As the weather warms up, most of us spend more time outdoors. Unfortunately, the warmer weather also results in more insects living and flying through our outdoor retreats, building nests and homes of their own. Thus, summer means more encounters with flying insects, including ones that sting.
In the warm months, you’re more likely to encounter bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets. Being stung by one of these can not only be painful, but can lead to more serious problems, such as swelling, nausea, infection and, in rare cases, even death. So it’s important to identify, avoid, and ideally rid your home of these stinging pests.
First, know your stingers:
- Wasps: These flying insects come in a variety of species, meaning their size can vary greatly and colors can include black, brown, or metallic green and blue. Types include Mud Daubers, Black Wasps, and Paper Wasps. Different types of wasps have different types of nests. Overall, wasps are beneficial in that they kill and control other pests and pollinate plants, but they can be aggressive and, unlike bees, can sting multiple times.
- Hornets: While the term is often used to describe about any large, flying, stinging insect, an actual hornet (here, a European hornet) is reddish brown, about an inch long, and makes nests above ground (like in hollow trees and attics). Their nests look to be made of paper, which is made by mixing their saliva with wood fibers. They are beneficial in that they kill other pests and pollinate, and they don’t often attack people. When they do, though, stings can be intense.
- Yellow Jackets: Yellow jackets have pinched-in, defined waists and distinct yellow and black stripes (though some may be more white and black). While they are beneficial pollinators, yellow jackets scavenge for sugar, meaning they’ll approach your food and drinks and can yield a very painful sting. They usually build nests in the ground, and stepping on one can be quite dangerous.
- Bees: There are more than 20,000 species of bees, meaning they come in just about all shapes, sizes, and colors. They all are hairy, though, which helps in collecting pollen. Some bees will ignore humans; others, such as the Africanized bee, can be aggressive when protecting hives that they’ve built around homes. Carpenter bees also can cause property damage as they bore holes in porches and railings.
In general, while almost all flying insects have some beneficial properties, they become a nuisance and potential danger when they start threatening you and your home. The key steps to eliminating flying insects are to first identify what they are, and then locate where they live. A trained exterminator can help with identification, and will know how to remove the nest fully. Exterminating wasps, hornets, and other winged insects usually requires complete removal of the nests, as other insects can re-inhabit emptied nests.
If you’re seeing too many flying insects, have spotted nests, or are getting stung, contact the professionals at Thompson Brothers Exterminating today. We can help you identify the pests, find the nests, and get rid of them completely.
Let Thompson Brothers help take the sting out of your summer. Contact us today.