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Author Topic: Do wasps attack people in orange?  (Read 10651 times)

Offline Make it Lady

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« on: 24/08/2009 21:07:28 »
I've just been on my hols to Greece. We hired a boat and when we were mooring up at a deserted port on a quiet Island we were attacted by a swarm of wasps. I was wearing an orange life jacket and was the only person to get stung. Luckily we had a speed boat and we left quite rapidly. Did the wasps attack me because I looked more like a predetor in my orange jacket or was it coincedence? Also why do wasps suddenly get aggressive.


 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #1 on: 25/08/2009 07:58:40 »
Maybe it has something to do with their eyesight
 

Offline Nizzle

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #2 on: 25/08/2009 08:05:57 »
Maybe all those forest fires in Greece made them angry, and they thought you were a flame so they attacked you? ;)

I don't think wasps have orange predators. I'm not sure if any animal eats wasps in fact.

And wasps can get very aggressive suddenly because it's their defense mechanism. To attack is the best defense surely counts for a wasp's way of thinking.
« Last Edit: 25/08/2009 08:08:28 by Nizzle »
 

Offline Don_1

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #3 on: 25/08/2009 08:41:19 »
Perhaps you looked like a giant Hornet. Hornets will attack wasps.
 

Offline Mazurka

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #4 on: 25/08/2009 08:46:28 »
Having spent several years of my working life on (landfill) sites wearing high viz clothing - I can add the following anecdotal evidence.  Wasps "prefer" to bother people in orange rather than yellow high viz, whilst most other bugs and biting insects prefer yellow.

In general wasps will sting if you are competing for their food or are disturbing their nest.

There are plenty of things that predate wasps.  Unlikely as it sounds, in the UK the main predator is the badger as they destroy entire nests for the comb.  Weasels, stoats, blackbirds, magpies (and several other birds) are also known to nibble on the little blighters.  I would expect that there are insects and spiders also partial to the odd wasp or two.  I agree that none of these are noted for being orange...
 

Offline chris

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #5 on: 25/08/2009 08:54:18 »
That's fascinating, thanks for those insights.

Incidentally I stumbled into a wasp nest in my garden last week. I was mowing the lawn and managed to park the mower right above the opening to their underground lair! Interestingly, the nest was in an old mouse hole and at least 30cm along from the opening. I flooded the wasps out with the hosepipe because they'd chosen to nest right next door to my childens' swing. When I excavated in the aftermath it turned out that they had been using an old tree root, which was growing inside the same hole, as the source of wood for their paper nest. So is this what they usually do, make a nest near to a wood source?

Chris
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #6 on: 25/08/2009 20:32:07 »
We've had three nests in our attic this year. We have a large wood pile down the side of the house so they have got building material not so far away.

Back to my original question. The wasps in Greece seemed to live in close contact with hornets. Maybe they thought I was a really big Hornet. I thought hornets were related to wasps in some way so I wouldn't have thought they would attack each other. Am I wrong on this?
Having spent several years of my working life on (landfill) sites wearing high viz clothing - I can add the following anecdotal evidence.  Wasps "prefer" to bother people in orange rather than yellow high viz, whilst most other bugs and biting insects prefer yellow.

In general wasps will sting if you are competing for their food or are disturbing their nest.

There are plenty of things that predate wasps.  Unlikely as it sounds, in the UK the main predator is the badger as they destroy entire nests for the comb.  Weasels, stoats, blackbirds, magpies (and several other birds) are also known to nibble on the little blighters.  I would expect that there are insects and spiders also partial to the odd wasp or two.  I agree that none of these are noted for being orange...
Thanks Muz this is interesting.
 

Offline JimBob

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #7 on: 25/08/2009 22:49:58 »
my guess would be that it is more likely that they are reacting to another spectrum of light - UV specifically - that MAY be reflected more by orange. I know that bees see in a different set of light spectra than we do - flowers are clearly different. I found this link about how bees see things and, as relatively close relatives of bees, wasps may very well also see this way. 

http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/ic/vision/bee-vision.html

If this isn't it, I haven't a clue.
 

Offline Don_1

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #8 on: 26/08/2009 10:01:17 »
The wasp nest is made from chewed wood and saliva. Judging by the colours in this woodpulp nest, I would say that a variety of other woods leaves and possibly flowers may get into the pulp.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #9 on: 27/08/2009 19:43:35 »
Why do some people call the wasps yellow jackets.
 

Offline AllenG

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #10 on: 27/08/2009 20:59:13 »
Why do some people call the wasps yellow jackets.
In the US we distinguish (colloquially)  Yellow Jackets into their own group from wasps.


Yellow Jacket


Wasp (Red Wasp)
 

Offline Don_1

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #11 on: 28/08/2009 09:10:30 »
Yellow Jacket is a term used mostly in the US, other English speaking people just call them wasps. Its a rather vague name really, since there are more than 5000 different species of wasp (Vespidae). Although they are an eternal pain in the backside when trying to enjoy a late summer BBQ, they are very important predators of pest insects.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #12 on: 28/08/2009 19:11:22 »
oooh never seen a red wasp
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #13 on: 28/08/2009 19:12:39 »
Is there some sort of sting index where you can compare the pain different insects inflict as I am arguing with the kids as to who has had the worst sting.
 

Offline JnA

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #14 on: 29/08/2009 01:59:48 »
If you want to attract butterflys (or is that butterflies?) you put brightly coloured (orange and yellow) discs with something sweet on them in your garden. The butterflies hone in on the colour.
Adult wasps eat nectar.. so maybe they though you were a giant flower and got a bit annoyed when they realised you were not.


Hope the stinging settles.
 

Offline JimBob

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #15 on: 29/08/2009 17:51:34 »
Is there some sort of sting index where you can compare the pain different insects inflict as I am arguing with the kids as to who has had the worst sting.

Yes!

Slap them up the side of their head and ask them which hurts more, the sting or the slap.


Then later a nice lady will come 'round and take them off your hands.
 

Offline JnA

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #16 on: 30/08/2009 01:45:37 »
Is there some sort of sting index where you can compare the pain different insects inflict as I am arguing with the kids as to who has had the worst sting.

Yes!

Slap them up the side of their head and ask them which hurts more, the sting or the slap.


Then later a nice lady will come 'round and take them off your hands.


Once I slapped a kids upside the head using Johnson&Johnsons No More Tears....   flagrant false advertising.
 

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Do wasps attack people in orange?
« Reply #16 on: 30/08/2009 01:45:37 »

 

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