Being stung by a common wasp is a painful experience and can be life threatening to those who are allergic to stings and may suffer anaphylactic shock.
However, you can reduce these risks by taking precautions when outdoors and ensuring that wasps nests are properly treated.
The most common species of wasp found in the UK are the Common Wasp and German Wasp and are probably the most disliked of all British insects. Their kidney-shaped bodies bear the characteristic black and yellow bands and have a narrow waist. They have two pairs of heavily veined wings that lock together. Only female wasps have the needle-like stingers which they can use repeatedly unlike bees.
While wasps can be a nuisance, they are not responsible for the spread of disease. Although they are generally disliked because of their sting, this will only be used by most species when the wasp is aroused or frightened. Wasps are responsible for causing serious damage to ripened fruit and are generally a nuisance when attracted to sweet smelling foods.