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Gingersnap
09-08-2010, 11:35 AM
Attleboro attack underscores threat posed by wasps

By David Abel and L. Finch
Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent / September 8, 2010

It got so bad the lingering wasps, which had already stung the nearly unconscious woman more than 500 times, began attacking her rescuers.

The 53-year-old Attleboro woman had either fallen or stepped on a nest, local fire officials said, and when rescuers found her lying on the grass Saturday evening next to her Division Street home, she was covered in a type of wasp called yellow jacket. The firefighters used a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher, which sprayed cold, compressed gas, to stun the insects so they could help the woman, Fire Chief Scott Lachance said.

Afterward, several yellow jackets remained in her clothing and stung three firefighters in the ambulance, he said. A few stragglers made it to the hospital, but did not sting anyone there, Lachance added.

Though summer is winding down, this is the most likely time of year to be stung by wasps and similar predatory insects, entomologists say.

In the past few months, millions of larvae throughout the region have matured, most reaching adulthood during the past few weeks. There are now more adult wasps than at anytime of the year, and they are all competing for sustenance, making them more likely to prowl garbage bins, picnic tables, or anywhere people leave food, entomologists say.

“This is the time of year that they’re scavenging for food stocks to keep their queens alive for the coming year,’’ said Lee Corte-Real, director of the division of crop and pest services at the state Department of Agricultural Resources. “They’re foraging desperately as the weather gets cooler, and sometimes people get in their way.’’

Yesterday, a group of yellow jackets attacked several students and their teacher in Dover, N.H., as they took part in an outdoor science activity, school and local fire officials said.

One of the sixth-graders from Dover Middle School had stepped on a wasps nest, agitating the yellow jackets and sending the students running, Dover Assistant Fire Chief Richard Driscoll said.

The insects chased the students, stinging 11 of them and their teacher, several as many as 20 times, Driscoll said. Firefighters treated three of the students, while the rest of the class darted back to the school, warding off the insects along the way.

“It wasn’t mass hysteria,’’ Driscoll said. “You have to give the kids credit.’’

Eric C. Mussen, a specialist on bees and other insects at the University Of California at Davis, said part of the problem is that many of the traditional prey of wasps — spiders, caterpillars, and other insects — are dying at this time of year, so the yellow jackets are scavenging for food left by people.

He said they have even been known to bite people, which is more bloody than stinging.

Great. I had no idea they also bit people. We uncovered a big nest last week in the back of our property. All those bugs met Jesus.

Boston (http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/09/08/attleboro_attack_underscores_threat_posed_by_wasps/?page=1)

PoliCon
09-08-2010, 12:22 PM
generally - they leave you alone unless you do disturb their nest or swat at them . . . .

noonwitch
09-08-2010, 12:54 PM
Kids just don't read the classics, anymore. I knew better than to mess with a nest of yellow jackets because I read Little House In The Big Woods, and learned from Laura's cousin's mistake.

FlaGator
09-08-2010, 02:45 PM
Checkout this monster nest

http://forum.gon.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=7007&stc=1&d=1114651389

PoliCon
09-08-2010, 09:36 PM
Checkout this monster nest

http://forum.gon.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=7007&stc=1&d=1114651389

:eek:WTF? where is that from??

malloc
09-08-2010, 09:39 PM
:eek:WTF? where is that from??

I don't know, but I think I would be comfortable burning down the whole shed thing rather than try to fight that nest. Screw it, the shed would be cheaper to replace.

3rd-try
09-08-2010, 10:48 PM
generally - they leave you alone unless you do disturb their nest or swat at them . . . .

You're right about that. But once riled, they are aggressive.

Gingersnap
09-08-2010, 11:04 PM
Problem is, your idea of "alone" and their idea of "alone" may be literally miles apart. :(

Kay
09-08-2010, 11:42 PM
There is nothing worse than being swarmed on and stung by Yellowjackets.
We have them all over out here, and I've been stung many times as a kid.

There is this kind:

http://get-rid-of-pests.com/wp-content/uploads/yellowjacket1.jpg

And then there is this kind (my nephew #75).
I was myself once a Kermit Yellowjacket.
Note the mascot in front (my niece).
Picture from 2 yrs ago.

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j52/kaycrawford/Wesley%2075/Wes3.jpg?t=1284003359

FlaGator
09-09-2010, 08:43 AM
:eek:WTF? where is that from??

Here is another and the story that the image is associated with

http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=TL&Date=20060717&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=607180308&Ref=AR&Profile=1007&MaxW=600&border=0 (http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060717/NEWS/607180308/1007/9112002#) A yellow jacket nest overtakes the inside of a 1955 Chevrolet on the property of Harry Coker in Tallassee on Thursday. Gigantic yellow jacket nests are turning up across the southern two-thirds of Alabama.

http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060717/NEWS/607180308/1007/9112002

PoliCon
09-09-2010, 11:03 AM
Problem is, your idea of "alone" and their idea of "alone" may be literally miles apart. :(


True. When we do apples at the church for the thanksgiving pie fundraiser - they end up all over ya - crawling on your hands and stuff while you try and peal . . . . But no stings unless some idiot starts swinging at em.

PoliCon
09-09-2010, 11:06 AM
Here is another and the story that the image is associated with

http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=TL&Date=20060717&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=607180308&Ref=AR&Profile=1007&MaxW=600&border=0 (http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060717/NEWS/607180308/1007/9112002#) A yellow jacket nest overtakes the inside of a 1955 Chevrolet on the property of Harry Coker in Tallassee on Thursday. Gigantic yellow jacket nests are turning up across the southern two-thirds of Alabama.

http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060717/NEWS/607180308/1007/9112002

I can feel anaphylactic shock coming on just looking at that nest . . . .:eek:

NJCardFan
09-11-2010, 12:56 PM
This is wasp(or in this case hornet) horror:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDSf3Kshq1M