With summer on the horizon, people are looking to be outdoors more often. It’s good to have some sunscreen and the right insect repellent. There are numerous stinging insects, such as hornets, bees, yellowjackets, and wasps that can turn a prickly sting into a more serious health situation.
In fact, the National Pest Management Association reports that the stings from these insects, “send more than half a million people to the emergency room each year.” While a single sting can be traumatic for those allergic to insects, a huge swarm can be just as treacherous for the average person. It’s important to make sure there are no hives or nests in your home during the summer. If this is the case, take the proper safety precautions and hire a licensed pest control professional to get rid of the problem. Here’s a short guide to help you identify the pest you may have near your home.
1. Bumble Bees
Appearance: They range in size from ¼ to 1 inch. They have black and yellow markings and are fuzzy.
Nest: They typically build their nest out of pollen clumps (either in the ground or dense grass clumps). You find them building it in an abandoned mouse nest.
Issue: While these are more beneficial to the environment, they can still deliver a burning sting. Make sure to seek pest control if the nest is located in or near a structure.
2. Carpenter Bees
Appearance: They range from ½ to 1 inch in size. While they do resemble bumblebees, the top of their abdomen is more bare and shiny.
Nest: They don’t live in a nest or a hive. Rather, they bore into wood and make galleries for their young. They prefer building in decaying wood rather than fresh wood.
Issue: If your structure consists of a lot of wood, it can be quite a threat to your property. Male carpenter bees are more territorial and will hover in your face, but they don’t have a stinger. The female ones deliver a powerful sting even if it’s a rarity.
Appearance: They’re between 1/2-5/8 inch in size with a more orangish-brown or black hue to their body.
Nest: They’re more social and live in huge colonies as hives. These can range from 20,000-80,000 insects depending on the maturity of the colony.
Issue: They don’t pose a true offensive threat. They’re more defensive, especially if it involves the well-being of their colony.
4. Bald-Faced Hornets
Appearance: While their body is mainly black, the face is mostly white.
Nest: They create more aerial nests from the paper cartons. You’ll typically see them in high places, such as trees, utility poles, and overhangs. The nests are rather big with a diameter of 14 inches and a length of 24 inches.
Issue: They can be beneficial by being control on different pest insect species. However, it’s important to notify a professional if they’re nests are near a structure.
5. European Hornets
Appearance: These are a bit larger with a range of ¾ to more than 1 inch in size. They have a pale face with a brown body and yellow stripes on their abdomen.
Nest: Like bald-faced hornets, they make their nests from the paper cartons. However, they cover it with a brown envelope for extra protection. The nests can be found in the following: hollow trees, barns, outbuildings, and even hollow walls of houses and attics.
Issue: They can be beneficial due to getting rid of a lot of pesky insects. However, it’s important to take caution as they can build their nest within a structure or even the hollow walls of your home. Make sure to get a professional before things become problematic.
6. Mud Daubers
Appearance: These insects are mainly black, long, and slender. They could have a pale marking or metallic look to them.
Nest: They’re more solitary wasps and don’t live in a colony like other types. Females make their nests of mud. They do it in a side-by-side manner with the mud tubes being around an inch. You’ll typically see these structures under eaves, porch ceilings, in garages and sheds, barns, or building walls and attics.
Issue: They’re great for keeping spiders under control. However, they could prove a nuisance due to their nests being indifferent garages, porches, and building walls. Call a pest control company to get rid of the nest.
7. Velvet Ants
Appearance: While they have ‘ant’ in their name, they’re actually a species of wasp. Females and males have some differences in appearance. The females are very hairy and black in color and can have hues of bright red, orange, yellow, or white. Males are less hairy and duller in color, but they’re the ones with the wings.
Nest: They’re pretty unique because they can live in nests used by wasps and ground-nesting bees. Also, they may create nests from bare or sandy soil.
Issue: They’re referred to as cow killers due to their vicious sting. The females are the ones with the stingers.
8. Paper Wasps
Appearance: They’re brownish in color and can have red and/or yellow markings.
Nest: Their name derives from the paper nests they create. The nests are more in an umbrella-like shape and you can find them hanging on twigs and branches of trees, porch ceilings, door frames, and even railings.
Issue: It’s important to stay away from their nests because simply touching it can cause paper wasps to sting. They can be beneficial by getting rid of other pesky insects. Although they’re not considered highly aggressive, it’s important to let a professional take care of the nest.
Appearance: They have a black and yellow pattern and can be from 3/8-5/8 of an inch in size.
Nest: They create paper nests that can grow to the size of a basketball. They develop a number of paper combs within the nest and attach and cover it with layered envelopes. Depending on the type of yellowjacket, they may prefer their nest to be in a number of places: plant roots, logs, or timber. Also, they may have a preference for shrubs, bushes, houses, garages, or sheds.
Issue: While they do some good work on pest control, it’s important to stay away from their nests. They will be provoked to sting if something threatens the nest. Call a pest control professional if it’s located near a structure.
If one of these ends up near or on your home, call a professional to deal with the issue. They can identify the type of insect in your area. As a result, they’ll come up with the best tactic to ensure that it’s safely removed.
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