Stinging Insect Identification Guide

What are stinging insects?

Stinging insects are insects that defend themselves with a stinger located at the end of its abdomen. While stinging insects can be dangerous, they are also beneficial. Predatory species, such as wasps, help to reduce populations of nuisance and garden pests, while other species are responsible for pollinating our flowers, plants, and crops. Stinging insects look very similar, but there are many different species, all with their unique looks and behaviors.

a wasp on wood

In our area, wasps, carpenter bees, mud daubers, hornets, and yellow jackets are species that frequent our properties. Carpenter bees and mud daubers are solitary species, while wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are social and live together in large groups.

Are stinging insects dangerous?

One thing that most people have in common is that when they see stinging insects coming towards them, they move out of the way. This natural reaction occurs for good reason: stinging insects can deliver painful and dangerous stings. The venom stinging insects possess is strong enough to trigger reactions in people. Those who are very allergic can experience a mild reaction or a very severe reaction that has the potential to be life-threatening. At the very least, a sting will produce a raised, red, painful welt that will last for hours or days.

In addition to the health risks they pose, stinging insects are also damaging pests. Carpenter bees create tunnels and nesting galleries in wood that, over time, causes structural damage. Also, if stinging insects place their nest behind a home's walls, it may attract other insects. Once they abandon the nest, it will begin to decay and damage walls and insulation.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Unfortunately, stinging insects are most problematic in the spring and summer season when the weather is warm. During this time of year, people and stinging insects are both outside and active, increasing the chances of coming into contact with each other. Stinging insects will nest anywhere that provides a sheltered space to build their nests, easy access to food, and water sources.

Where will I find stinging insects?

Most outdoor spaces in urban areas, suburban areas, and rural areas provide nesting sites for stinging insects. They place their nests in trees, between rock crevices, in caves, on utility poles, under bridges, and on buildings. Stinging insects that nest under or on the ground, nest under shrubbery, dense vegetation, in naturally occurring ground holes, and inside the abandoned nests of small animals.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

Stinging insects are difficult pests to control and eliminate. If you are experiencing problems with stinging insects in your Oklahoma, Kansas, or Arkansas home or business, let the professionals at BugBros Pest Control help. We take pride in offering the consistent and convenient services needed to eliminate pests and prevent them from returning. We dedicate ourselves to providing our customers with a pest-free environment that can be enjoyed by family and friends. We kill bugs and create #CrazyHappyCustomers!

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

Let the professionals at BugBros in conjunction with our helpful prevention tips help you avoid problems with stinging insects:

  • Keep moisture levels low in and around your home by fixing leaky pipes, removing areas of standing water, removing bird baths, and keeping gutters and downspouts free of debris.
  • Cut back shrubbery and tree limbs from your home's exterior walls.
  • Fill in ground holes on your property.
  • Limit the flowering vegetation you have planted, especially near your home.
  • Avoid stepping on stinging insects and getting stung by wearing shoes when walking around in the grass.
  • After eating outside, make sure to clean up leftover food and drinks that could attract hungry stinging insects.
  • Keep tight-fitting lids on trash cans and recycling bins.
  • If you find a nest on your property, stay away from it until it is removed by a professional.

For more information about our stinging insect control services, reach out to BugBros today. We would love to work with you to ensure that your residential or commercial property is free of stinging insects and other pests!


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