All about wasps and hornets – their habitat, sting, treatment, and how to avoid their bite.
Wasps and hornets
Description: The Wasp, or Hornet (also known as Dirt Daubers, Mud Daubers, Potter Wasps, Velvet Ants, Yellowjackets, Fairyflies), is a rather generic suborder of insects. A Wasp generally a smooth-bodied, slender stinging insects. Like a Bee, Wasps have two pairs of wings, a stinger (only the female Wasps have stingers), and few, if any, hairs on their body (in contrast to the Bee which is covered in fuzz). They have a hard exoskeleton covering a three-segmented body and as with all insects, have six legs. Many wasps nest individually in mud nests or in paper pulp (made from chewed bark and wood) nest colonies that they build attached to structures, trees, or burrowed in the ground. There are several thousand species worldwide.
Treatment: If stung by a wasp, check for allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or mouth, or rapid pulse. Wash the sting site thoroughly with soap and water to lessen the chance of a secondary infection. More information on treating bee and wasp stings, including natural remedies that may be found in the wild, may be found here.
NOTE: An exception to general appearance is the velvet ant of the southern United States. It is a flightless wasp with red and black alternating velvety bands.