Summer Stinging Insects

The Dangers of Summer Stinging Insects

Just because school is almost here, doesn’t mean the summer is over, especially for those summer stinging insects. The summer season is a time to enjoy the sunshine and the great outdoors, but it’s also the time when stinging insects can make an appearance at picnics, cookouts and pool parties. We want to warn that yellowjackets, wasps, hornets and other common stinging insects can pose an increased threat to one’s health. In fact, they send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year, according to the National Pest Management Association.

From painful stings to severe allergic reactions, stinging insects can put a damper on summer fun. Whether you plan to fire up the grill, go to the playground or relax by the pool, it’s important to be aware of the risks posed by certain stinging insects.

Below are the most common stinging insects of the summer months:

Yellowjackets – Yellowjackets are distinguished by the black and yellow color pattern banded across their abdomens. They are territorial and may sting repeatedly if threatened.

European Hornets – European hornets are active at night. They have smooth stingers that carry venom known to cause itching, swelling and pain for about 24 hours. Like yellowjackets and wasps, European hornets can sting repeatedly during an attack.

Paper Wasps – Paper wasps are not an aggressive species by nature, but they will sting if their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.

Killer Bees – Africanized “killer” bees defend their colony and will attack in large numbers when threatened. However, they can only sting once as their stingers are barbed and tear off when trying to get away. Killer bees have been known to chase people for more than a quarter mile.

The best way to prevent an unwanted encounter is to exercise caution when outdoors. If you come in contact with a bee or wasp, do not swat it, as that may actually provoke an attack. Remain calm and the insect should fly away without causing harm.

For more information on stinging insects, visit our PEST ID page.

Source: NPMA

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

Wasps

Unless you’re a Georgia Tech fan, wasps are likely not one of your favorite animals. The major concern regarding wasps is their poisonous sting, which for can be fatal for those who are allergic. Wasps tend to have two pairs of wings, few to no thickened hairs on their bodies and terrestrial. They also all have a pair of talons. Though these are similar in appearance to bees, these insects actually have a different function in nature as predators to almost every pest insect in nature. For instance, there are cicada killer wasps or spider hunting wasps.

There are two types of wasps – solitary wasps and social wasps. Adult solitary wasps operate alone and therefore tend not to create nests, but are all fertile. One the other hands, social wasps are the type that create nests in the eaves of homes and live in colonies where not every member is reproductive. This said, the queen can mate with male wasps but the majority of the colony is comprised of sterile female workers.

Nests

You may also find that adult wasps feed on nectar just like bees and therefore will be attracted to your garden full of fresh flowers during the warmer months.  Wasps build nests in various places, but often choose sunnier spots. Though they can be found in the eaves of homes, they can also be found underground, along bodies of water, beneath floors or on the sides of walls, trees or plants. When their nests are threatened, wasps will sting humans. Protecting your home is an important part of pest control and if you spot any nests around your home, call Northwest Exterminating to eliminate the problem.

Wasp stinger

Sources:

http://www.adkinsbeeremoval.com/wasp-identification.php

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

 

NPMA’s Top 5 Pests of Summer

 

The NPMA recently released the results of a survey that listed the Top 5 Pests of the Summer for homeowners.  The results are not too surprising to us here at Northwest Exterminating.

  1. Mosquitoes
  2. Ants
  3. Ticks
  4. Wasps & hornets
  5. Spiders

Along with being an annoyance, these pests can cause health and sanitary issues for homeowners and their families.  Stings, bites, and disease are all risks that come with such pests.  Luckily, with good housekeeping and an exterminator that you can trust, you can rest easy.

The NPMA has offered tips to avoid these pests throughout the summer:

  • Clean out all parts of your kitchen where food products are stored to ensure that there are no crumbs or spills. Keep foods like cereal, crackers and cookies in sealed containers. This eliminates the food supply that attracts ants, mice, and cockroaches.
  • Dust and vacuum regularly to prevent cobwebs and the spiders that weave them.

CLICK HERE to view the rest of the tips to avoid these summer pests.

Do you agree with the Top 5 pest results?

 

Mythical Origins of Insects

People love a good myth. These narratives contribute bright symbolism of interactions between higher powers, people, and nature. They assist in many relevant functions as well as further adding colorful stories. One valuable role of myths is to illustrate some angle of life.

Several myths describe the beginnings, morphology, and conduct of various insects. Here are just a few:

The origin of mosquitoes is revealed by The Tlingit Indians of North America.  The narration tells of a blood sucking carnivorous giant who dines on humans. This giant is eventually avenged after his horrific death by coming back to feed on humans in the appearance of blood sucking mosquitoes.

An Algonquin tale of North America justifies why bees, wasps, and hornets have stingers. This myth grants that the god Wakonda bestowed stingers to bees because the bees were industrious, but required a defense. Since wasps and hornets are linked to bees, The Great Spirit willingly endowed them with stinging weapons as well.

Ant actions are revealed in an African myth that reminds us of the everlasting punishments of Atlas, Prometheus, and Sisyphus of classical mythology. An infinite punishment of bearing a burden is handed down to ants by deception in the African myth. Accordingly, we see the outcome today in ants repeatedly transporting things in their everyday routine.

Atlas

And on an absolutely universal spectrum, the composition of our galaxy, The Milky Way, is translated in an insect myth of the Cochiti. This myth tells of an Eleodes Beetle that was in charge of depositing stars in the sky. The stars were dropped due to his ego and recklessness, thus forming the Milky Way. The beetle was so distraught at what he had done, that even today, the beetle hides his face in the dirt when approached – will lower its head, raise its abdomen, and emit a disagreeable odor probably for defense. This simple insect myth explains not only insect behavior, but also the start of our own galaxy.

Beetle

Who are your favorite mythological characters?

 

Bugs and Your Health

MosquitoesThe early spring has brought pests out in full force and we suspect that they will not be slowing down anytime soon.  Not only are bugs annoying but they’re a health concern as well.

  • West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, dog heartworm – mosquitoes
  • Lyme disease – ticks
  • Rabies – rodents
  • Allergies & Asthma – cockroaches
  • Food Contamination – cockroaches, mice/rats
  • Salmonella – cockroaches, house flies
  • Skin irritation and rashes – lice, fleas, bed bugs, mites
  • Venomous bites & stings (that can be accompanied by severe or life threatening reactions) - black widow, brown recluse, scorpion, snakes
  • Painful stings (that can be accompanied by severe or life threatening reactions) – fire ants, yellow jackets, hornets, wasps

Pests can carry diseases and cause areas to be unsanitary.  These are issues of concern for both homes and businesses.  Even the cleanest homes can have bug problems in an environment like this.  Carpenter bees, mosquitoes, ants, yellow jackets, silverfish, and other pests have recently been invading properties.  If you’re in the Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, or Nashville area, call Northwest Exterminating.  Our NorPest Green program was developed exclusively by Northwest Exterminating to get rid of pests using the lowest environmental impact possible.  A Northwest representative will develop a customized plan to target those pests while maintaining the health of your home.

We are strategically placed throughout Georgia and Tennessee to service all areas of Georgia as well as parts of Tennessee, Alabama, and South Carolina.  Visit us online or call 888.466.7849 to find the location nearest you.