Thursday, April 4, 2013

Stung by Paper Wasps!

Recently, I was stung twice by wasps unusually. I got the second stinging when I tested the wasps whether they differentiate between my body odours or between the colours of my dress. The result of the test, apart from having a stinging, is only that the wasps have become aggressive recently! This kind of wasp is the Paper Wasp (Ropalidia marginata, Vespa ferruginea, 'Sengulavi' in Tamil). These social wasps are much different from other wasps. I find them often build nests in the dark undisturbed storerooms, inside rain water pipes and also even inside the bedrooms!

The nests are like a tray of closely packed cells that is hanging down from a pedicle attached to the ceiling. They are built with the paper made by mixing the cellulose got from the plant materials with the wasps' saliva. The body of these wasps are deep reddish brown in colour. The queen of the wasp community is said to be formed out of the worker females of the community, whenever a queen quits the colony! The wasps can be easily driven out of our dwellings by holding a burning smoky oil cloth near their nest.
These are the nice and wonder wasps that have turned aggressive and stung me for my intrusion into their territory - since a major part of their nest had been washed out from the rain water pipe in the recent rains! [Of course I had to apply vinegar on the sting-site to get the pain disappear almost in half an hour :) ].

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