Can Dead Wasps Sting? (Painful Facts)

When a wasp dies what happens to its sting? Is wasp still able to sting after dying? These are very interesting questions. In order to answer them, we need to learn about how the wasp stinger works. It is not that complicated as it seems and this information will help us to better understand the process and get to the main point.

When the wasp dies, it cannot sting you on its own. However, if you step on a dead wasp barefoot or squeeze it in your hands, the sting may penetrate your skin. This leads to the main answer.

Dead wasps can sting. The venom sac at the end of a wasp sting still keeps pulsing for some time after a wasp dies. That’s why when you come in contact with the sting of a dead wasp, you may still be injected with venom.

There are two main groups of wasps: solitary and social wasps. The main difference between them aside from their lifestyle is that social wasps use their stingers only to protect themselves from the potential danger, and solitary wasps rely on venom to hunt.

Wasp Stinger: How It Works

A wasp’s stinger is much different from the bee’s stinger. Wasps don’t lose their stingers like bees.

Wasps have smooth stingers, which allows them to sting again and again. And wasps don’t die when they sting. This is because a bee’s stinger is barbed at the end, so when the bee takes off it stays in the prey, which leads to the removal of the insides of the bee. 

A wasp’s stinger is designed differently from a bee’s stinger. It’s smooth and doesn’t stay in the prey. It helps a wasp to strike possible danger over and over and stab the prey to death.

Also, wasps usually attack in a large group. A wasp can release a chemical that summons other wasps that are nearby. They can follow their threat over long distances continuously stinging it. 

Wasps sting people only in cases when they feel threatened. Although the sting is used more to catch the prey, it can also serve as a defense mechanism against people. If a female wasp feels threatened, the only defense she can use is a stinger. 

Another case when wasps may sting people is when they get annoyed. But it’s very connected to the defensive mechanism. For example, when you move quickly, trying to get rid of a wasp may trigger a wasp and make it feel annoyed and threatened.

Dead Wasps: Why The Stinger Might Work

If a wasp is dead for a long time, then the venom stops pulsing in a sting and it will not work anymore. If a wasp died a few seconds ago, for example, then there is a great chance that a stinger will still work if you squeeze it in your hands or come in contact with a wasp. 

This means that when you see a dead wasp you should not take it or hold it because you can still get the sting. You could do a little experiment and press on the body of a dead wasp to see if the stinger emerges. But we do not recommend it as you can accidentally sting yourself because of simple negligence.

The dead wasp cannot activate the stinger to attack, so the only way the venom can penetrate your skin is when you squash a wasp yourself.

When wasps are truly dead, they can’t actively put their stinger into you anymore.

Wasp attacks are very rare. They mostly sting intruders to protect their nest. It’s interesting because when wasps notice danger for their nest, they fly out of it and move their wings with unusual frequency. This works as a signal for other wasps to fly out and attack. They can attack intruders within 7 meters and will notice every moving target.

Wasps get easily attached to some food or sweet drinks. That’s why people need to be careful because there were many cases when people did not see a wasp on their sandwich or in a drink, and they have been stung while eating. If you swallow a wasp, it can sting your throat, which can result in swelling.

Also, it is recommended to avoid fragrances that are based on flower odors. It can attract wasps to land on you. Wasps can also sting through clothes, so even if you squash them with your hands under the shirt, you will probably get a sting. 

How To Handle A Dead Wasp

Let’s say you found a dead wasp on the floor. You see that it doesn’t move, so if you hold it in your hand it will not actively sting you. However, you need to be very careful, because you can sting yourself.  

When you get a sting by a wasp it can be very unpleasant. It can be very frightening and stressful for anyone, but especially for those who may have allergic reactions to insect stings.

In some cases, wasp stings can be even life-threatening to those, who suffer from allergies.  Insect bites and stings can cause an allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which can lead to death. Moreover, there can be multiple stings because of how wasp sting works.

However, you don’t need to worry about this allergic reaction too much. This type of reaction is quite rare and there is a low chance that the sting will be fatal.

However, if you are unsure whether you are allergic you need to talk to your doctor. If you ever had severe reactions to a wasp sting, you should definitely ask your doctor about specific allergy shots. This is called immunotherapy, but before doing that you need to talk to a medical practitioner. 

Leave a Comment