What would happen if I swallowed a wasp accidentally? Generally, if you have a good immune system then your stomach will digest it like any food substance. However, this reaction might not be the same for everyone as well as respond to similar things differently.
That being said, there’s way more to this than a simple answer paragraph. So keep reading we’ll discuss it in-depth and reveal some surprising facts about this scary scenario!
How Can You Accidentally Swallow a Wasp?
Wasps are insects that fly around and so it’s possible to accidentally swallow them. They are just like flies and their not so big frames make it possible for them to find their way into the oral cavity. However, this is something that doesn’t happen frequently.
But if you accidentally swallow a wasp, you risk being stung whilst the insect is alive. So, this poses a serious risk to your mouth, throat, and tongue. Well, the stinging usually happens as a defense mechanism. In the end, you might end up suffering from pain, swelling, or an allergic reaction.
Can You Add Wasps to Your Diet?
While they are beneficial to various ecological systems, there are certain parts of the world where wasps are delicacies. For instance, in Japan, there is even a creative method to hunt them.
The Consumption of Wasps in Japan
In Japan’s mountainous regions where there are numerous native forests, hunters normally use some little bits of raw meat in order to attract these insects. Due to their social lives, it’s easier for the hunters to find their nests which usually have hundreds of members.
The predominant species of wasps found in Japan is the Yellowjacket. However, you can still find it in Korea as well. The Japanese widely feed on the larvae which they consider to be highly nutritious. It should be noted that the larvae are consumed in plenty and you can actually buy these edibles from supermarkets in canned form.
As a result of this, more and more farmers are domesticating these insects in their farms not only for food supply but for marketing as well. The latest farming mechanism implemented here involves the use of artificial hives which are normally placed in gardens with nectar, raw meat, and fish.
But the cold weather definitely poses serious risks to these insects, especially during winter. However, farmers have devised mechanisms to protect the yellowjacket wasp and they are usually sheltered from the harsh winter cold.
Wasps as Pickled Snacks
In Japan, the wasp larvae are usually consumed in the form of pickling. These insects can also be fried with other food varieties to enhance flavor. For instance, there are those who consume it with rice. To enhance its taste, the wasp larvae can be cooked with sugar, sake, and even soy sauce.
The Wasp Festival in Japan
In the Japanese Central Highlands of Kushihara, there is actually a full festival that’s specifically dedicated to the harvesting of wasps and the larvae in autumn.
It should note that there is usually a prize award for the heaviest wasp nest that has been grown at home or harvested in the forest. Besides that, the competition also focuses on those who are capable of during the most delicious dishes that are made from these insects.
Other Instances of Wasp Consumption
There are reports which indicate that there are people who eat wasps in parts of Mexico. In fact, there is an authentic Mexican cuisine that includes a delicious larva burrito.
The preparation technique involves simply frying and salting the larvae and according to those people who have consumed these edibles, the larva’s taste resembles pretzels.
Understand that while the mature wasps can be eaten as well, the treasure is in the larva, they are considered to be the most delicious and highly nutritious. That’s why hunters in japan use the worker wasps to find the nests which definitely contain larva.
The Use of Wasps for Medication
In parts of Africa as well as china, Wasps were used for traditional medicinal purposes. However, it’s still unclear if they are in use currently.
Are There People Who Breed Wasps?
Yes, wasps are usually farmed for consumption but also for pest control. In agriculture, wasps are known to be effective in managing certain types of destructive pests.
According to a study that was published by the Proceeds of the Royal Society B, these insects have a great value in farming. It was established that social wasps can help to manage pests that tend to attack high-value crops such as sugarcane, maize, and crops.
The best thing about these insects is that they are found in nearly all parts of the world. So, it’s quite easy to breed them in large and small scale production in order to control a broad range of common pests.
Currently, agricultural companies are now moving towards using sustainable methods of pest control. Climate change has had a significant impact on agriculture and the use of chemicals. As a result, agricultural entities are using environmentally-friendly ways to reduce pets.
Multiple controlled experiments have been successful in regards to wasps. This is quite encouraging because plants eventually end up suffering less damage.
For instance, maize plants that are normally affected by fall armyworms and sugarcanes that are affected by the sugarcane borer ended up thriving in the presence of wasps.
If you interested in learning more about keeping wasps as pets, we have an entire article covering this very topic:
Is There a Difference Between Wild Wasps and Those That Are Bred in Farms?
There is no big difference since the only thing that sets them apart is the nutrient content. Wasps that are bred usually eat tiny bits of raw bits. Water sugar is considered a good alternative to nectar and also enhances its sugar supply.
Besides that, serious breeders also tend to buy them small crickets and caterpillars. These insects are capable of learning, so you can always introduce them to new types of foods gradually.
However, those that live in the wild usually feed on sugars in form of honeydew and nectar produced by plants. It should be noted that the wasp larvae usually produces a sugar liquid that the adults eat as part of their diet.
The larvae are in return feed the bits of insects that the adults have killed and chopped into small pieces.
How to Keep Wasps Away
The best way to come wasps out of your way, especially at home by using preventive techniques. Find mechanisms that can allow you to successfully repel them before they find home within your surroundings.
The feeling of accidentally swallowing a wasp isn’t interesting. You should remember that wasp’s string.
Use Peppermint Oil
This is one of the best environmentally-friendly techniques to use. Peppermint is highly effective. Multiple research studies indicate that you can apply it in different spots in your home to minimize the chances of these insects establishing a nest.
Patch Up Cracks in Your Home
This is another effective preventive measure that can minimize the chances of attracting wasps. If your home has tiny cracks on the walls like those that are found around the edges of the siding or along the power lines, make sure that you patch them up.
While you can do this at any time of the year, we recommend doing it during late fall because this is the period where most of the worker wasps have died. However, don’t be tempted to seal a crack that already contains wasps.
These insects are quite intelligent and they might probably not die off. They will either find their way through invisible cracks or simply chew their way out!
Store Garbage Correctly
Waste bins are some of the biggest attractors for these insects. Generally, people tend to experience the worst wasp attacks when they have lots of food sources spilling over their bins.
Additionally, you are likely to attract these insects if you fail to effectively prepare and enclose an outdoor compost pit. So, makes sure that you implement an effective food and waste disposal mechanism to avoid dealing with such problems.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of Swallowing a Wasp?
Generally, you don’t need to worry in case a wasp finds its way into your stomach. Well, the digestive system contains hydrochloric acid that usually neutralizes substances and this makes it effective in killing bacteria, thus eliminating the chances of infections.
It’s safe to say that the insect will just be digested like any other food product. Well, at least if your immune system is good. However, we mustn’t forget that wasps can sting.
This can be a serious problem in case you get stung if you swallow them. This can result in mild pain and in some instances localized pain due to the swelling caused by the sting.
In case you are allergic, the sting can lead to potential side effects such as:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling of the throat, mouth, and face
- A slight drop in the blood pressure
Note: in case you have swallowed a wasp, think that you have been stung, and you are displaying symptoms of an allergic reaction, then it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention.
It’s possible for the allergic reaction to escalate into something serious. Also if you have become highly sensitive to venom due to previous exposure, the sting can result in some life-threatening complications.
If you want to learn more about various insects, then checkout our site categories, we have a bunch of articles there that are totally worth reading:
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All the best
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