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Old 07-27-2012, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
6,689 posts, read 11,963,519 times
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Do you have any insight into why a wasp (I think it was a paper wasp--it was long and brown with a skinny "wasp waist") would commit an unprovoked attack?

I was wheeling my bike from the bike rack at the gym, which I've done hundreds of times before. Felt a burning pain in my buttock (stop laughing!) and thought maybe the bike seat had burnt me from getting hot in the sun. But when I looked around, there was a wasp on my shorts, and it was stinging me through them.

Brushed the wasp off and pedaled home. Got a huge swelling the size of a dinner plate, purple and red, looked like a baboon, and crazy itching, but had no symptoms of going into shock. My stung rump was so sensitive to the touch and so fiery red and tender that it kept me awake two nights in a row--even the touch of the sheet was unbearable.

Day four, after using extra strength Benadryl spray, the swelling's receding somewhat.

Never want to go through that again.

Why did this happen...? I saw no signs of a nest, the attack seemingly came out of nowhere...

Any clues? Tips?
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Ontario
332 posts, read 943,685 times
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Maybe you sat on it and it's natural response was to sting you? Sorry you had to go through that.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Not where I want to be
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That's what I was going to say. It saw your rump coming down at it prepared for attack. They don't attack just to attack. At least from my expierence. I got stung (for the first time) 7 times in my breast! The wasp had ricocheted off the car window and into my bra. After a minute of being trapped it started to sting me. I thought I was having a heart attack at first and put my hand up to my chest and the stinging really took off! I ripped my blouse open and got that bugger out of there! Never been stung again. Hee-hee, I was a little "unbalanced" in looks for a few days.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:12 PM
 
Location: On The Road Full Time RVing
2,341 posts, read 3,377,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
Any clues? Tips?
Watch where you sit ...
He was there first, and he sent you a message. ...
.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:30 PM
 
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Dolphin and tami - sorry for your pain but thanks for sharing the funny stories.

Wasps sting people if threatened, which is why being still around wasps works most of the time - swatting at them is a threat - so is sitting on them or trapping them in your bra after hitting them with your car. Only female wasps can sting. However, wasps become agressive during late Summer / early Fall when they're drunk on the fermented sugars / fruits they store in their nests and they will sting without provocation. Wasps are mean drunks. And ouch - the stings hurt.

Tips? Be careful out there.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
6,689 posts, read 11,963,519 times
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But I hadn't mounted my bike yet, I was wheeling it from the rack..maybe it was on the saddle near where I was holding the bike? When the pain and burn started, thought maybe the hot seat had brushed my rump and burned me... I dunno...never saw it coming...would have felt a bit better if it attacked because I was about to sit on it...but the surprise attack was nasty...and I didn't even stomp it after it fell to the ground-- just wanted to get away....now I'm scared to go back to the gym..not really, still too sore to sit on the equipment...
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:05 PM
 
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Oh that must have hurt! Ice the area...and watch for infection. Spouse got infection from a bite, hot and swelled...had to go on antibiotics.
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Not where I want to be
24,507 posts, read 23,274,197 times
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I didn't realize you hadn't gotten on your bike yet, Dolphin. Being moved probably brought out the "fight or flight" instinct and it fought. How nice of you to not stomp on it after! You must be one kind person.

Reactionary, IDK about them attacking unprovocked in the late summer and fall. I have noticed they are pretty active during those times, especially at the market parking lots. They swarm the basket!

LMAO at the comments!
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:33 PM
 
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Drunk and horny wasps:

Quote:
September is usually a big month for wasps because of their reproductive habits.
The queens are the only ones with the ability to lay eggs and also the only ones to survive through the winter.
In late spring and early summer they venture forth and start building a rudimentary nest.
Because we have short memories when it comes to the weather, we forget that in many parts of the country April and May were promising months this year, allowing the queens to thrive at that critical point in their life cycle.
Throughout the summer they produce offspring, using stored sperm with which they were impregnated the previous year.
At first their brood consists only of infertile females, whose role is to gather food, help raise siblings and put the finishing touches to the nest.
This is made of pulp from bark or wooden fences, mixed with saliva to form a sturdy structure, usually ranging in size from a cricket ball to a football.
As the end of summer approaches, the queen lays a different batch of eggs, which hatch into males (called drones) and the fertile females who will be next year's queens.
These are hatching now, which means that the nests, often housing several thousand wasps, are reaching full capacity.
Newborn males and females are leaving them to chase each other around our gardens in the kind of joyful mating ritual that for most other species takes place in the spring.
The males may not know that they are destined to die soon after they have done their bit for posterity.
Before that happens, the rapacious females try to garner as much sperm as possible from them to produce next year's colonies.
If humans inadvertently interrupt their quest for fulfilment, they readily deploy their sting (the only weapon at their disposal).
Well, wouldn't you?

...When aphids become harder to find in late summer the wasps turn to fruit, especially apples and plums, and this year's weather has been kind to them in that respect, too.
The mild spring allowed plenty of blossom to form on the trees and the wet summer encouraged swelling of the fruit.
Every day I go into my garden and pick up dozens of halfnibbled apples, taking care not to scoop up a feeding wasp as I do so.
Some scientists believe bingeing on fruit goes to their heads, making them slightly tipsy and quicker to anger than earlier in the year.
Summer's last sting: why our bizarre weather has brought wasps out in vast numbers | Mail Online

Good article on intoxicated insects:

Quote:
Aggressive behavior is another thing that inebriated people and insects have in common. I have often observed drunk wasps fighting around rotten fruit under my apple trees. In a town in England, a pear tree was declared a public nuisance and ordered to be cut down. Rotting pears were attracting wasps that were getting drunk and stinging passersby.
Insects can get intoxicated, too - journal-news.net | News, sports, jobs, community information for Martinsburg - The Journal
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
6,689 posts, read 11,963,519 times
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Well, allrighty then, I was attacked by a drunk, pugnacious wasp...I should have punched him in the nose, the SOB...
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