Wasps have gained a notorious reputation for the nuisance that they cause through their behavior. Wasp stings can be extremely painful, and in some cases, they can even be life-threatening. Wasp stings can cause severe allergic reactions for some people, which calls for professional medical support for recovery.
However, it is not true that all wasps are bad or dangerous. Wasps play an important role in our planet’s natural ecosystem and can be harmless unless they are agitated or threatened. Read on to find out about what makes them good and bad.
Despite their image of being dangerous, wasps have plenty of redeeming features, some of which are listed down below.
- Not all wasps are known to sting: There are over 100,000 identified types of wasps in the world. It is widely accepted that there are many more types of wasps that have not been identified as yet. Wasps are an extremely diverse species, and contrary to popular belief, they are not all aggressive. Most wasp types do not sting or attack anyone unless they feel deeply threatened.
- Role as predators: Wasps are predatory, due to which they play a critical role in maintaining ecological balance. Wasps prey on a wide range of insects such as spiders, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, flies, and caterpillars. Without the presence of wasps, these insects will reproduce and grow out of control, leading to widespread destruction of plants and human property.
- Role as pollinators: Similar to bees, wasps are also valuable as pollinators. Bees are far more efficient and effective when it comes to pollution, however, wasps significantly contribute to global pollination. Wasps aren’t covered in hair-like bees, but can still pollinate flower and food crops with ease.
Owing to a large number of wasp types, it is impossible to attach the same good and bad characteristics to all of them. Certain wasp types are certainly more dangerous and aggressive than the others. Let’s find out more about some of the reasons why wasps are considered dangerous.
- Wasps are attracted towards human food: Wasps find protein and sugar-rich food and beverages appealing. This means that they are naturally attracted to processed human food such as meats, candies, and juices. This can become quite a nuisance for homeowners, as leaving any food or beverages unattended within or outside the house can become an open invitation to wasps.
- Aggressive nature and stinging: Most wasps do not get defensive and aggressive unless they feel that their nest or colony is under threat. Wasps are protective towards their colony, and can quickly turn aggressive if they sense any danger approaching. Wasps are known to sting their victims repeatedly, which leads to diverse reactions in human beings. In most cases, a wasp sting will cause redness, burning sensation, and swelling near the affected area. In more severe cases where the victim is allergic to a wasp sting, the venom from the sting can cause complex reactions which can be life-threatening.
- Damage to crops: Owing to their liking of sweet food items, wasps are also attracted towards a range of fruit crops. Some wasps can cause considerable damage to stone fruit crops as well as crops like grapes. Along with this, wasps pose a threat to workers in agricultural fields where fruits are grown, as they tend to swarm and attack humans who are close to them.
Irrespective of their good and bad qualities, wasps should be dealt with extreme care and precaution. If you detect or suspect a wasp infestation near you, it is advisable to bring in professional help to assess the situation.