What are stinging insects?
Stinging insects defend themselves using a stinger located at the end of the abdomen. Another use for their stingers is to inject their insect prey with venom to paralyze them. These stings can be dangerous; pest management services for your home are important to reduce the risk that stinking insects present to you and your family.
- Hornets and wasps are two of the most common stinging insects that become a problem in our Virginia yards. They look very similar, but hornets tend to be larger. Wasps and hornets both have long bodies, narrow waists, and their bodies are hairless. Hornets are social insects that live together in large groups, while wasps can be social or solitary and nest alone.
- Yellow Jackets are wasps and are a combination of yellow and black colors. They have an abdomen pointed at the hind end, and their six legs dangle below their body in flight.
- Mud daubers are another common type of wasp. They are solitary and have a narrow waist and thread-like segment between the thorax and abdomen, giving them a "stretched" waist. Mud daubers are large and black with a metallic sheen or pale or yellowish markings.
Are stinging insects dangerous?
Though not all stinging insects are overly aggressive, their stings can cause significant reactions in people, ranging from mild to severe. The venom stinging insects possess and inject with each sting is powerful enough to trigger severe allergic reactions in people.
The closer stinging insects nest or forage for food near people, the more dangerous they become. Though stinging insects are eco-beneficial, they are dangerous when they're in our yards and should be removed with the help of a professional.
Why do I have a stinging insect problem?
Stinging insects live outside in various environments, including wooded areas, fields, meadows, and our Virginia yards. Any of our yards could become overrun with stinging insects when they discover suitable nesting spots or that ample amounts of food or water. Many predatory species of stinging insects like wasps and hornets will feed on the same proteins and sweets that we do, making where we eat, places they want to be.
Things found in our yards that are most likely to attract stinging insect activity include:
- Clogged gutters (water source)
- Gardens and flower beds
- Open trashcans or recycling bins
- Areas of dense landscaping
- Rock walls and woodpiles
- Outdoor eating areas
- Wooded areas
Where will I find stinging insects?
Where exactly stinging insects prefer to nest largely depends on their species. However, knowing some of their most common nesting spots is important so that you can regularly inspect your property for stinging insect nests, and if a nest is present, avoid the area until a professional can safely remove it. Stinging insects will commonly nest in:
- Ground holes
- Under fallen trees or landscaping ties
- Tree limbs or tree voids
- Under deck rails, roof eaves, or behind window shutters
- Play structures or sheds
- The exterior walls of your home
- In your home, in a chimney, vent, or wall void
How do I get rid of stinging insects?
If stinging insects have taken over your yard and it's become a place you can no longer relax and enjoy, reach out to the professionals at Hawk Mosquito & Pest. We will work quickly to eliminate these pests through our residential and commercial pest control services that are not only eco-friendly and effective but budget-friendly. Our targeted stinging insect control services will ensure that these dangerous pests are removed and provide the routine services necessary to stop them from coming back.
How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?
Prevent issues with stinging insects by partnering with us at Hawk Mosquito & Pest and implementing the following recommendations:
- Don't let shrubs and other landscape plants overgrow near your home's exterior and provide stinging insects with a safe place to nest near your house.
- Repair ground holes in your lawn that can become nesting sites for ground-nesting stinging insects.
- Avoid planting flowers near the windows and doorways of your home.
- Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins that provide proteins and sweets that stinging insects can feed on.
- Keep these dangerous pests out of your home by making sure screens are intact, making sure your home's chimney has a cap, and caulking gaps around windows and doors.