Most people have had an unforgettably painful experience with stinging insects so that the sight of such an insect causes fear. However, only a few of the 35,000 species of bees and wasps can inflict a sting painful to man. Many stinging species, such as honey bees, bumble bees, yellowjackets, paper wasps, and many ants, live together in colonies. Their painful sting is used to obtain prey and to defend themselves and their colony. However, most bees and wasps live a more solitary lifestyle and do not aggressively attack intruders. Soli- tary wasps, such as mud-daubers, cicada-killers, and potter wasps, use venom from their sting to paralyze their insect or spider prey, which they feed to their young. Even if they do sting a person, which is quite rare indeed, it is usually not very painful, as the venom is more suited for paralyzing their insect prey than causing pain to man. In contrast, the stinging wasps inject a venom with powerful pain-causing agents into their victims. Individual responses to a sting may vary from a brief swelling of the immediate area of the sting to a more severe, and potentially fatal, allergic response involving the entire body. If you are having an infestation of wasps in your Fort Smith home then give us a call today!
Information from OSU extension.