Stinging Insect Identification Guide

What are stinging insects?

Stinging insects have stingers located at the end of their abdomens that they use to defend themselves with. Their stingers make them pests that we always want to avoid having contact with. Common species of stinging insects that live throughout Central New York include honey bees, carpenter bees, bumblebees, yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps.

wasp on a branch

When living outside and away from people, stinging insects are eco-important, as they help to pollinate crops, plants, and trees. Those that are predators help to control populations of nuisance insects. As beneficial and helpful stinging insects are, when they invade our properties they have the potential to become unwelcome and harmful pests.

Are stinging insects dangerous?

Stinging insects that decide to nest on our property are dangerous pests. Most species of stinging insects have the potential to be aggressive and territorial, especially around their nest. Even those species like the carpenter bee that aren’t particularly territorial pose threats to us.

Any species of stinging insect has the potential to deliver a painful, venom-filled sting when threatened. Stings delivered by stinging insects leave behind raised red welts that may last for hours or days. Stinging insects also have venom that is potent enough to trigger allergic reactions. Those severely allergic to their venom, or in the case of a group attack, anaphylaxis can occur which requires immediate medical attention. 

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Sheltered nesting areas that are located near food and water sources are what attract stinging insects to a property. Stinging insects feed on a variety of things including sweets, proteins, nectar, and other insects.

Stinging insects forage for food and water in the following areas:

  • Gardens

  • Trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins

  • Flowering plants and trees

  • Outdoor eating areas

  • Untreated wooden structures

  • Clogged gutters

  • Standing water

Where will I find stinging insects?

Stinging insects build their nests in a variety of places depending on their exact species:

  • Honey bees nest in secluded places like tree hollows, rock crevices, or tree limbs. They live in meadows, wooded areas, yards, and orchards. They also nest in house and wall voids.

  • Wasps and hornets like to nest up off of the ground in trees, under decks, in door frames, under roof eaves, or on utility poles.

  • Yellow jackets will nest anywhere. They build their nests in the ground under woodpiles, bushes, between rocks, inside ground holes, in the abandoned nests of small animals, and on all homes and structures.

  • Carpenter bees build their nests in dead trees and stumps, rotting fence posts, in old piles of wood, in the eaves, fascia, as well as other exposed wood. They also nest on our homes behind window and door frames, on soffits, in decks, and in structural wood found around pipes.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

Get rid of stinging insects from your Central New York property with the help of a local, experienced professional. At Sweeney’s Pest Elimination, we have been protecting people and properties from our area’s most common pests for over 20 years.

If you are experiencing problems with stinging insects, our professionals will take care of the problem and put into place the services needed to stop them from returning. To learn more about our residential or commercial pest control solutions and to eliminate stinging insects from your Central New York property, contact us at Sweeney’s Pest Elimination today!

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

In addition to our professional stinging insect control services, avoid future problems with stinging insects by putting into place the following prevention tips:

  • Place garden areas as far away from the outside walls of your home as possible.

  • Limit the amount of flowering vegetation you have planted on your property.

  • Remove fallen trees, stumps, woodpiles, and other debris from your yard.

  • Cut branches back away from the outside of your home.

  • Remove standing water from your property.

  • When eating outside, make sure to keep food and drinks covered and clean up quickly after you finish eating.

  • If you know of a stinging insect nest on your property, do your best to avoid coming into close contact with it.

  • When working outside, avoid wearing heavily scented perfumes, deodorants, or lotions.

 

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