How to Avoid Common Stinging Insects

July 5, 2021

You want to enjoy the nice seasonal weather, but spending time outdoors also brings you face to face with stinging insects. A sting may cause anything from minor pain to a major allergic reaction, so it’s important to understand how to avoid stinging encounters. Use the following information to educate yourself about common stinging insects and how to avoid nasty stings:

  • Honey bees: These insects are the ones responsible for fertilizing many agricultural products. Therefore, it’s important to keep them around. However, you probably don’t want them near your home. Watch for honey bee nests in structures such as sheds or in trees (they like wooden homes). If you discover a nest, contact a professional to remove the bees from your property.
  • Bumble bees: Unlike honey bees, which lose their stinger once they sting you, bumble bees retain their stinger. This means they can sting you multiple times. Plus, they are very protective of their territory, so it’s important to keep an eye out for their homes so you don’t disturb them. Watch for bumble bee nests near the ground or even below it. They may also attach a nest to your deck.
  • Carpenter bees: As the name suggests, carpenter bees create homes by drilling into wood. Watch for their activity around any wooden structures on your property. They may lay eggs in the tunnels they drill into the wood. If you suspect you have a carpenter bee infestation, contact a pest control service to take care of the issue.
  • Yellow jackets: These stinging insects live in colonies as large as 4,000 yellow jackets. They love proteins and sugars, so it’s likely you’ll see them at any backyard barbecue. Watch for the papier-mâché style nests these insects usually build close to the ground. If a nest is disturbed, these insects tend to attack to protect their territory—and they can sting multiple times.
  • Paper wasps: To keep an eye out for paper wasps, look for flaky-looking nests that resemble umbrellas. They are typically found in tree branches, porch ceilings and other covered locations. Do not disturb the nest if you see one, since the wasps will sting you if you threaten their home. Instead, call a pest control professional to remove the nest.
  • Cicada killer wasps: These larger wasps have a wingspan of up to three inches. They will most likely leave you alone if you do the same, but this might be hard to do. They tend to nest in high-traffic areas, such as playgrounds, golf courses and parks, since these offer the short grass and well-drained habitats they desire.
  • European hornets: These stinging insects live in colonies of 200 to 400 hornets. They like to build their nests in crevices and holes. Look for a papery envelope-type structure over the entrance to identify a hornet home. If you find one, do not disturb it, as hornets will sting when threatened and can sting multiple times. Be sure to have the nest removed by a professional as soon as possible, since they can cause structural damage to the home.

Avoid the sting

For safe and effective pest control, contact the experts at Crist Termite and Pest Solutions, Inc. We’ve been helping customers avoid stinging insects since 1950. Reach us today at 217-543-2890.

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