there are some types of aphids that nest in trees that are only preyed on by wasps - and that if wasps did not exist many types of trees would have become extinct long ago.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not standing up for the buggers - but they have a job to do.

jolihokistix
23rd Oct 2018, 11:06
Seen from Japan, the UK has it dead easy in the bugs department.

visibility3miles
24th Oct 2018, 14:25
Winemaker
Try putting moth balls in the jug. That might kill them.

A friend's housemate had a flea-infested dog. The dog never bit anyone, but the fleas bit everyone. The housemate had mothballs in the vacuum cleaner bag, but I'd end up cleaning the place avoid bites..

visibility3miles
24th Oct 2018, 14:26
I used to work in a lab where we kept acetone in squirt bottles.

Hit a flying wasp with a stream of acetone and it is immediately stone dead.

dook
24th Oct 2018, 14:39
Hit a flying wasp with a stream of acetone and it is immediately stone dead.

Make sure nobody is smoking then.

Acetone has a flashpoint of −20 C (−4 F), and 2.5% to12.8% acetone in air, by volume, may explode or cause a flash fire.

gileraguy
25th Oct 2018, 08:15
Make sure nobody is smoking then.

Acetone has a flashpoint of −20 C (−4 F), and 2.5% to12.8% acetone in air, by volume, may explode or cause a flash fire.


still not as good as a deoderant can in a campfire then...

Hussar 54
25th Oct 2018, 11:35
I can more or less put up with wasps. Only two stings that I can remember - one on the leg playing golf, and another when one must have got into my pocket and I put my hand in there for something or other.

But mosquitoes ( Noah has a lot to answer for.) are the worst kind of plague on man. I had malaria when I was working in Nigeria seven or eight years ago - despite the tablets and rubbing lemon peel on my skin almost hourly - and swore I'd never complain about any other illnesses ever again. A few months later, the young son of one our office people in Port Harcourt actually died from Malaria. I went to the funeral - a young child's life lost for the sake of a $5 mosquito net, and since then our company have donated $000s to purchase mosquito nets for use in Africa.

Down here, we have spells when the mosquitoes are especially active and numerous, and although fortunately they don't carry / cause malaria virus, I wonder how long before we start getting them in Europe, carried here either naturally on prevailing winds, or a few million years after they evolved, now carried here on different types of transport.

Our latest, and so far most successful defence against them came quite by accident. We returned home from an extended holiday a couple of years ago, and found two small lizards had taken up residence inside an uplighter on the terrace. When the light's switched on, the heat causes them to come out of the uplighter, climb the wall and hang upside down on the ceiling which they then run along, back and forth, all night, catching as many mosquitos as they can. Seems to work quite well....and certainly cheaper than the mutliude of anti-mosquito contraptions we've tried over the years, although as yet I haven't been able to persuafe Frau H to let this latest anti-mosquito defence system inside the house as well..

Hydromet
25th Oct 2018, 12:04
Hussar 54, huntsman spiders do a similar job to your lizards, and they'll take on cockroaches too, given the opportunity.