"The wasps went absolutely ballistic"
School kids on camp near Dunedin, disturb wasp nest 8pm at night. 2 kids stung 18 & 19 times each. ""(Fairfield School principal) arrived at the camp just after 9pm to find everyone in the main dining room, including "children with their shirts off dressing wounds". Hundreds of wasps were inside the camp, with more flying into windows trying to get inside. "There were wasps everywhere, through the entire camp, in all the rooms." A large number of the students were stung, he said."" ".... There has been a reported spike in wasp numbers around Dunedin, with a woman taken to hospital after she was stung by wasps and a contractor was stung 30 times."" ""Pest-Gone Services Ltd owner-operator Ben Powell said earlier this year wasp numbers had spiked this year. Up to 15 nests a day were being destroyed by staff, he said."" http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/78235267/wasp-attack-on-children-at-camp-looked-liked-a-war-zone-principal-says.html http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11611240
Are there any good non prescription antihistamine tablets for wasp stings. A couple of weeks ago I was stung between my toes and although the swelling went down fairly quickly, 2 days later the itching was still driving me crazy. I took a Claratyne tablet and that certainly eased things but I wonder what else is available
I carry Stingose gel, but haven't had to use it yet. - Relieves the pain and discomfort of bites and stings within minutes - Minimises itching, swelling, blistering and inflammation - Reduces allergic reactions from bites and stings - Cleans the skin of sunscreen and oils, which allows the medication to work faster Stingose® contains the active ingredient aluminium sulphate, which breaks down the toxins in bites and stings from a wide range of insects, plants and marine life. In an extensive clinical trial involving 1003 cases of stings and bites, complete pain relief was achieved in 99.4% of cases. Bites and stings treated with Stingose® in the trial included - Jellyfish stings, Mosquito bites, Sea lice stings, Sand fly bites, Bluebottle stings, Ant bites, Bee stings, Plant stings such as nettles, Wasp stings
Bicarbonate soda - I carry the dry powder (light weight, cheap, readily available). When needed, mix with a small amount of water to make a paste and apply to the sting. I imagine NZ used to have Blue Bag (clothes brightener/bleach). As a youngster, I ran into a wasp nest and copped multiple stings to the face - serious pain. My mother dabbed the stings with a moistened blue bag and instantly the pain disappeared. The major component was bicarb soda. Tried it in Nelson Lakes - it works.
Interesting info about the Stingose trial. I presume it was "pain relief" and not "itch relief". Stingose does nothing for my sandfly / mosquito bites.
I carry some stuff called 'StingEze', which I have used for the odd mosquito bite the itch of which was driving me crazy, worked well. Was good for a couple of wasp stings I have had.
How do you disturb a wasp nest enough to get them to swarm like that? Not being overly afraid of wasps, I normally give any nest I find a good kicking and stomping in a attempt to cave in the entrance... but never managed to get them overly excited, or never excited enough to follow me for more then a few meters. If in a mood, I sometime stick my camera lens down the hole and photograph them, they would climb over and around the lens but never shown any signs of aggression towards me while doing it. Do you actually need to damage the main core of the nest?
Wasps are weird like that militaris. Years ago I recall spending a week at Totaranui, (Abel Tasman NP) and there was an astounding density of wasps flying about a foraging for food. At least a couple per square metre, between 100 and 300 mm off the ground. Yet there were kids running about, people walking in bare feet and campers everywhere with no panic or concern I could see. I'm sure a few people got whacked from time to time, but certainly the wasps weren't being aggressive. Yet other times they can be a real menace. As you say, something must trigger that aggression and I don't know I've ever seen an explanation that totally fits yet. Honora said elsewhere that the time of year has a lot to do with it and what phase the nest is in.
An interesting thing has happened in the Abel Tasman NP... since DOC have been laying out Vespex the wasp numbers have dropped significantly. We spoke to a ranger there who said they were pretty pleased with the initial results. But... when you reduce the numbers of one insect, another one flourishes, especially if one was a food source. My husband is a regular at the park during the tourist season and he's noticed mosquito numbers have exploded. I can confirm this because during my last two visits in Jan/Feb this year I got bitten multiple times (a first over many years). There were more mozzies than sandflies between Tonga Quarry and Bark Bay. It may be the breeding conditions were optimal but I think it's because their main predator has taken a hit. If you had to choose between a sting and a bite, the mozzies get the vote I suppose but still, it's not good to see numbers like this hovering around your legs.
How do you disturb a wasp nest enough to get them to swarm like that? Not being overly afraid of wasps, I normally give any nest I find a good kicking and stomping in a attempt to cave in the entrance... but never managed to get them overly excited, or never excited enough to follow me for more then a few meters. Walking past a nest near Cow Creek was enough. 1 of us got stung on the back of the knee. Another time it was war and Im sure they knew they were in the firing line. Nest just inside a neighbors property under blackberry. We had tried carbryl in the entrance but that did little so I had a plan. Drive a stake into the ground from my side of the fence at an angle to hopefully hit the nest The stake hit a soft spot and all hell broke loose. I had 10 feet to go to the house door but got stung twice Other neighbor was hanging washing she got stung on the head. Basically everything moving was targeted. 2 litres of petrol went down the hole that night. I won
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