What Is In Wasp’s Venom?

Wasp - Garden Grove Wasp Nest RemovalA wasp’s sting hurts a lot more than that of a honey bee. That is why our first instinct is to want them as far away from us as possible. In Garden Grove wasp nest removal is as easy as calling Bee Busters. 

But why do wasp stings hurt so much? Wasps secrete venom into their stingers. This venom can be used as an offensive weapon, to hunt for prey, but also as a defensive weapon, when defending the nest. It is this latter use that many of us have experienced on our own skins.

Clever design

The way we feel pain is essential to how wasps exploit a loophole in this system. Basically, pain tells us that a part of the body is being damaged. We can then choose to fight or flee. The wasp’s venom is very clever. It uses amplification of pain to convince the assailant that the damage is far more severe than it actually is. The minute puncture in the skin feels a lot more painful, so the brain is more likely to flee, fixing the wasp’s problem. What’s more, wasps are capable of stinging more than once, so the damage can be multiplied. And if the wasp is not alone (for instance, when defending the nest), any would-be attacker will quickly be persuaded to back away.

What’s in this venom?

The venom is a complex mixture of active ingredients which act in stages. First of all, the stinger delivers the venom straight into the bloodstream. The first active ingredient is a peptide enzyme. This compound attacks the cell membrane and effectively kills the cell. When this enzyme reaches a neuron, it signals the brain that there is damage being caused. This is our sensation of pain. The next ingredient is norepinephrine, a compound also produced by our bodies. It is normally released in order to increase our alertness and awareness of the danger. It is likely that wasps inject this compound in order to stimulate the victim’s fight-flight response (in favor of the flight part, of course). Finally, the third active component is again a peptide. This peptide, called MCDP or Mast Cell Degranulating Peptide serves to disintegrate the connective tissue between the cells, so that the first two active ingredients can move on to other cells and repeat this process. This compound is the one responsible for the redness and the swelling, as it destroys large areas of connective tissue in your body.

Let’s not forget allergies

As if wasp stings weren’t bad enough by themselves, a percentage of people are allergic to the venom in it. For some people, this allergic reaction will manifest as a swelling and redness, much like a normal reaction. What is different is that this reaction persists for a few days or even up to a week, unlike a regular reaction.  However, when we talk about allergies, we usually mean the severe allergic reactions. People who are severely allergic to wasp stings experience anaphylactic shock. The only help for these people is immediate medical help. Epi-pen is supposed to be administered as soon as possible, and then 911 called.

If you are looking to avoid getting stung in the first place, contact Bee Busters for wasp nest removal in Garden Grove or any other location where the company operates. Aside from wasp nest removal, Bee Busters offer a variety of other insect infestation solutions. Contact now to find out more.