Stinging Insect Identification & Prevention

What are stinging insects?

Stinging insects are a class of insect that is characterized by their aggressive behavior and sharp, venomous stingers. Most wasps have yellow, striped patterns across their abdomens, though some species are almost entirely black. When living out in nature, stinging insects are actually quite beneficial to the environment by pollinating plants and crops and reducing the populations of nuisance insects. However, when they decide to take up residence on our properties, they can become a danger to you and your family members. While hornets, wasps, and bees all fall within the category of stinging insects, hornets and wasps are usually to blame for causing problems on our properties.

close up of a black and yellow striped stinging insectIn our area, we have several species of social hornets and wasps, meaning they live and work together to protect their hive and grow their populations. Here in California, stinging insects become more active during the spring and summer months as the weather starts to warm up and the flowers begin to bloom again. However,  they are actually more of a problem for property owners during the fall and winter months as they begin to actively look for shelter.

Are stinging insects dangerous?

Throughout the United States, more than 500,000 people are sent to the emergency department each year due to being stung by stinging insects. Most of the time, a single sting from a wasp or hornet may be quite painful and become swollen or red around the location of the sting, but will not produce any serious health problems. However, many individuals are allergic to the venom stinging insects produce, which makes these stings dangerous or sometimes even fatal! When disturbed, most hornets and several species of wasps will defend their hives aggressively, often swarming and attacking any human or animal they perceive as a potential threat. This can be extremely dangerous, especially for small children and individuals who have an allergy to their venom, so extreme caution should be taken when dealing with these pests.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

When searching for an area to create a new hive, stinging insects look for places that are hard to reach, easy to defend, and have access to plenty of food and water sources. Many people host parties when the weather gets warm, often leaving half-emptied soda cans or a bottle of ketchup out by mistake. Food with high protein and sugar content will attract several types of wasps and stinging insects to your property, and they may decide not to leave.
 
Interestingly, wasps and hornets thrive primarily on proteins during the summer months after emerging from hibernation, while in fall and early winter they prefer to feed on sweeter foods and generally become more aggressive while searching for these food items.

Where are stinging insects commonly found?

During the summer, stinging insects will often create nests high in trees, in holes in the ground, or in abandoned outbuildings as these areas help keep them away from predators and close to their preferred food sources. In fall and winter, however, wasps and hornets seek out more sheltered locations for their hives, which is when they become the most problematic for home and business owners. During this time of year, areas like roof eaves, attics, decks, porches, window sills, and crawl spaces become attractive locations for wasp and hornet colonies looking to relocate to a more sheltered area as the temperatures begin to drop.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

It is never advised for untrained individuals to try to remove stinging insect nests on their own as it can present a serious threat to your health, especially if you’re allergic to their venom. However, when it comes to handling stinging insect pests, the trusted insect specialists here at Accurate Termite & Pest Solutions have your back! At Accurate, we know the threat hornets and wasps can pose to you and your family. Our highly trained pest professionals will carefully remove nesting sites from your property so you don’t have to. Stinging insects can be a worrisome pest to handle, but when you get help from  Accurate Termite & Pest Solutions, you will have protection from stinging insects all year-round!

For more information about our stinging insect control services, give us a call at (888) 485-5319 today!

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

Some of the ways you can reduce the chance of stinging insects nesting on your property include:

  • Sealing vents, cracks, or gaps in your exterior walls and roofline

  • Cleaning up drink spills after outdoor parties

  • Bringing pet food bowls inside in between feedings

  • Keeping your trash bins sealed with tight-fitting lids

  • Throwing away soda cans and sauce bottles instead of leaving them out

The best way to keep your property completely free of wasp, hornets, and other stinging insects is by contacting Accurate Termite & Pest Solutions for all your pest problems. To learn more about how we treat for stinging insects and several other common pests found here in California, reach out to us!

 

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