Stinging insects, such as yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets, send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. With the weather warming up, these pests are looking for a food source. While you’re enjoying your backyard barbecues and relaxing by the pool, remember these tips to help keep stinging pests from ruining your outdoor fun.


These slim-bodied insects have six legs and two wings. They are busy at work scavenging for food during the summer months. They will typically build their nests in branches, porch ceilings, and attic rafters. They are highly attracted to picnics and backyard barbecues, increasing your chance of being stung.

Yellow Jackets

These social insects are found anywhere with human activity. They feed on sweets and proteins, often invading outdoor events. They have a non-fuzzy black and yellow striped body and measure less than an inch long. Sometimes they build their nests in high places, like the side of a building. Most of the time, yellow jackets’ nests are built in or near the ground, including shrubs, timber, and logs.


These insects typically prefer a forested environment and are known to build nests in hollow trees or walls of houses and attics. They are attracted to light and will try to fly into your windows at night if a light is on. They are generally non-aggressive near their nests, but if they feel threatened, they will potentially sting.

Stinging Insect Prevention:

  • Avoid wearing strong fragrances and opt for an unscented sunscreen
  • Keep outside food covered and sealed tightly
  • Stick to darker colors since florals and bright-colored clothing tend to attract these pests
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of your home to prevent these insects from building a nest inside
  • Remain calm if you find yourself near one of these pests to avoid an aggressive attack

If the stinging insect problem is bigger than you can handle, then calling your local pest control company might be the next step in prevention.

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