Do Wasps Sting or Bite? Understanding the Difference

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on January 22, 2023 · 2 mins read

If you’re a homeowner who spends time outside in your backyard, chances are you’ve encountered wasps before. These stinging insects can be a nuisance, especially if you’re unsure whether they will sting or bite you. In this article, we’ll explore the difference between a wasp sting and bite, why wasps do it, and how to prevent it.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

What is the Difference Between a Wasp Sting and Bite?

A wasp sting occurs when a female wasp injects venom into your skin, which causes pain, swelling, and redness. On the other hand, a wasp bite occurs when a wasp uses its mandibles to bite and tear at your skin for defensive purposes. While both a sting and a bite from a wasp can be painful, there are some key differences that homeowners should be aware of.

Why Do Wasps Sting or Bite?

Wasps sting as a form of defense when they feel threatened or perceive danger to their nest. The venom injected by the wasp can cause pain and swelling, and can even trigger a severe allergic reaction in some individuals.

Wasps bite when they feel threatened and need to defend themselves or their nest. Unlike a sting, a bite from a wasp does not inject venom into the skin but can still be quite painful. Wasps may also bite when they are searching for food or building materials for their nests.

How Can You Prevent Wasps From Stinging or Biting You?

There are several things you can do to prevent wasp stings or bites:

  • Avoid wearing bright colors or floral patterns, as these can attract wasps.
  • Keep sweet foods and drinks covered, especially when eating outdoors.
  • Seal up any gaps or cracks around your home where wasps may build their nests.
  • Dispose of garbage promptly and keep trash cans tightly sealed.
  • If you encounter a wasp, remain calm and avoid swatting at it, as this can make it more aggressive.

In conclusion, understanding the difference between a wasp sting and a bite is important for homeowners who want to enjoy their outdoor spaces without worrying about these stinging insects. By taking steps to prevent wasp encounters, such as sealing up gaps around your home and avoiding wearing bright colors, you can minimize the risk of being stung or bitten by a wasp.