Hornets

Hornets are wasps that are closely related to, but not to be confused with yellow jackets. In all, there are about 20 hornet species worldwide, but the primary hornet in North America is the European hornet. Just like other social wasps, hornets create their nests from chewing wood into a papery pulp to raise their eggs to adults.

European hornet

You’ll tend to see hornet activity during warmer weather because hornet nests get abandoned in the winter. During this time, they’ll hide under tree bark or even inside human dwellings in order to protect themselves and their eggs. When spring hits, the surviving queens crate a new nest and this is when they become quite an issue for homeowners.

Their threat to homeowners is in their sting, as they use it to kill prey and defend their hives. Unlike bees, hornets can sting multiple times as they do not die after stinging. The toxicity of their sting depends on their species, but the Asian giant hornet is the most venomous. People must be very careful because as social wasps, hornets can mobilize the entire nest to sting in defense, creating a highly dangerous situation. Furthermore, it’s better to call an exterminating company to eliminate the entire hive. This is because if hornets are killed near their hive, their bodies may release a pheromone which can cause other hornets to attack.

Asian giant hornet

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornet

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/hornet/

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

WebMD’s Bad Bugs Slideshow

We know that bugs are gross and unsanitary but did you also know that they can be bad for our health.  WebMD discusses some of the worst bugs and the potential harm they can do to our health:

  • Ticks –Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and allergic reactions.
  • Black Widow Spiders – Poisonous.
  • Brown Recluse Spiders – Poisonous, can cause serious wounds, infection, and in some cases can be deadly.
  • Head Lice – Itchiness can lead to infection, loss of hair.
  • Fleas – Itchiness can lead to infection.
  • Bee, Wasp, Hornet, Yellow Jacket – Painful sting, and can cause allergic reaction.
  • Fire Ants – Painful sting, venomous, red bumps that burn and itch, and can cause allergic reaction.
  • Chiggers – Itchy red welts.
  • Scabies – Itchiness, sores.
  • Bedbugs – Itchy, red bumps,  can develop infection from scratching, and can cause allergic reaction.
  • Puss Caterpillar – Poisonous, painful sting, rash, fever, vomiting, and muscle cramps.
  • Scorpions – Poisonous, painful, and can be deadly.
  • Deerflies – Infection, and Tularemia.
  • Mosquitoes – West Nile virus, dengue fever, other diseases, and scratching can cause skin infection.
  • Houseflies – Carries more than 1 million bacteria, intestinal infections by contaminating food.
  • Cockroaches – Salmonella and other diseases, dead carcasses can trigger allergic reactions and asthma.

Tips to prevent feeling the sting of these health issues:

  • Make sure your home is treated by a professional exterminator.  A professional can diagnose current problems, and prevent new issues from coming into your home efficiently and effectively.
  • Wear long clothing when outdoors.
  • Wear DEET repellant when outdoors.
  • Keep a clean, sanitary home and yard.  This will prevent insects from seeing your home as a place for them to call home.

For more information on these insects and their health hazards, visit WebMD: Bad Bugs Slideshow: Identifying Bugs and Their Bites.

 If you think you may have been bitten or stung by any of the insects above, please take note of  your body’s reaction and seek medical assistance immediately.

 

 

 

Dr. Goo’s Corner: What to do for an itchy hornet sting?

Dr. Goo,  My husband got stung by a hornet this weekend and now it is itchy.  What should we do?

For an itchy hornet or other insect sting:Apply a paste of baking soda and water as soon as possible after being stung.  This will help to relive the pain.  If the stinger is left in the skin, gently remove it using tweezers.   Otherwise, you can use a combination of benadryl gel or cream (diphenhydramine) topically and/or a steroid cream (hydrocortisone 1%) which are both over the counter.   If it is really itchy you can take some oral benadryl (25mg) but that tends to make people sleepy. Keep the area clean by washing it twice daily with soap and water and seek medical care if it looks like it is getting infected.

Hope it gets better soon!

Dr. Goo



 
Do you have a question for Dr. Goo?
 

Disclaimer: These tips are general medical information and do not constitute medical advice. Please contact your physician for information about yourself or your family member.