Did you know that some stinging insects serve a very important role in our ecosystem? While insects like bees are vital for pollination, they can still pack a painful sting!
This guide covers how to identify common stinging insects like bees, yellow jackets, wasps and hornets, what their nests look like, how painful the sting is and more.
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With summer on the way, you and your family will likely be spending a lot more time enjoying the outdoors. While the longer days and sunny skies are a welcomed escape from the winter, it’s important to stay informed on what stinging pests could be lingering in your own backyard. This quick guide will help you determine what stinging insects to be aware of, so you can protect what matters.
Honeybees are social insects and live as colonies in hives. These hives can be found in hollow trees, hollow walls and attics. Honeybees are also typically housed in man-made hives managed by beekeepers.
Honeybees are docile, and unlikely to sting. If their colony is threatened, they may sting, and will leave behind a stinger.
Control is unnecessary as honeybees are important to the environment as pollinators, and generally avoid humans. Honeybees should actually be protected.
Bumblebees build nests out of pollen clumps, usually in the ground or in an abandoned mouse nest. Bumblebee nests can also be found in ceilings and walls of basements.
Bumblebees are less aggressive than wasps, hornets and yellowjackets, but will defend their nest.
Control is only necessary if a nest is located in or near a building. Bumblebees mainly act as pollinators, but they do sting.
Yellowjackets live in nests made of paper carton that can be as big as a basketball. These nests could be on the ground, or attached to bushes, houses, garages and sheds.
Yellowjackets will not sting immediately, unless their nest is threatened. If threatened, they can be extremely aggressive and cause a powerful, painful sting.
Control is warranted if a nest is located near a building. Yellowjackets are beneficial to the ecosystem as they control many insect species.
Wasp nests are made of a paper-like material, and are often shaped like umbrellas. Nests can be found hanging from tree branches, porch ceilings, door frames, deck floor joints, railing and more.
Wasps are generally not aggressive, but will sting if nest is threatened. If they do sting, it can be painful and cause severe allergic reactions.
Control is warranted if a nest is located in or near a building. Wasps are considered beneficial to the ecosystem as they control many insect species.
Hornets build large, aerial nests out of paper carton. These nests can be found in exposed areas like trees, utility poles or overhangs.
Hornets are very aggressive, and are easily provoked. Hornets will sting repeatedly, and can be serious threat to children with insect-related allergies.
Control is absolutely necessary if a nest is located in or near a building.
While many stinging insects are beneficial to our environment, they can also cause painful stings, serious allergic reactions, and in severe cases, death. Don’t try to remove nests on your own. Contact a licensed professional to help you, and practice some of our simple prevention tips to be on the safe side.
1. Seal up cracks and crevices around your home and porch.
2 . Cut back overgrown bushes or tree branches that could be the perfect place for a nest. Keep your landscape free of debris to discourage nesting in the ground, as well.
3. Remove food sources and keep trash cans sealed. Stinging insects are attracted to meat, sweets and rotting food.