most wanted: Hymenopterology

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February 21, 2014

By

February 21, 2014


Hymenopterology is the branch of entomology that studies ants, bees and wasps. Hymenopterologists develop a pest profile, a behavioral and investigative tool to assist pest management professionals to predict and profile pest characteristics.

The German yellowjacket, Paravespula germanica, constructs subterranean refuges within decayed tree stumps, under stones and in mammal burrows. It prefers covert architectural wall-void and attic spaces. Refuges can contain as many as 15 carton combs and several thousand female wasps. Adults are 15 mm long and are yellow and black. German yellowjackets have radiated via human commerce because they pilfer food and refuse.

Envenomation often occurs within a close proximity. German yellowjacket venom, which is similar to honeybee venom, isn’t cross-reactive with bee venom allergens, but it’s possible, so victims who are hypersensitive to bee venom might be hypersensitive to wasp venom.

Mastoparans cause histamine release by degranulating mast cells. Histamine, serotonin and acetylcholine cause envenomation associated the epicritic (sharp) pain. But as hymenopterologists, pest management professionals (PMPs) can improve the public health environment by controlling wasps. pmp

About the Author

MITCHELL, D.O., DVM, PsyD, BCE, is technical director of PestWest, and a frequent contributor to PMP.

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