OUCH! It’s a word heard a lot when families are out enjoying their yards in the summertime. Sometimes it is heard indoors, as well. The culprits? Stinging insects, some of those things we have to put up with when the warmer temperatures draw us outside. Or do we have to put up with them? Knowing a bit about some common stinging pests will help you know how to spot just where on your property they might want to make a nest. Knowledge is power, and with some good planning, a watchful eye, and great pest control technicians, you won’t need to be asking, “What just stung me?” Get ahead of stinging pests and keep your family as free from “‘ouch” as possible!
The Usual Suspects
Yellow jackets, wasps, hornets, bumblebees, and honeybees are all common stinging insects. While they can all be found in house walls, some easy physical identifiers and nest descriptions will help you figure out which stinging pests are hanging around your home.
● Yellow jackets:
Yellow and black striped, yellow jackets are about ¾” in length. Their pointed stinger is capable of stinging multiple times. Yellow jackets build nests in both walls and in the ground. Regardless of where the nest is, the activity surrounding the entrance will resemble an airport–many flying in and many flying out.
A newer wasp in St. Louis is the European wasp. These wasps look similar in coloring to a yellow jacket, but they are about 1 ¼ inches in length. They, too, have a pointed stinger capable of multiple stings. These wasps build a conical paper nest, often found under overhangs of houses and inside the hollow fencing around pools. An aggressive insect, this wasp needs no provocation to attack.
Bald-faced hornets are very aggressive. Black in color with a white stripe over each eye and on the thorax (rear segment), they are about one inch long. They also have a stinger capable of multiple stings. They are often easy to spot near their gray, swirled, paper nests, which vary from the size of a cantaloupe to the size of a trash can. This insect has attitude–it doesn’t need to be disturbed to attack.
Bumblebees are large and black, with a yellow stripe. Their entire body is fuzzy in appearance. Bumblebees measure roughly ¾” long and ⅜” wide. Their stinger is pointed and can sting multiple times. Bumblebee nests looks like groups of small eggs stuck together. They can be found in pine needles under pine trees, and are usually above the ground. They can also be found in bird houses, lawn mower clipping bags, and compost piles. When a nest of any size is disturbed, the bees become very aggressive.
● Honey bees:
Honey bees are brownish to golden in color and are about ¾” in length. Their barbed stinger remains in the victim’s skin when stung, which obviously kills the bee. Honey bee nests are layers of honeycomb, usually found in wall voids and tree voids. If left untreated, a nest filled with honey can weigh up to 350 pounds! Honey bees are fairly harmless and usually only sting when provoked.
Can You Prevent Stinging Insects From Choosing Your Yard or House?
While there is no way to guarantee a stinging pest won’t pass your way, a thorough inspection by the helpful folks from Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions will show just where stinging insects have taken up residence, or are likely to take up residence. Nest removal, followed by regular sprays for stinging insects, will help you and your family have a more enjoyable summer by reducing the likelihood that stinging insects take up residence in or near your home. Want to reduce the “ouch” or “ick” factors for all pesky pests? Let Holper’s show you how we take GREAT care of St. Louis area homes. Call 314-732-1413 today!
What just stung me? Probably not one of the usual suspects,
because I called Holper’s!