Most wasp stings look like wasps stung you unprovoked. They come out of nowhere while you’re outdoors and sting you.
That makes you wonder if wasps sting humans for no reason. Well, they don’t.
Certain things make wasps follow you and make them aggressive. What are those things? And will wasps sting you for no reason?
Let’s find it out.
Do Wasps Follow You?
Wasps are not human stalkers. They don’t chase or follow human beings to sting them.
Wasps, unlike mosquitoes, and other biting flying bugs, don’t feed on human blood. So, they don’t have any reason to follow you.
But it seems like wasps follow you.
The truth is that wasps don’t follow you. You unwillingly attract wasps.
Below are the three factors that attract wasps to you –
- You emit a fruity smell
- You get close to wasps’ nests
- You wear colors that attract wasps
The smell of ripe fruits attracts them. It’s because wasps feed on them.
So, if you’re wearing a scent that smells fruity, or you’ve just had a shower with a fruity-smelling body wash, then in both cases, you’ll attract wasps.
That’s why wasps can be in your bathroom because of the presence of fruit-smelling shampoos and soaps.
When wasps are inside your home, they can find places to hide and build their nests.
And that causes wasps to be present in the most unlikely places in your home, like your bedroom.
While working outdoors in your yard or camping and hiking, you can unwillingly get close to wasps’ nests.
Wasps are very protective of their nests. Any living being within a few meters distance to their nests rings its alarm bells.
And that makes them aggressive. So, more than one wasp can hone onto you if you get close to wasps’ nests.
Along with ripe fruits and insects, wasps, hornets, and bees feed on flowers’ nectar.
They’re all pollinators, and they’re beneficial for the environment.
And bright color flowers attract these nectar-feeding flying bugs.
So, if you’re outdoors during the wasp season and wearing bright colors, you’ll attract wasps.
Will Wasps Sting You For No Reason?
Wasps won’t sting you for no reason, even though the stings come as unprovoked.
It’s because of the reasons that you’ve just found out. The three factors, the fruity smell, your bright colors, and your proximity to wasps’ nests, cause them to sting you.
Most wasp stings occur when humans, rodents, and birds get too close to wasp nests.
In the outdoors, wasps’ nests are in the bushes or high up in the trees, which you might find difficult to spot.
You may unwittingly get into their territory and get close to their nest. That’ll make the wasps aggressive.
End result? Nasty wasp stings.
As per Health Line, wasp stings can cause severe reactions like dizziness, nausea, and sudden drop in blood pressure in people who’re allergic to bug bites and stings.
Why Do Wasps Sting?
Wasps sting in self-defense. That’s their way of fighting against their perceived enemies.
But unlike bee stings, wasps don’t leave their stings on your body. The sting always remains attached to their lower abdomen.
So, that makes wasps a tad bit more dangerous than bees. It’s because a single wasp can sting you multiple times.
Now that you know why wasp stings can come across as unprovoked, it’s time to figure out how to avoid wasps’ stings.
How Not To Get Stung By A Wasp?
To avoid wasp stings, you must completely avoid the things that draw wasps to you.
Avoid wearing bright colors, don’t wear fruity perfumes or deodorants, and don’t go near wasp nests.
While outdoors, wear DEET-based skin-friendly bug repellants to keep wasps away from you.
Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
Wasps can’t sting through clothing. But if the fabrics are thin, the sting can penetrate your clothing.
You can also use peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil on your skin.
The smell of these oils is wasp repellants.
If you follow the above three rules, then you drastically reduce the chances of getting stung by wasps.
But most people fail to spot wasp nests in their homes and outdoors. And that’s one of the reasons wasps sting them.
Why Are Wasps So Aggressive?
Wasps aren’t aggressive unless they feel they’re under threat.
If wasps were aggressive bugs, then every wasp that sneaks inside your home will sting you, just like mosquitoes.
The worker wasps that sting have nothing to do with you.
They carry on with their day attending the nest and feeding the larvae in the nest.
However, they’re ultra-protective for their nest and the queen, which lays the eggs.
Call it fierce survival instinct.
And any act of provocation or perceived danger makes the worker wasps aggressive.
That’s why many people think that wasps follow them to sting them. But that’s not the case.
The reason is that you went too close to the wasps’ nest, and they took you as a threat to their nest.
So, they’ll chase you and sting you to defend their nest and to make you go away.
And they’ll even do the same to birds, rodents, and animals that come close to their nest.
However, there are other reasons too that can make you attract wasps.
But for now remember that if you see a wasp nest, don’t try to knock the nest down.
It’s always best to hire a pest controller to remove the wasp nest in your home and property.
What To Do If A Wasp Lands On You?
- Keep calm
- Don’t make any abrupt movement as you’d typically do when a mosquito lands on you.
- Don’t try to smash it. It’ll surely sting you if it gets hard-pressed against your skin. Even a half-dead wasp can sting you.
- Don’t try to blow air on it. It may startle it, which can lead to a string.
- Take a pen or piece of stick and flick it off your skin.
There are things that draw wasps to you. These things can make wasps sting you too.
Many people believe that wasps sting you for no reason. But that’s not true.
This guide revealed what factors cause wasp stings. And in what situations. Plus, there are also hacks to keep wasps away from you.
So, when you’re outdoors or you suspect that there are wasps inside your home, use those hacks to avoid wasp stings.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.