Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What to do if you are stung by Paper Wasp?

Although unlike other wasps paper wasps are not that dangerous, still their stings are painful and annoying. So Preventing a sting is always best. When working or playing outside, wear light-colored clothes. Don’t wear hairspray or perfume. If you see a wasp, try backing away slowly, and don’t make sudden moves. This tends to attract the insects. Paper wasps never sting anyone if they are not bothered. So never ever try to provoke a paper wasp.

What to do if you are accidentally stung by paper wasp?
Well basic first-aid for a wasp sting is to wash the bite area with soap and water and apply ice to reduce swelling. Preparations are also available over-the-counter that will help ease the pain of insect stings and bites. An over-the-counter antihistamine can also be given, and this will help the symptoms, as well.

Someone who has suffered multiple stings will need to be watched for any signs of an allergic reaction. These usually appear fairly quickly and include: swelling, abnormal breathing, tightness in throat or chest, dizziness, nausea, hives or fainting. If any of these symptoms appear, call 911. Time is of the essence in a these cases. Most ambulances have kits onboard to treat the immediate symptoms, so be sure and tell the 911 dispatcher that the victim has been stung several times and is experiencing allergic symptoms.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Images of Paper Wasp

Paper wasp is a kind of social insects. Here are some new images of paper wasp:
Paper Wasp colony
Paper wasp in paddy field

Western Paper Wasp

Black paper wasp

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How to get rid of a paper wasp nest?

Paper wasps usually build their nests under eaves and ledges of a house. Though paper wasps are not so much aggressive like hornets or yellowjackets, their nests should be removed carefully as they will attack you if they themselves or their nests are threatened and their stings are painful and may cause serious anaphylactic reaction.

To destroy a paper wasp nest, you should first buy a wasp and hornet spray sold at most grocery and hardware stores.  Before starting the fight you should first cover every inch of yourselves with clothes. Make sure all the wasps of the colony are inside the nest. Be prepared for any unexpected attack from the opponents. When you are fully ready, just spray the chemicals on the nest.  Standing directly below a nest increases one's risk of being stung. So make sure you are not standing just below the nest. All paper wasp should be died instantly after getting contacted by the insecticide. However you should wait for some time and then check if there any insects left. When you are confirm that all the insects are died, just scrape or knock down the nest.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Like humans, the paper wasp has a special talent for face recognition

University of Michigan evolutionary biologist and one of her graduate students have found that humans and paper wasps have evolved a very similar face-learning mechanism.

 "Wasps and humans have independently evolved similar and very specialized face-learning mechanisms, despite the fact that everything about the way we see and the way our brains are structured is different," said graduate student Michael Sheehan, who worked with evolutionary biologist Elizabeth Tibbetts on the face-recognition study. "That's surprising and sort of bizarre."

During the study, twelve paper wasp were trained to discriminate between two different images mounted inside a T-maze.  The paired images included photos of normal paper wasp faces, photos of caterpillars, simple geometric patterns, and computer-altered wasp faces. The researchers observed that the paper wasps, which are generalist visual predators of caterpillars, were able to differentiate between two unaltered paper wasp faces faster and more accurately than a pair of caterpillar photos, two different geometric patterns, or a pair of computer-altered wasp faces.

"This shows that the way they learn faces is different than the way they seem to be learning other patterns. They treat faces as a different kind of thing," Sheehan said.

"Humans have a specialized face-learning ability, and it turns out that this wasp that lives on the side of your house evolved an analogous system on its own," he said. "But it's important to note that we're not claiming the exact process by which wasps learn faces is the same as humans." 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How much dangerous are the paper wasps?

Unlike other social wasps (like yellowjackets and hornets), paper wasps are not so aggressive. They only attack if they themselves or their nests are threatened. However their stings are painful and can produce a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction in some individuals.

A stinger is actually a modified egg-laying tube which is connected to a venom sac inside the body. A paper wasp is quite capable of stinging repeatedly because it can easily withdraw its stinger from the entry point. When a wasp wants to sting, it curves its abdomen downward and punctures the victim's skin with its sharp stinger. Muscles then drive the stinger deeper into the flesh. Meanwhile, venom is being pumped from the venom sac, through the stinger, and into the wound. It is similar to how a hypodermic needle works. Chemicals in the venom cause the pain and irritation from the sting.

Only the female wasps have stinger. So only the female wasps are capable of stinging.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

How do paper wasps build nests?

Paper wasps use paper to build their nests. To make papers they need to collect wood fiber. They collect wood fiber by using their mandibles to scrape it from worn and weathered wooden fences, buildings, telephone poles, and other sources. Sometimes they collect fiber from man-made paper products such as paper bags or cardboard boxes. Then they chew it in their mouth and mix it with saliva so that it becomes more soft and moist. Meanwhile they make a structure of the nest with silk. After chewing the woods, they add the paste to the nest structure and spread it out. After it thoroughly dries up, the nest becomes ready to live in. A complete nest contains up to 200 cells.

A well established colony of paper wasps can have two hundred or more individuals living on a nest with the size of a man's outstretched hand.

Wasps can be found on flowers, particularly from goldenrod in late fall. Paper wasp nests can be dislodged from eaves using sprays of high pressure water from a good distance, taking precautions not to allow wasps to attack nearby people or pets. Wasps will eventually abandon the nest.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Life of paper wasps

Like other social wasps paper wasps lead a social life. But unlike others, paper wasps community don't have any queen, drone or worker classification. All the members in a nest are involved in food gathering, nest building, and producing and rearing young. Generally about 200 paper wasps live together in a nest.

Paper wasps have a life-cycle which has four stages:
1. egg,
2. larvae,
3. pupa,
4. and adult.
This is called "complete metamorphosis". The entire process from egg to adult takes several weeks to finish.

In spring paper wasps start building their nests. The fertile females lay some eggs in cells and hatch into legless grub-like larvae. The females look after the larvae and gradually after several stages they become the adults and the basis of the nest.

In autumn the colony begins to die out and only a few young females survive to carry on next season. These females hibernate through winter and emerge in spring to build a small nest that forms the basis of a new colony.