How long does it take for a wasp to starve to death?

Right now instead of doing my thesis I’m looking at the very angry wasp stuck between my window and my screen. Part of me wants to open the window and run like hell to let the angry bastard out. The other part of me wants to know how long it can survive stuck in there before starvation, dehydration or boredom induced suicide does the thing in.

So do any Dopers know how long a wasp can go without food? Without water? Without innocent flesh to brutalize with their terrible stings?

On a related note any good ideas for getting it out of there quickly and with minimium risk of stinging? I’m not adverse to letting the thing survive and getting it out of there quickly means that I’ll be open my window sooner.

Well, in the wasp/yellowjacket trap they die overnight, but I can’t say that it’s due to starvation/dehydration rather than just being exposed to the elements when the temperature drops at night.

if you want to let it out alive, you could subdue it by spraying ice cold water through the screen mesh, then catch it with a glass and a postcard.

If you’re not bothered about saving it, replace the ice water with flyspray.

I was thinking about things to spray it with but the screen is away from me and too far away from the ground outside to spray anything in.

This just in, an amusing update on the subject. The wasp had flown out and I was getting ready to post my excitement over the bastard fleeing. Right as I started to type that up it flew back in and is now there. Mildly less irritated than before by the looks of things but too stupid to deserve to live. If it can find its way out again good for it. If not it deserves to freeze to death or what ever.

I think you could get a WASP to starve to death by making them live in a neighbourhood without Thai food.

Okay. That was bad.


Speaking of wasps, what is the smallest hole/crack that a wasp can cram itself through? I am eternally puzzled as to how a wasp managed to get into the tank of a hummingbird feeder; I took the feeder inside before opening and cleaning with water, so it was closed at every moment when outside. How much, if any, can a wasp deform it’s skeleton? Surely not enough to fit through the pinholes that the feeder uses! How will I ever feel safe again?

What at interesting thread. Please keep us updated on the status of your wasp-in-window exerpiment.

This one should take first prize at the Science Fair for sure!

Well, we found a wasp in a suitcase once, in December. The suitcase hadn’t been moved and had been closed since August, so we assumed it had flown in then as someone was putting the suitcase away. The wasp was alive and still had enough strength to sting fella bilong missus flodnak once before croaking. So the answer to your question is: potentially a very long time.

This was a German wasp. Your Waspage May Vary.

Was it larger than usual? - it is quite normal for queen wasps to find somewhere quiet to spend the whole winter before they emerge to build nests of their own in the spring. We usually fond one or two of them in the house during the winter.

Find one or two of them, find.

I’m not fond of them at all.

Last night the sucker went to sleep. Good time to get a detailed look at it. I must say wasps do look quite different when not flying around as if posessed by unnatural rage. I was going to release it then but it was too far from the part of the screen that I could reach to do anything. Additionally I thought it was dead. I tried to get one of my housemates to help me scoop the wasp up with something so it could be tossed outside but my housemate insisted on shaking the screen and pissing the thing off while it tried to sleep. It didn’t have much mobility and just sort of buzzed menacingly from its side of the screen. I got my housemate out of my room pretty quickly and went back to waiting for the thing to either escape yet again or to die as it so rightly deserves.

This morning it is up and rowdy as ever. I think wasps would be far less hated if they just chilled out a bit. Anyway to keep this thread vaguely GQ what is the coldest temperatures a wasp can stand for prolonged periods of time? It is supposed to drop in temperature soon so that might off it. Also how can I tell if this one is a queen and not just a normal wasp?

Most wasps should be able to survive for at least a week on all the food in tupperware containers in their refrigerator. Provided they can remember what it is, that is.

Sounds eerily like this thread .

I assume the wasp croaked and not your wife.

A guy I worked with once caught a yellow jacket (kind of wasp) in a plastic container. The wasp stayed alive for a long time, maybe a couple of weeks?

I would think that a wasp caught in a window might die sooner due to the conentrated heat from the sun…

Kill it… one less wasp in the world makes the world a better place.

Somewhat off-topic, but…

I had an awful experience today. My daughter was in the bath and my son was undressed, waiting to get in when I noticed that a queen was had flown in the open window vent. I told the kids to get as far away as possible and I trapped it against the glass with a plastic jug, then I asked my son to get me a piece of paper to slide under the mouth of the jug.

But he couldn’t; I had locked the door to stop the kids trying to escape bathtime. I coudn’t unlock the door myself, as it was out of reach and this would entail lifting the jug away from the glass.

The wasp was getting really rather pissed off by now, but there wasn’t a thing I could do, it was also a little worrying that the lip/spout of the jug seemed to offer a gap almost big enough for the wasp to escape.

I grabbed a can of spray antiperspirant and lifted the edge of the jug a little, spraying it inside, which served to truly enrage the insect.

More and more deodorant and the wasp retreated inside the jug to groom itself, I seized the moment and flicked it down the open toilet, but because it was covered with antiperspirant, it just floated right on top of the water’s surface and started buzzing in a threatening way, I flushed, but the tank was still refilling from a previous flush; I tried to layer some paper on top of the wasp to force it into the water, but it used this to climb onto.

Anyway, I eventually managed to flush it, but it was an ordeal.

Well this is the final update on the wasp. I was on campus pretty much all day today. When I left the little bastard was awake and furious. While on campus the weather turned cold and drizzly so I expected to find the wasp asleep or dead in its new home. I just got back from campus and can’t see any sign of the wasp. Either it escaped again while I was out or it has died and I can’t see it because it is hard to see the bottom part of the window which is where its corpse would have fallen.

My screen is still not totally in and there is no way to fix it from in here. As I’m on the second floor there is also no way to really fix it from outside. I’ll either have to call the maintaince people, who aren’t very quick to respond, or find a big stick to poke the screen back into place to from outside. That is unless I want to have more fun bug in the window stories to tell.

Mangetout that sounds like the lengths I go to to deal with angry insects. Though since there are cleaning supplies in my bathroom, but no windows making it an unlikely scenario, I’d have something really nasty to spritz the thing with.

Also I’d like to know the size/features of a queen so I can tell the difference between a queen and just a big irritated stinging thing.

Queens are just generally larger than the usual wasps you see (especially in the abdomen) and you’ll only normally see them from Autumn through to spring; in summer, they stay inside the nest.