Summer and fall are peak seasons for wasps, common throughout most of Canada. In early fall when food supplies are lower, wasps become more aggressive, especially around water and food sources such as garbage cans, drinking fountains, sweet food/drinks, and rotting fruit on the ground. Here are some tips for dealing with wasps and helping to prevent stings.
At the Park
- Wear shoes to avoid stepping on a wasp, and be careful with toddlers when they are playing in the grass. If you see wasps in the grass, move to another area.
- Avoid eating in the park when wasps are present. They are attracted to just about any food, but especially sweet foods and drinks.
- If you are drinking, use a cup instead of a bottle or can. Wasps can crawl under the mouth of a bottle or can, where you can’t see them.
- Garbage cans are a food source for wasps, who are especially territorial late in the season. Be careful when throwing out garbage at the park.
- If you are being pursued by a wasp, walk quickly in a straight line to get away. Do not weave around or move your arms, which can be perceived as aggression by the wasp. Do not attempt to kill the wasp, as other wasps may respond.
- Keep screens in good repair. Check door and window frames for holes where wasps can enter your home.
- If you have wasp nests on your property, have them professionally removed.
- Keep garbage in a secured bin, far from places where you sit or play.
- Remember that some wasps nest on the ground. Holes in the ground such as drain pipes, abandoned animal burrows or holes made by a dog can become homes for wasps.
- If you have fruit trees, harvest the fruit well before it becomes over-ripe on the branch and/or drops to the ground, attracting wasps.
No Matter Where You Are
If you have a wasp allergy, always carry your epinephrine auto-injector. Medical identification jewelry, such as a MedicAlert® bracelet, is highly recommended. Let your friends, family and co-workers know about your allergy as well.
While there are many steps that can be taken to prevent stings, it’s important to be prepared if a sting happens. Remember, epinephrine is the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis, not anti-histamines. If you have a wasp allergy and are stung, use your epinephrine auto-injector and get immediate medical care.
Learn more about wasp and other stinging insect allergy.
Like what you’re reading? Support Food Allergy Canada!