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.
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.
Spotting stinging pests around your business can be alarming. Yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets are all active during the warmer season as they go in search of a food source and a place to establish their colony. These pests can pose a serious health risk to your customers and business. We break down the most common stinging pests and the best ways to avoid them.
Wasps will build their paper-like nests on eaves, porch ceilings, branches, and windowsills. These pests search for food during the summer months. They are highly attracted to any food found outdoors, along with anything with a fragrant smell such as candles or flowers. When threatened, these pests will sting multiple times and eventually call on reinforcements from other wasps by emitting pheromones.
Hornet nests are built in hollow trees or the walls of buildings and attics. These pests are attracted to light and will often fly into open windows at night if they see a light. Hornets like to eat fruit and honeydew, causing them to congregate in areas where these foods are found. While they are non-aggressive near their nests, they will sting if they feel threatened. When stings occur, the stinger can get lodged in the skin.
Yellowjackets are social insects and can be found wherever humans are. These pests like to eat sweets and proteins and will invade outdoor events to find these foods. Yellowjackets build their nests in high places, such as on trees and buildings, or on the ground. If they feel threatened, they will sting multiple times which can be extremely painful.
Stinging Pest Prevention for Your Business
- Always keep outside food areas clean, wiping up any leftover food debris.
- Keep garbage cans tightly sealed and emptied regularly.
- Untreated wood can attract stinging pests; make sure to stain, seal, or paint wood throughout your business exterior.
- Perform weekly inspections throughout your business property to keep an eye on these pests.
- If you have a public area where customers can eat, use signage to remind them to throw away food scraps and clean up spills.
If you have a problem with stinging pests, contact Commercial Services for an inspection and treatment plan.
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.
Stinging pests are most active during the summer months, so while we enjoy the summer fun of lounging by the pool and backyard BBQs, we should all be on the lookout for these pests as they can pose a risk to you and your family. Check out these common stinging pests and the best way to avoid them!
With a slim body shape, six long legs, and two wings, wasps are busy at work scavenging for food during the summer months. Wasps will typically build their nests in branches, porch ceilings, eaves, and attic rafters. These pests are highly attracted to picnics and backyard barbeques, increasing your chance of being stung. When threatened, wasps will sting multiple times and eventually call on reinforcements from other wasps by emitting pheromones.
Hornets’ nests are often built in hollow trees and the walls of houses and attics, although they typically prefer a forested environment. These pests are larger and can range from 3/4 to 1 3/8” long with brown and yellow abdominal stripes on their body. Hornets are attracted to light and will fly into your windows at night if they see a light on. They are relatively non-aggressive near the nest, but if threatened, there is a potential for a stinging hazard.
Yellowjackets are social insects and can be found anywhere humans are found. Yellowjackets feed on sweets and proteins; therefore, these pests commonly invade outdoor events. Yellowjackets measure 3/8″ to 5/8” long and have a non-fuzzy black and yellow striped body. Yellowjacket nests can either be built in very high places or built in the ground. Examples include in shrubs, garages, timber, logs, and more. If threatened, yellowjackets will sting multiple times, causing extreme pain and possible allergic reactions.
Bee Sting Prevention
- Keep outside food covered and sealed tightly
- Avoid wearing strong fragrances and opt for an unscented hygienic product
- Ensure all your doors and windows have screens so these pests don’t sneak into your house
- Stick to wearing darker colors as floral and bright colored clothing tend to attract these pests
- For uncontrollable stinging pest invasions, it’s best to call your local pest control company as they will provide a safe and legal plan to safely remove these insects
Asian Giant Hornets (Vespa mandarinia), also known as “Murder Hornets” have now been found in the United States for the first time ever. Although scientists are unsure when or how these pests first arrived, there have been verified sightings as far back as December in Washington state. These hornets were also discovered back in August 2019 in Canada in both British Columbia and Vancouver Island.
Asian Giant Hornets are larger than typical species of hornets with an average length of 1.5 to 2 inches. They have large yellow to orange heads with prominent eyes. They also have yellow/orange and black stripes extending down their abdomen.
“Murder hornets” are known to be aggressive. While they don’t typically go after humans, they will attack if they are disturbed or threatened. Their stingers are longer and more dangerous than those of bees and are even capable of penetrating typical beekeeper suits. They will attack aggressively in groups and their collective stings can administer enough toxic venom to be equivalent to the bite from a venomous snake. Multiple stings to a person can be fatal. In fact, these hornets are known to kill up to 50 people per year in Japan.
The life cycle of the Asian Giant Hornet begins in April prompting concern from scientists and researchers that a wave of these predators is imminent. Queens will soon be emerging from hibernation in search of new locations for underground nests. Once these are established, workers will be sent out in search of food for the newfound colony. This usually happens in late summer and early fall.
These “murder hornets” are a significant predator to honeybees, one of the most important pollinators in the United States. In fact, Asian Giant Hornets are capable of wiping out an entire honeybee hive in a matter of a few hours. The worker hornets will decapitate the bees and bring their thoraces back to the colony to feed their young. This is problematic for the US as honeybee and other pollinator populations are already on the decline. Pollinators increase the United States’ annual crop values by $15 billion.
Because of this threat to the honeybee population, scientists are actively searching for Asian Giant Hornets and their nests to keep their population from becoming established and completely eradicating the bee population here. The fact that these hornets’ nests are often found underground coupled with the ideal and vast climate and landscape of Washington state, tracking down these nests is quite difficult. Scientists have mapped out search grids and are moving painstakingly across the state in search of these pests. They are placing traps with geotagging and implementing geothermal imaging of the forest floors. They also have plans to try other methods in the future such as tracking the signature hum the hornets make when they are in flight and tagging and tracking any hornets that are caught in the traps.
While the “murder hornets” don’t pose an immediate threat to the Southeast states right now, it’s important to be aware of the destruction they can cause. For any questions regarding bees or other pests, contact a Northwest team member at (888) 466-7849 or request a free estimate now.