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Wasps: If you can't love them, at least admire them (bbc.com)
110 points by sohkamyung 28 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 105 comments

As a kid I once experienced something worth of an Animal Planet show. I was a typical city boy, but I had family in the country side, I would spend some weeks down there on summers. For me that was extremely boring since I didn’t have other kids to play with, I didn’t have my Nintendo nor even a TV near. So one of those days my boredom drove me outside, a blue wasp caught my attention, it was beautiful and it was doing something peculiar, it was using its antennas to sense something in the ground, after a while it would start digging small holes with its arms, then it would stop and try sensing again, that happened a couple of times, the holes it made where almost perfect circles, after some minutes it went inside one of those holes and then it took out a really big larva, the larva was clearly some magnitudes bigger than the wasp, but it didn’t matter, the wasp took it outside and it flew away with it. That was a surreal experience for me as a kid it opened my eyes, it showed me a lot of amazing things happen every day, and we don’t even realize it.

Chrysididae. Diverse family of beautiful, solitary parasite wasps.

I once watched a fight to the death between a wasp and a brown recluse. The wasp won and tried to carry the spider away but it was too heavy.

> He saw the thing the shell of gray paper had concealed. Horror. The spiral birth factory, stepped terraces of the hatching cells, blind jaws of the unborn moving ceaselessly, the staged progress from egg to larva, near-wasp, wasp. In his mind’s eye, a kind of time-lapse photography took place, revealing the thing as the biological equivalent of a machine gun, hideous in its perfection. Alien. He pulled the trigger, forgetting to press the ignition, and fuel hissed over the bulging, writhing life at his feet.

… I think William Gibson did not instil a love of wasps in me.

> So what does he say when people tell him they hate wasps. "I just cry." He laughs. "Why don't people already love wasps? They're the lions of the insect world."

Yes, but freak zoo escapes aside, I can mostly avoid lions by staying out of the Serengeti.

Jerkish wasps are always trying to get into my beer, especially in the UK - they are really aggressive there.

> Jerkish wasps are always trying to get into my beer, especially in the UK - they are really aggressive there.

Inquisitive is probably a better qualifier than aggressive. In my experience european wasps have low aggression: they're not going to sting you out of nowhere, but they tend to buzz and stay around and investigate pretty much anything that looks edible (foods, drinks, people, …), leading to people trying to swat them, and that's when things get iffier.

Even european hornets are not really aggressive, but they're big enough to trigger a more primal terror even in people who are generally fine with insects.

People who get stung out of nowhere have been swatting the wasp away, or are leaping around trying to avoid them. It's no wonder really. Mind you, most people give the same reaction to bees which are positively docile. People generally seem to find you insane if you don't participate in this swatting and running away business. :)

Now if you were drinking your beer right by where a wasp nest happened to be, yeah then there'd be aggression.

> Now if you were drinking your beer right by where a wasp nest happened to be, yeah then there'd be aggression.

That reminded me of my last camping trip this summer. Right as we set up near a fountain and started eating, wasps started to gather around our food (apparently they love blue cheese scent) to the point we had to relocate to be able to eat (they were pretty insistent).

We ended up relocating with the sun falling so we missed a wasp nest in a rock about 3 metres away from our tent!

We noticed it a couple days later since we stopped caring after not being disturbed by any more wasps.

They got out of their nest at high vertical velocity, and it faced away from our tent, so we just weren't in their flight path. A few came to visit, but they stopped gathering around our blue cheese and mostly went hunting near tree roots.

Africanized Bees in S and N America are anything but docile. Trying running a lawnmower near some.

If you ignore them, the common ones will ignore you as well (not your food or beer). Just be careful not to eat one caught in your food or drink. I found out while making wine. Hundreds of wasps foraging for grape sugar. Even some hornets. The hornets are a different story if you get close to their nest (don't).

I am fascinated by tarantula hawks, the first time I saw one flying I thought it was a black humming bird! I’ve watched one hunt a tarantula and drag it 25 yards across a yard to it’s layer. The deep blue black and contrasting copper wings are visually stunning. Oh yeah and the second most painful sting right behind the bullet ant, right in my own middle American suburban back yard!

Tarantula hawks are my favorite insect.

I was very glad to have some wasps help me with my gardening this year!

Earlier this summer, I was pruning my tomato plants, when I came across a giant green tomato hornworm attached under a leafy stem. I looked up and noticed an entire stem's leaves had already been decimated by it! But lucky for me, I had a bunch of flowering plants right beside the tomatoes, and some miniature wasps had been frequenting them. They'd found the hornworm before me and laid a couple hundred egg sacs on its back, incapacitating it. Later on the larvae hatched and devoured the hornworm. Weeks later I found another similar hornworm, half-way devoured. In both cases, wasps saved my tomatoes from potential disaster.

I have a similar symbiotic relationship with spiders.

They are allowed to freely roam around, as long as they take of all the summer bugs that happen to fly in during Summer time.

Ah and don't get too crazy with their webs.

Wasps does wonders for gardening, and yellowjackets and hornets are like the generalized guardians. They are extremely efficient at removing pests from the garden.

Last year we had a yellowjacket nest in the garden and they mostly didn't bother us. I had to move my grill, but that was about it. Nobody got stung. They kept all the kale free of cabbage butterfly larvae, and as long as we didn't disturb them in their hunting, there was no problem.

Ah! Maybe that explains my total lack of squash bugs this year. Usually they destroy my squash vines.

I have a smattering of nests in the high ceiling of my machine shed. Sometimes I get out the wasp spray, sometimes I let them be.

Last year I had 50 nests and a very high population of wasps; this year hardly any. Do any birds eat wasps? Something is keeping them in check...

All hail!

After getting stung 5+ times yesterday, not a fan of them. Apparently, they leave a scent encouraging further attacks. We just happened to be doing clean up near an undergrown hive.

I have a fair amount of wasps in my vicinity: mud daubers and paper wasps mostly it seems. They're very inquisitive and curious but not necessarily belligerent. I've never had any problems with them so I generally leave them alone, though I do clean their nests off my house and shed.

*One of the coolest experiences of my life spent outside was watching a tarantula hawk and tarantula engage in mortal combat right in front of my friend and I as we were sitting and relaxing in a park.

Where I grew up as a kid you were always warned about yellowjackets, not wasps generally. Not knowing how to discern a yellowjacket I guess I was generally wary of wasps, particularly any wasp that was yellowish, but never had the mindset that all wasps were aggressive. A wasp-shaped thing that was black wouldn't have been something I'd think twice about.

What sucks about yellowjackets is that they're easy to dismiss as bees. You can ignore bees; indeed, you should ignore them. Not ignoring bees is how you get stung. Yellowjackets have a reputation for being capricious. Ignoring a yellowjacket is how you get stung, not how you avoid getting stung. At least, that seemed to be the wisdom.

I really don't understand how to mistake a bee for a yellowjacket - they look very different, and about the only thing they have in common are that they fly and some bees have a yellowish color that does not look like the bright yellow.

They sound different, they are build quite different, and they fly differently. Just observing bees on flowers for a few minutes every day in the summer and it's obvious, at least it is to me.

It might even be better to leave the nests because they generally will not re-use a nest, for hygiene reasons apparently.

The worst ones seem to be hornets/yellow jackets. They're aggressive, and want to eat anything that people have.

Vespex. It’s a fantastic tool for removing wasp populations and is working wonders in areas of New Zealand where wasps are really harming native insects and animals.

I had a wasp manage to get inside my home a few months back. I went up to take a quick look (it was hovering around my ceiling fan). I was too lazy to care that much, and figured I'd go get some spray after finishing a TV show. After sitting back to watch, I looked back and was surprised to see the wasp dive bombing towards me. I have no idea what I did to provoke that aggression, I had gotten closer previously, but still remained a sage distance

Hundreds of them. A 20x60cm nest inside the window case. After bitten for about 10 times and trying every household spray I could fit in the opening of the case with zero results I called professional exterminators. For a hefty price they nuked the room (no idea what kind of poison they used but 4 days afterwards and it still stinks) and killed them all. My most hated thing in insect kingdom rubbing shoulders with mosquitos.

Nuke them from orbit.

I got stung for the 1st time last year - it hurt way more than I expected! It felt like I'd been injected with liquid fire!

Yes, it gets the message across doesn't it? Last time I was stung, I also noticed a strong sense of disgust after the pain was gone. I wonder if that was all in my mind or if it's another effect of the poison.

A while ago I thought the best way to clear out a small starting 3-man nest was with a broom. I was mistaken.

Man walks into a shop and says "Three wasps please". Shopkeeper replies "We don't sell wasps". Man says "That's odd because you have a load of them in your front window". --joke I heard the footballer Paul Gascoigne tell many years ago.

I recently walked into a bakery wanting to buy pastries with icing on top. As they sat in the display case, they were covered with wasps, so I said, “Two wasp food, please”. The girl behind the counter knew immediately what I meant.

How can I not feel sympathetic with a fellow being that's just as inquisitive as I am and likes (among others) the same food that I do?

Not sure I get it..?

In old fashioned small shops it was common to have a display of your merchandise in the front window. This would tend attract/trap wasps in summertime especially if it was a cakeshop or similar. I probably should have said cakeshop! You know you've failed when you need to explain a joke. :)

I once saw a wasp drink an entire drop of white wine, then it ran around on a napkin briefly stopping once in a while, leaving a little wet spot behind. So relatable.

To me, wasps are strong evidence that if there is a creator God he is indifferent to cruelty. Almost all wasp species, to survive, implant their young in hosts. When the young are born they eat the host alive from the inside out. This is the natural order and the order is fucked.

The Patrician took a sip of his beer. ‘I have told this to few people, gentlemen, and I suspect never will again, but one day when I was a young boy on holiday in Uberwald I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I’m sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature’s wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that’s when I first learned about evil. It is built in to the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.’

-- Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett

A long, long time ago when I was in Primary 7 out teacher was a splendid old chap, just about to retire who had been a Spitfire pilot in WW2.

We read the bible every day - usually the violent and rather unpleasant parts of the Old Testament. I do believe old Mr C might have been teaching us a subtle lesson there which he couldn't do openly - it being a deeply religious community in the north of Scotland.

In the memorable words of Randolph Churchill (son of Winston) after being bet to read the Bible by a well meaning colleague: "Isn't God a shit!".

"Well, it's funny that the people, when they say that this is evidence of the Almighty, always quote beautiful things. They always quote orchids and hummingbirds and butterflies and roses." But I always have to think too of a little boy sitting on the banks of a river in west Africa who has a worm boring through his eyeball, turning him blind before he's five years old. And I reply and say, "Well, presumably the God you speak about created the worm as well," and now, I find that baffling to credit a merciful God with that action.

- David Attenborough

I think the problem is, that people are egotistical and assume that a god must be like themselves.

That people can't fathom an entity which is supposedly more powerful and knowledgeable than themselves, isn't also more <insert positive human attributes>. Who says God must only be positive? Who are humans to determine what God must be? Isn't the Old Testament God also a vengeful one?

I see this argument a lot for the non-existence of a higher power, god whatever. But it’s based on the (I think false) presumption that in order for a higher power to exist, that power must necessarily intend for humans on an individual basis have nothing bad happen to them. This is clearly false since the world is full of suffering, pain, genocide, murder and the like. Obviously, the point of life is not for all us to get along and be happy because nothing bad happens, it’s to try to overcome the horror and live in the appreciation of every moment that we are alive, no matter the pain or suffering. Living in enteral peace is easy when nothing bad happens, it’s when the shit hits the fan that the real work begins.

In my humble view, each of us has a part to play in the greater order of the universe. Sometimes that part is to be rich and comfortable. Other times it’s to be a starving child. If you believe in re-incarnation, all of us are the starving child AND the billionaire.

Its not about 'not-beautiful'. Its about abject cruelty. If there is a god, it is a sadist. That's the point being made in this thread.

Sadism to you is absurd humor to an Almighty Creator.

And if you think reincarnation is a load of crap too?

It's not actually really an argument for the non existence of a higher power. It's an argument that if such a higher power exists, it is not benevolent. It's in fact quite malevolent to have created such evil.

I don't think that necessarily follows. Suffering is a necessary component of growth, and so maybe it isn't unreasonable that a god allows their creation to suffer in order to grow. If human beings spent their lives in an idyllic garden of Eden, what would we be? Would we create art? Would we explore? Would we achieve anything? Parents often both allow and inflict suffering upon their children, but do you believe that these are acts of malevolence?

So children losing their sight to a parasitic worm by age 5 is a necessary part of growth?

Sorry, no, that's repellant.

You're thinking on an individual level, presumably a god has all of humanity to think about (at the very least, they probably concern themselves with all things that exist). If the after-life exists, then that child will have undergone a mere lifetime of suffering and then live forever in paradise. In the meantime, meankind on earth has been working to solve the problems of blindness and health care distribution, in the process learning about itself both physically and as a societal entity.

When you think about it, expecting god (or the universe) to invest its full attention in you and your problems is really quite entitled.

But let's suppose you had it your way and there was no suffering anywhere. How would god achieve that? I imagine the only way is to force everyone to do the right thing at all times, thus eliminating the concept of free will, and then what even are we? Who are we to demand both the freedom to act as we wish and freedom from consequences?

I was an atheist for a long time, so I get the whole 'God is a dick' thing, but when you sit down and think about it deeply I think you'll see that it is only true for a particularly disingenuous construct of god.

> You're thinking on an individual level, presumably a god has all of humanity to think about

That's even worse! All those dead children are just a way for the privileged people to understand how good they have it. Be grateful for what scraps I give you and reduce yourself to your insignificance, peasant!

>> In the meantime, meankind on earth

None of which justifies the suffering of children.

>> When you think about it, expecting god (or the universe) to invest its full attention in you and your problems is really quite entitled.

That's exactly what most monotheistic religions promise.

>> But let's suppose you had it your way and there was no suffering anywhere.

That's not an argument I'm trying to make.

All of this is just squirming to relativise the unjust - the extreme suffering of children.

>> when you sit down and think about it deeply I think you'll see that it is only true for a particularly disingenuous construct of god.

No, when you sit down and think about it, children are being blinded by parasites at age 5.

I wonder how much child suffering you've indirectly (or even directly!) contributed to every day? Yet you are so ready to condemn a being who would merely allow said suffering.

Nursie 28 days ago [flagged]

A being who allegedly, omnipotently, created such suffering.

Yes, quite ready to condemn that.

Yet you create suffering throughout the world every day. Where were your clothes made? Where was your food grown? From what mines were the metals extracted for the computing device you're using to converse in this very thread?

Nevermind you, though. If we accept that the universe is god's creation, then we accept that the suffering we see is a product of that creation. Consider that this may be unavoidable, and perhaps even necessary. We don't know for what purpose creation exists, do we?

Consider that yes, there are challenges, yes there is suffering, but also that we have the tools to make it better. And yet, even though it is completely within our power to prevent children from being blinded by parasites, we do not. But hey, it's god's fault, right? I suppose that's easier than accepting that we're just not as good as we think we are. Much simpler to point at the sky and say 'oh, there's an omnipotent being who could snap his fingers and end this!', which may even be true, but never ask why it is that being might choose not to even though we ourselves have our reasons for not helping.

Nursie 28 days ago [flagged]

>> Yet you create suffering throughout the world every day

I did not create a worm which bores into the eyes of children and blinds them, en masse, and has done so for millions of years. I'm sure my actions have had negative consequences, but I'm not an omnipotent creator, nor am I arguing that I am perfect and benevolent.

> Consider that this may be unavoidable, and perhaps even necessary. We don't know for what purpose creation exists, do we?

It would appear that it exists in order for such a god to torment and destroy its creations. You're making my argument for me there - a god that invents these forms of suffering is clearly not a benevolent god, and may have all sorts of other motives.

>> And yet, even though it is completely within our power to prevent children from being blinded by parasites, we do not. But hey, it's god's fault, right?

The one does not preclude the other - we can be bastards for not fixing it and god can be a bigger bastard for inventing it in the first place and letting it and its kin run rampant for millions of years.

>> I suppose that's easier than accepting

Oh please, this is another line of argument I am absolutely not making "God is awful therefore we are perfect", where did I lead you to think that I was making such a bizarre argument?

I'm not sure what argument you're making. You've invented a version of god that is exactly the being you need it to be to say that it is malevolent. I invite you to consider versions of god that are not, that's all.

Nursie 27 days ago [flagged]

> I invite you to consider versions of god that are not, that's all.

You invite me to consider versions of god which are not personal, benevolent, caring gods.

That's fine, but this argument is precisely about such gods, the gods that people try to sell us in mainstream religions, and how reality precludes them.

I don't believe any of those qualities need be eschewed. Personal just means thinking of god as a person, benevolent meaning that they generally have good intent, and caring meaning they actually give a damn about our wellbeing.

All of these things can be true and yet still produce the conditions we observe. For instance, god could be flawed or not have complete control over their creation, or the purpose for their creation necessitates that a certain amount of suffering occur. Consider that parents could prevent their children, whom they love, from being injured or emotionally harmed, and yet they do not for a wide variety of reasons. In fact, they inflict a certain amount of suffering on their own child under the belief that it is necessary to reduce suffering in the future.

Nursie 27 days ago [flagged]

> Personal just means thinking of god as a person

No, it means one that is interested in and has a relationship with the individual.

> For instance, god could be flawed or not have complete control over their creation,

Then they are not omnipotent, something we are usually told that montheistic gods are.

> Consider that parents could prevent their children, whom they love, from being injured or emotionally harmed, and yet they do not

Frickin eyeball worms.

I give up at this point, AFAICT you're just being obtuse for the sake of it.

A person that invented and released something that blinded children, causing agony as it did so would be considered evil. Hands down. It would be no defence whatsoever were they to say afterwards "You're not seeing the bigger picture! I'm helping humanity to help itself!". I'm not really aware of any moral code that would say "Oh that's OK" outside of some freakish eugenics mindset or maybe the actual Nazis. I'm not sure why you think a creator god should be allowed to do the same and still be considered "benevolent".

You're being stubborn, clinging to a singular notion of what god is in order to label it as malevolent. Of course the god you envision is malevolent, because that's how you designed it!

Nursie 27 days ago [flagged]

No, I haven't designed such a thing, it's what major monotheistic religions have designed and try to sell.

That's literally the point of the conversation, and one you repeatedly seem to ignore.

> must necessarily intend for humans on an individual basis have nothing bad happen to them

This is at very least at odds with Christian teaching e.g. the personal god is one believed in by many.

This regardless of the lack of scientific evidence for the existence of God.

I don't know which specific Christian sect you're referring to but in Catholicism God isn't seen as merciful on Earth. Penance and repentance (due to our sins, including the Original Sin) are core parts of their belief.

Old testament's God is a jerk. Only on afterlife will you be absolved of your sins (or sent to hell I guess).

The Old Testament God, like all gods, is an expression of a particular culture and its philosophy on the nature of the world, society and the value of human life. It took centuries of cultural and ethical evolution to get from the brutal legalism of "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" to "If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."

This isn't because "God" mellowed out between the Old and New Testaments, rather, it's because humanity changed its definition of what a good and benevolent God should be, over time. Mostly.

But note that before the Fall, things were supposedly perfect, and some theologians place emphasis on the fact that sin and death entered the world through the actions of one man (Adam), and so did redemption and eternal life through Jesus, another human (fully so, despite having no mortal father and being fully God at the same time - Christianity is weird...)

It's a bit of a struggle to harmonize this with evolution, but Catholics are free to believe in it as long as they also affirm the existence of a historical Adam and Eve that did something to cause the Fall...

It was actually Eve, not Adam, who partakes of the fruit, though most theologians would blame Lucifer, and some may even say God intended for all of that to happen anyway

That 'through one man thing' comes from Paul (Romans 5:12, if you want to get specific).

Historically, not all theologians were big on female agency (there's even a theory that a woman only fully takes part in the imago dei when united with man through marriage, whereas a man has it on his own; can't quite remember if that was a Jewish of Christian thing, though...)

Right because who created, Adam, Eve and Lucifer and all things including free will? The buck stops at one place unless you believe there is something outside of god, that is free will is outside of gods creation or design, if so what created it?

Speaking of such things a friend of mine sold me on His Dark Materials by describing it as a world where "dark matter is original sin".

You've never seen someone pray for God to help them?

Agreed. I think you could make the case for god being a gardener/farmer. I don't think that really fits into most forms of Christianity in aware of.

Your presumption is definitely wrong.

There are countless video games, movies and other media that involve graphic display or description of severe torture. Aren't we the gods of those worlds?

What if we are on the level of a video game to some higher being?

Also, there are human parents that produced offspring only to torture and kill their children.

The Christian understanding is that these practices are a result of sin and that will no longer be the case in the new Earth. Most animals, including actual lions, will be vegan/veg in the new world. Current adaptations are simply adaptations as a result of current conditions.

Src: Isiah 65:25

I’m not sure why you’re being downvoted; what you say is correct from a Christian theological perspective.

(Source: a 4-year degree from a somewhat well-known, mostly for negatives, Christian university.)

I have no intentions to debate theology in this forum. Hardly the right place.

An interesting paper on the opposite point of view. Isa 65 is discussed.

Death and the Garden: An Examination of Original Immortality, Vegetarianism, and Animal Peace in the Hebrew Bible and Mesopotamia: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0qm3n0mt

We don’t understand the extent to which a wasp’s prey feel pain, so it’s hard to project a human sensibility like “cruelty” onto it. There isn’t strong evidence to suggest that they “feel” the way we do about things like pain and cruelty. A wasp’s prey being eaten inside-out could very well be as natural and pain-less as lava burning through the Earth’s skin.

Pain is a survival reaction, natural feedback to avoid actions that damage/destroy the being. It was proven that even flowers feel a form of pain.

Pain of smaller creatures might not be exactly same as what we experience, but there is no logical reason to think that feeling pain or other self-preservation instincts are absent.

There is no point to think that unless you hear screams and cries all is good and fine.

Suffering is an emotional response to pain.

Plenty of animals react to negative stimuli, but not all of them experience suffering.

Mental (un)health is an example of this. Sometimes you can neither hear nor see it.

Don't forget that parasitoid wasps generally feed upon parasitic insects themselves. The average weevil is a tree's botfly burrowing beneath its skin and eating it from inside, an aphid is a vampire feeding on a flower's lifeblood, …

Fucked when viewed from the point of a single individual. Beatiful when considered as a whole.

In terms of natural selection and evolution there are only effective and ineffective strategies to survive and reproduce.

Perhaps that relates to the origin of the god. If it itself had been created in some similar way it would naturally consider such a process perfectly natural.

For me the biggest misnomer is to assume just because God is God, he would be nice. Eastern texts, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism etc explain this by Karma. You are a result of your actions, not Gods.

...and the child on the riverbank in Kenya, with its eyeball being eaten from the inside out, was sinful how? How could a child 'deserve' such cruel treatment?

Horrible situation, all these religions dont just preach Karma, but also Dharma, there are 4 parts, Karma, Dharma, Moksha and Artha.

Karma is the basis of your actions, what that child might have done in a past life, but that doesn't stop your Dharma, the guy walking by from helping him. Its our Dharma (duty) to help those and not blame their past lives.

What I'm saying more closer to the point is to base assumption of no creator due to cruelty is a very odd correlation, almost short vision based on the sub-conscious set by Abrahamic religions that all things in this universe are good.

Short (9min) Cronenberg film The Nest about..a wasp infestation. I liked it. Very Cronenbergy.


Wasp is the most hated animal in the world probably

There is also a group in Reddit only about people who hate Wasps


Second only to mosquitos. They should be obliterated from the world. In the western world they are annoying, in other parts of the world they are the deadliest animal/insect.

Last summer I had a big white faced hornet nest next to my front door. Unfortunately I had to spray it with poison.

This year there was a big active yellow jacket nest in one of my sheds. The day I put out some non-poison traps, I noticed there were very few bugs flying around. A couple days later there were none. Something got to them already. I don't know what would kill a whole nest like that unless they got into poison from one of my neighbors.

I think they're actually beautiful animals and I don't want to kill them, but I can't have them right near the house.

Pro-tip: no need for poison. A super soaker filled with a proper mixture of dial dish soap and hot water works better and is better for the environment. I was skeptical at first, but it works as advertised.


I learned that this year and will do something similar from now on. I didn't like spraying my front door with poison very much!

You should have kept the hornets nest to keep away wasps. Its pretty impressive to watch a hornet snap a wasp in half mid-flight. At least were i grew up hornets do not care a lot about coming to grab food when eating lunch/dinner outside and usually stay away from humans.

If it was actually hornets and not two feet from my front door, maybe!

White faced hornets, also called bald faced hornets, are relatives of yellow jackets and technically wasps. They are misnamed hornets because of their size. They are even more aggressive than yellow jackets and one bug can sting you several times in a few seconds.

When I was a kid I was climbing a tree and hit my head on a massive hornet nest. I think I set a world record in falling out of a tree. Either there were chill, or the nest was empty; I didn't stick around to find out.

Very interesting. I always disliked that internet meme that Wasps are useless and made to annoy humans, as if anything that doesn't look pleasing to us or is a bit dangerous has no place in nature. It should be obvious that Wasps have a purpose in our ecosystems, as do most things, of course.

All these popular culture references to wasps. And yet no mention of The Wasp Fsctory?

Seriously disturbing book. Read it many, many years ago, couldn't put it down. It's still on my shelf but I'm not sure I can bring myself to read it again.

Ugh, that's one book I really don't want to read. Ever. And not because of the wasps.

I was hoping to learn something about wasp spray.

That stuff is nothing short of amazing. If you spray some in the air (at a flying wasp), the wasp will instantly drop dead to the ground. Not a quiver.

What on earth can make something be so instantly fatal?

Anecdata: we had a crazy spring in New Hampshire for the mosquito population. It was extraordinarily uncomfortable to spend any time outside during May / June. Over these past few weeks, their populations seem to have plummeted near my house, making it quite enjoyable during the evenings now. The only difference is the appearance of two enormous bald-faced hornet nests in some nearby (but not too nearby) trees. I couldn't find any explicit mention of mosquitoes in their diet, but they do seem to have an appetite for all kinds of insects.

We work in a fairly old building and wasps sometimes find their way into our offices. We used to freak out and get spray or something.

But we learned the easiest way to get rid of wasps is to just open a door that leads outside. They will find it and go away.

Okay, a .2mm wasp that flies has got to be pretty cool.

I can't admire them for biting me in the leg, sorry ;-)

and orchids outwit wasps, scary.

So we are in the middle of an insect apocalypse and we are now told to love these killers? Ha, nice piece of propaganda! This guy probably has a wasp's egg somewhere in his brain! Killem all, I say! /S

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