Have you been stung by a stinging insect? Not sure what kind of stinging insect it was? We can help you figure that out. Stinging insects can include: wasps, hornets, bees, yellow jackets and mud daubers. The National Pest Management Association reports that stinging insects send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year. Those with allergies to stings are most at risk, although anyone can be affected if a large number of stinging insects swarm and sting at once.
To protect your family and home from these pests, routinely walk the property in search of hives and nests. Pay attention to overhangs, eaves, the underside of porches and decks, shrubs, trees, sheds and other structures. If you find a nest do not attempt to remove it yourself, as a colony can become defensive and attack. Have a trained professional treat or relocate the nest in a safe manner.
Some stinging insects pose a more serious threat than others, lets take a look at the different kind of stinging insects that you could potentially encounter.
Bees: There are a few species you could come across including bumble, carpenter and honey bees.
Bumble Bees: These bees are between ¼”-1” in size, have black and yellow markings, and are overall fuzzy in appearance. These bees build their nests out of pollen clumps, usually in the ground or in dense grass clumps. These bees are considering a beneficial insect because they pollinate flowers, however they can still sting.
Carpenter Bees: These bees are between ½”-1” in size. They look similar to bumble bees, but the top of their abdomen is largely bare and shiny. They don’t live in nests or colonies. Instead, they bore into wood, where they make galleries for rearing their young. Carpenter bees are a serious property threat, and can cause structural damage over time. Males can be territorial and hover in front of you aggressively, but have no stinger. Females do have a potent sting, which is barely used.
Honey Bees: These bees are between ½”-5/8” in size and are an orangish brown or black in color. They’re very social insects and live-in colonies in hives with mature colonies of 20,000-80,000. They’re not aggressive, but will defend the colony when threatened.
Hornets: This can include the bald-faced hornet and the European hornet.
Bald-Faced Hornets: These hornets are largely black in color, with a mostly white face. They build aerial nests out of paper cartons. The nests usually are in exposed locations like trees, utility poles and overhangs. These nests can get quite large, growing to 14” x 24”. These pests are considered beneficial insects because they control many pest insect species. However, if their nest is located near a structure, control is warranted.
European Hornets: These hornets are large in size, between ¾”-1”. They’re brown with yellow abdominal stripes with a pale face. They build paper carton nests that are usually covered in a brown envelope as protection. Nests can be found in hollow trees, barns, home walls and attics. These are also beneficial insects for their insect species control, though control Is warranted if near a structure.
Mud Daubers: These stinging insects are large and slender. Usually black in color, and may have pale or metallic markings. They’re solitary wasps and do not live-in colonies. Females construct nests of mud. Many short mud tubes, usually about 1” long, are constructed side by side. Nests are frequently built under eaves, porch ceilings, garages, sheds, barns, home walls and attics. These stinging insects are considered beneficial for their spider control; however, control is warranted when near human activity.
Paper Wasps: A type of wasp species that is brownish in color with yellow or reddish markings. They get their name from the paper like material that they use to construct their nest. The nests are often an umbrella like shape and are never enclosed in an envelope. Nests can be found hanging from branches of trees, shrubs, porch ceilings, door frames, eaves, decks and railings. They aren’t typically an aggressive type of wasp, but if the nest is touched, they will sting. They’re also a beneficial insect due to their insect control, though control is warranted when near a structure.
Yellow Jackets: These pests have a yellow and black pattern and are between 3/8”-5”/8”. They live in nests constructed of paper cartons, which can grow as big as a basketball. One nest will contain a number of rounded paper combs, attached one below another and covered with a many layered envelope. Depending on the species, the nest may be near the ground, such as on plant roots, logs or aerial attached to shrubs, bushes, house, garages or sheds. They’re slow to sting, unless their nest is threatened. They’re also considered beneficial for their insect control, but if the nest is near a structure, control is warranted.
If you’re still unable to identify a stinging insect on your property, or in need of a treatment, reach out to a Palm Coast Pest Control representative today!