Swarms of wasps plaguing Haleakala National Park - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Swarms of wasps plaguing Haleakala National Park

HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK, Maui (HawaiiNewsNow) - Enter Haleakala National Park at your own risk or you could be in for a lot of pain! Park officials warn they're seeing an extremely high number of western yellowjacket wasps.

The aggressive insects are attracted to sweet smells like perfume or sunscreen. They also are attracted to people eating food outdoors. Unlike bees that sting once and die, yellowjackets sting repeatedly. Managers are doing what they can to control the wasps in the most visited spots, but they say they're still swarming.

Yellowjacket stings can may cause anaphylactic shock in some individuals. Visitors who are allergic to wasp or bee stings are asked to carry necessary medications and or to just consider staying away from problem areas in the park altogether.

Yellowjackets are an introduced species that became established on Maui during the 1970's. In addition to being a human pest, yellowjackets threaten Hawaiian ecosystems by preying on native insects.

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