Stinging Insect Identification & Prevention

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What are stinging insects?

Stinging insects encompass a wide variety of different species, everything from bees and wasps to hornets and even certain ant species. Most of the problems that you'll face with stinging insects will come from social insects that can sting, such as honeybees and social wasps. Social wasps like hornets and yellow jackets, in particular, can cause problems because of their aggression.

stinging insect on a leaf

Are stinging insects dangerous?

Some stinging insects are not dangerous at all. For example, mud daubers rarely sting, even if you actively bother them. However, other severe insect species can be pretty dangerous. Yellow jackets and hornets are two examples of stinging insects that will do whatever it takes to defend their nests, up to and including swarming by the thousands and chasing perceived threats short distances while stinging as many times as they can. This behavior doesn't just pose a threat to people with allergies to insect venom. If you are stung enough times, you can receive a high enough dose of toxin to put you in danger of sickness or even death.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Bees and wasps can fly and nest wherever they feel it is best. This is part of what makes stinging insect control so difficult. It's virtually impossible to exclude them from the areas where you want to keep them out. Having a few wasp nests around your home is, unfortunately, expected. But if you're experiencing an excessive amount of wasp or bee activity, you might have attractants on your property. Common attractants include high-nectar flowers, fruits, and open outdoor garbage cans.

Where will I find stinging insects?

Where you find stinging insects depends on what kind they are. Hornets and paper wasps are considered aerial nesters because they like to hang their nests off of awnings, overhangs, and tree branches. Ground nesters, such as yellow jackets, will build their nests in holes in the ground. You may also find yellow jackets or honey bees in hollowed-out tree trunks and similar areas.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

Wasp and bee control is not something you should attempt yourself if you have an existing infestation. Trying to take down a hornet nest or fill in an active yellow jacket nest can trigger an attack that leaves you with hundreds or even thousands of stings. It is hazardous to try to eliminate an active infestation of these insects. You'll need to leave that to professional pest control experts in Pasadena. This is the only way to protect yourself from potentially aggressive and dangerous pests. 

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

The fact that you shouldn't try to deal with an existing infestation yourself doesn't mean you cannot practice bee and wasp prevention. There are lots of things you can do to make your property less attractive to these insects and encourage them to put their nests somewhere else: 

  • Fill in holes in the ground to encourage yellow jackets to move on.
  • Cover all outdoor garbage cans with well-fitted lids to keep away less picky wasp and bee varieties. 
  • Get rid of high-nectar flowers that can attract bees and wasps.
  • Plant herbs and flowers that stinging insects hate, such as rosemary, mint, and lavender. 
  • Get rid of infestations of common wasp prey, such as caterpillars and spiders. 
  • Harvest fruits from any trees or bushes as soon as they're ripe. 

Taking these measures can make your home or business less attractive to wasps and bees and help ensure you don't have to deal with a massive infestation of these stinging pests.

If you do wind up with a stinging insect problem, remember never to try and take care of it yourself. Just call the experts here at Accutech Pest Management for home pest control. Our bee and wasp experts are trained and equipped to deal with these stinging and often hostile insects in a safe and effective manner so you can have a pest-free property and a sting-free day.

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