An encounter with a stinging pest can always be alarming, as they are known to have a painful sting. Since stinging pests are most active during the spring and summer, it’s important to know the most commons ones to look out for and how you can protect yourself and your family.

Social in nature, the yellowjacket can live in nests or colonies containing anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 workers. Yellowjackets tend to build their nests on trees, buildings, and in the ground. Unlike bees, these insects have smooth stingers where they can sting several times if they start to feel threatened, which can be severely painful. These insects are highly attracted to sweet foods and proteins. If you plan on having a picnic or BBQ outside, make sure to keep your food covered tightly to eliminate the chance of attracting them.

Another popular stinging insect you should be aware of this spring and summer is the hornet. Hornets can sometimes be a benefit to homeowners as they can help control common household pests; although, they can quickly become a nuisance as they will often build nests throughout your property, such as in hollow trees, in the walls of houses and attics, and even in abandoned beehives. Like yellowjackets, these insects have smooth stingers. If stung by a hornet, the stinger can get lodged in the skin at the site of the sting. Hornets will eat tree sap, fruit, and honeydew. To prevent an encounter with these insects, keep both your food and garbage sealed in containers.

Known to build construction paper-like nests on branches, porch ceilings, eaves, and attic rafters, wasps can easily infest your entire property. These pests live in small colonies and like to eat nectar, along with common household pests such as flies and caterpillars. If these insects feel threatened or their nest is disturbed, they will sting multiple times. Their stings can be painful and often cause an allergic reaction. If you encounter hornets, don’t swat at them as this will only agitate them; instead calmly walk away and they generally will not follow.

If you’ve noticed these popular stinging insects around and inside your home, it’s best to reach out to your local pest control company to inspect and safely remove these insects.

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