Stinging Pests 101: Your Guide to Stinging Insects

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Common Stinging Insects and How to Avoid Them

There are a lot of stinging insects out there, including bees, wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets. Being stung by any of these pests can be incredibly painful. In some cases, individuals can have severe allergic reactions that require medical attention. Many people don’t know how allergic they are until they get their first sting. That’s why it’s so important to stay safe by keeping stinging pests as far away from your property as possible.

 Contact a professional if you think you may have a stinging insect problem. Attempting to remove a nest on your own is a dangerous endeavor. Pest professionals are trained in efficiently assessing and eliminating stinging insect threats.

Keep your children, family, and friends safe by being aware of any stinging insect nests in your yard or on your property. Learn to identify stinging insects so that you can respond in the most appropriate way if anyone gets stung.

Sign up now to receive our free guide to stinging insects!



bumblebee3Bumble bees are very protective of their territory. If you disturb a bumble bee nest, you’re asking for a sting. Bumble bees build their nests both below and near the ground, including around patios and attached to decks. Threaten a bumble bee and this soft, gentle looking insect can deliver a painful sting. Bumble bees can sting multiple times in a row: unlike honey bees, they retain their stinger.

honey_bee_extracts_nectarHoney bees are important members of a healthy ecosystem. They’re responsible for the fertility of many of our world’s most important agricultural products. That said, if you’re not a beekeeper then you don’t want them making a home in your own yard. Honey bees build their nests in trees or in structures such as sheds. Meanwhile, beekeepers intentionally house honey bees in special wooden boxes. Honey bees can sting, and when they do, the stinger comes off of their body and gets stuck in your skin. Some people experience severe allergic reactions to these stinging insects.

Compared to honey bees and bumblebees, carpenter bees are quite unique. Rather than forming colonies, these bees lives solitary lives. They get their name from the fact that they drill tunnels into wood to create their home. They’ll lay eggs in these tunnels and will overwinter in them as well. Carpenter bees are a serious nuisance and can cause major structural damage; however, they’re much less aggressive towards humans than other types of bees.



yellowjacket3These stinging insects live in large colonies that can grow to as many as 4,000 members. They’re scavengers, and they’re strongly attracted to sugars and proteins. This means that yellowjackets can be the first guests to show up at your summer cookout! They live in papier-mâché style nests located close to the ground. Yellow jackets are intensely territorial and have the ability to sting many times.



paperwasps3There are hundreds of different types of wasps throughout the world. The term wasp is actually a very broad name that can refer to many different types of stinging insects. In fact, there are at least 22 different types of paper wasps alone. They live in umbrella shaped, flakey looking nests which they build in the spring. These nests can hang from porch ceilings, tree branches, and in other covered areas. One nest can be used by several generations of wasps. The queen lives in the nest and raises her eggs there. Given the importance of the nest for a paper wasp colony, they’ll readily sting you if you threaten their nest.



European hornets are large, and they can be active during any hour. They live in medium sized colonies of 200 to 400 insects. You’ll find European hornets in the eastern part of the United States, where they were introduced in the early 1800s. They build their nests in holes and crevices, and you’ll recognize their presence by a papery cellulose envelope at the entrance to their nest. European hornets sting when threatened, and their smooth stingers allow them to sting over and over again. They can also cause structural damage to your home, as they use cellulose (a component of wood) to create their nests.

Bald faced hornets, with their striking white faces and dark abdomens, build large nests that can reach 24 x 14 inches. They have a unique habit of building a new nest every season, rather than re-using the same nests several times. Bald-faced hornets are one of the more aggressive species of stinging insects, and they’ll attack even if only slightly provoked. They’re most active during the later summer months.


Preventing Stinging Pests

Accidentally trespass on a stinging pest’s territory, and you could end up with several red and burning welts. A painful bee sting can ruin an otherwise perfect summer day. Keep stinging insects off of your property by working with a licensed pest control company. At Home Pest Control, one of our pest professionals can remove the threat of stinging insects from your property in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

Want to find out more about stinging insects? Download our free resource, “A Quick Guide to Stinging Insects: Identification, Prevention, and Threats.”


Sign up now to receive our free guide to stinging insects!

April 4, 2019

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