A wasp is a flying insect closely related to bees and ants. They are perhaps best known for their sting. Wasps can sting repeatedly and social wasps, like hornets and yellow jackets will attack in groups and cause serious damage to their target. Most wasps do not live in groups, however, and these solitary wasps present little danger to anyone unless they are harassed.

Wasps in the Environment

Wasp species are extremely important to world ecology. Many wasps prey on other insects, often acting as parasites by laying their eggs on other insects or egg clusters so the hatching larval wasps can feed on the insects as they grow. Alternatively, a mother wasp may build a nest for her offspring and store insects she has paralyzed with her sting within the nest for the larvae to eat as they grow. This functions to keep populations of plant-eating insects in check and these wasps should certainly be viewed as a gardener's friend and encouraged rather than sprayed with insecticide. Some adult wasps also feed on insects, their eggs and their larvae, although some wasps only feed as larvae.

Although many adult wasps don't feed at all, many of those who do feed primarily on nectar and so some species of wasps also act as important pollinators for a variety of fruit crops. They are especially important to fig growers as many fig trees have specialized wasp species that act as their primary pollinators in a fascinating case of co-evolution. If these wasps were wiped out, their host fig trees would have to be pollinated by hand! Likewise if the fig trees were wiped out, their associated wasp species would quickly be extinct as well.

First Aid for Wasp Stings

When a wasp stings, it pumps venom into its target's skin causing a painful reaction and a raised welt on the skin. A wasp can sting multiple times and if it is a social species, her friends will quickly join in the action, so your first course of action is to remove yourself from the vicinity of the wasp.

Once the victim of the sting is safely away from the wasp, the bite itself can be treated with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice which will help neutralize the sting. Alternatively, you can use a poultice of crushed or chewed fresh plantago leaf (either Plantago major or Plantago lanceolata will work) or a drop of lavender essential oil. You do not need to remove a stinger from a wasp sting because, unlike a bee, a wasp does not release its stinger. The affected area should be raised up, if possible, and any tight jewelry or clothing should be removed due to the possibility of swelling. Icing the area will help reduce pain and swelling and an antihistamine will help reduce the itch.

If the victim of the wasp sting suffers dizziness or weakness, difficulty breathing, speaking or swallowing, swelling, spots or a rash anywhere on the body beyond the actual sting, changes in heart rate, nausea or stomach cramps, he should be transported immediately to a medical facility. These are signs of a potentially deadly allergic reaction.

Wasp Spirit

Wasp is a strong, feminine spirit. Independent and yet cooperative. Wasp is a builder of things, particularly a home, and a fierce protector of what she builds. Wasp is a guardian, she takes care of her own. And it IS her own, because she built it. She's independent and perfectly capable, but will not hesitate to call upon family in her time of need and likewise needs little prodding to come to fly to their aid.

Wasp values diversity and comfortably fills her niche while appreciating the varied talents and personalities of others. Wasp is adaptable as well, and will make a comfortable home wherever the universe see's fit to put her. If you knock down her nest with a broom, she might sting you, she might not, but she will definitely rebuild.

Wasp as an Omen

A wasp in the house is a sign that an unpleasant person or enemy will soon come to call. If she stings you, the person will get the best of you.

If the first wasp you see that year happens to be in your house, you will soon meet someone most unpleasant.

To be stung by a wasp at all signifies danger of some sort.

If wasps build a nest inside your house, you may soon come upon financial hardship.

“If hornets build low, Winter storms and snow;
If hornets build high, Winter mild and dry.”

On Dreaming of Wasps

Generally, dreaming of wasps represents torment.

Wasps in your dreams may represent a troublesome, gossipy person or someone you thought was okay, but who took unfair advantage of you. This wasp, representing this person, may do all sorts of things to you - chase you (harrass you), sting you (stab you in the back), or people you care about(and you feel powerless to help), or you may see someone transform into a wasp (revealing their true nature, perhaps).

If you turn into a wasp, it may indicate that you have let a negative situation overcome you and have become part of the problem.

If you are stung by a wasp, it means someone is gossiping about you or is jealous of you. (Beware the evil eye!)

A swarm of wasps may indicate a group of people, like an army, a SWAT team, dreaded in-laws, a gaggle of teenagers, invading your space and taking over.

If the attack by a wasp or swarm of wasps is the result of an accident (accidentally knocking down a wasp's nest, for example) this may represent a sudden and unexpected negative turn in a relationship.

You can take control of these dreams and improve your circumstance through lucid dreaming. Squish the wasp, let it go out the window, contain it in a bottle or give it a nice juicy overripe plum to pay attention to instead of you.

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