Stinging Insect Identification & Prevention

What are stinging insects?

In the summertime, bees and wasps come out in great numbers, stinging any people or pets they come into contact with. While they can be a painful nuisance, they serve two vital functions within the ecosystem: pollinating plants and crops, and hunting down other destructive pests, such as locusts.

a wasp perched on a flower outside of a home in elkhart indianaFour common stinging insects living in our area are bald-faced hornets, bees, German yellow jackets, and wasps.

Bald-faced hornets
Bald-faced hornets are black in color with a white pattern covering most of their face. They have long, wasp-like bodies.

Bees have oval-shaped bodies and are typically covered, at least partially, in hairs. They usually have a black and yellow striped pattern covering their bodies.

German yellow jackets
German yellow jackets are black and yellow in color. Their abdomens may have spots of black, and they have spade-shaped marks on their first abdominal segment.

Wasps are usually described as social or solitary. They come in a variety of colors, including white, black, or yellow. They have long bodies, thin waists, and legs that hang down when in flight.

Are stinging insects dangerous?

While not all species of stinging insects are aggressive, they are all still considered dangerous. Their venom is strong enough to trigger allergic reactions in people, sometimes even causing life-threatening anaphylaxis to occur. Wasps, bees, and hornets sting to defend themselves or their colonies. Their stings can be painful and may leave behind large, red welts. You should always contact a professional to remove a stinging insect nest from your property to make sure you avoid their dangerous stings.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Stinging insects are most problematic in the late summer and early fall months when their colonies reach peak numbers; this is also when they are out and about trying to gather enough food to feed their large colonies. Depending on their exact species, stinging insects feed on a variety of foods including insects, proteins, nectar, sweets, and honeydew. They are attracted to properties that offer ample food sources and safe places to create their nests. Properties that have open garbage cans, compost piles, gardens, flowering vegetation, outdoor eating areas, clogged gutters, fallen trees, bird baths, or ponds attract stinging insects.

Where will I find stinging insects?

Stinging insects build their nests in a variety of locations, as long as they are provided with protection and shelter. Stinging insects create their nests in rock crevices, on rock overhangs, on trees or utility poles, and under porches, decks, and roof eaves. German yellow jackets, for example, prefer to nest in voids. Stinging insects can find their way indoors to nest inside attics, crawl spaces, walls voids, and in outbuildings like barns, sheds, and garages.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

The best and safest solution to a stinging insect infestation is to contact a professional. At Termishield, our certified Pest Professionals provide outstanding stinging insect control solutions to eliminate your current pest problems and prevent future ones.

The local pest control experts at Termishield are dedicated to using the latest scientific techniques and up-to-date products, practices, and procedures to get rid of stinging insects and other pests. Call Termishield today to learn more about ridding stinging insects from your property, or to schedule a free pest inspection.

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

In addition to our residential pest control and commercial pest control services, here are some stinging insect prevention tips:

  • Remove overgrown vegetation, fallen trees, and piles of debris from your property.

  • Move gardens, lumber piles, and mulch piles well away from the home’s exterior.

  • Trim vegetation tree limbs away from the exterior of your home.

  • Pickup trash or food left outside.

  • Fix any leaky pipes or fixtures around the home.

  • Maintain your gutters, and ensure they’re directing water away from your home.

  • Caulk cracks and crevices found in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.

  • Cap chimneys, install screens on windows and doors, and apply weatherstripping to exterior doors.


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