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Wasp stings are no laughing matter. Lucie Roussel, the 51-year-old mayor of of a Canadian suburb (La Prairie, Montreal), was killed by wasps last weekend. According to her friend’s report to Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, Lucie was walking outside of her cottage when she accidentally stepped on a wasps’ nest and was stung 15 times (mostly in her legs).

Paramedics who arrived on the scene attempted to inject her with epinephrine, but to no avail—she was pronounced dead at a hospital nearby. Her death was particularly tragic: Roussel had just been elected to her third term as mayor, had an 18-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son, and was described by a friend as “so full of life.”

Unlike bees, which die after they sting us, a single wasp can sting repeatedly. That’s why it’s more common for people to die from wasp stings than bee stings. Still, it’s fairly rare—it’s possible that Roussel had an allergy to wasps.

To help spot a wasp, check out this article. Wasps have two pairs of wings, and aren’t hairy like bees. Wasps tend to be thinner, more brightly colored, and far more aggressive than bees. Also, while bee nests have the typical honeycomb appearance, wasp nests look like they’re made out of paper (and lack the honey).

But although they don’t serve the same vital pollinator function that bees do, wasps aren’t all bad—most insects that are pests to humans are preyed on by one or more wasp species. Wasps thus serve as a natural form of biocontrol, and are being increasingly used as a form of agricultural pest control (as wasps have little negative impact on our crops).

For a problem with Nassau wasps (or any other type of pest) , give us a call so you can rest easy.

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