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1168 Views 5 Replies Last post: May 21, 2013 7:35 PM by michaelbw RSS
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Sep 3, 2011 10:38 PM

Biting wasp

Yesterday whilst in the garden a wasp flew onto my arm, it started to do something which felt like scraping/being rubbed with sandpaper.  I assumed it was just getting salt from me but when it started to get too painful I squirted it with the hose to get it off.  I found that it had made a small hole which was bleeding, does anyone know what it was doing?
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    Sep 4, 2011 4:46 PM (in response to eva)
    Re: Biting wasp

    Wasps do chew at  things - usually wood or plant stems - to get fibrous material to make their nests.  In early summer you can watch them chewing the surface of plant stems, wooden posts - even your garden furniture, leaving a pale streak with an audible rasping sound.  Later in the year the brood has been raised, the nest is complete, and they tend to get a bit antisocial - allegedly more people get stung at this time.  So it's entirely likely that a wasp simply decided to have a chew at you for fun.

     

    Of course, if you have a wooden arm, that would explain it...

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      Sep 4, 2011 10:05 PM (in response to Clive Washington)
      Re: Biting wasp
      Have you ever heard of one chewing on a person before though?
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        Sep 5, 2011 7:09 AM (in response to whitecab)
        Re: Biting wasp
        No, but I wouldn't be surprised.  If you look at a wasp under a microscope you see that the jaws make up a large part of the face, they are meant to bite into stuff.  When wasps get into a moth trap they will use the jaws to snip the wings off the moths and take the body back to feed the nest.  So a wasp obviously sees its jaws as a primary weapon.
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    May 21, 2013 7:35 PM (in response to eva)
    Re: Biting wasp

    Are you sure it was a wasp? I had this happen to me when a cleg (horsefly) landed on my hand. It started chewing and, when it got too painful, I tried to flick it off but it just crouched closer to my skin and kept chewing! I had to literally pull it off and it left a small hole in the skin where it had chewed through.

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