stinging insects on wasp nest

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What are stinging insects?

Stinging insects are insects that are equipped with and use a stinger to protect themselves from danger and to paralyze their prey. Many species of stinging insects pollinate a wide variety of plants and crops and are considered beneficial to the environment. On the other hand, predatory stinging insect species hunt nuisance insects, helping to keep their populations under control. Here are some common species of stinging insects found in our area:

Wasps

wasp crawling on wood

Wasps have pinched waists and long, thin legs that dangle below their bodies when flying. Their bodies are black or brown in color with yellow or orange markings and their wings are a grayish color. Wasps tend to have very little hair or be completely void of hair. The most common species of wasps living in the United States are paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets. Wasps tend to be territorial, social species and will swarm together to defend their nest.

Paper Wasps

paper wasp on nest

Paper wasps are one of the most common species of wasps. They are often identified by the aerial, upside-down umbrella-shaped nests that they create. Paper wasps are semi-social and live together in small colonies. Adult paper wasps are mostly brown in color with some yellow coloration. Some species may have bright red or orange markings. Paper wasps aren't overly aggressive, but they will not hesitate to defend themselves or their nest if threatened.

Mud Daubers

mud dauber on flower

Mud daubers are a large, solitary species of stinging insects. They are black or a metallic blue color and may have yellow or green markings and are often identified by the nests they create out of mud. Mud daubers are fairly docile and stings are rare. They hunt and paralyze spiders with their venom to feed their developing larvae. Adults mainly feed on plant nectar and honeydew.

Are stinging insects dangerous?

Yes, the venom that stinging insects inject through their stings is strong enough to trigger serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, in some people. Yellow jackets, wasps, and mud daubers pose even more of a danger as they can sting multiple times. Great care should always be taken around stinging insect nests. Some species are more aggressive than others, but all will defend themselves with a painful sting if you get too close.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Stinging insects are most problematic during the end of the summer and early fall. This is when the colonies are at their peak numbers and members are out and about actively foraging for food. Stinging insects typically place their nest outside up off of the ground, along the ground, or inside holed in the ground. Any residential property that provides them with a place to build their nests, plentiful food sources (insects and flowering vegetation), and access to water can become a home to stinging insects.

Where will I find stinging insects?

Stinging insects are usually found living outdoors; normal nesting spots for stinging insects include trees, utility poles, under bushes, in rock crevices, in woodpiles, ground holes, under decks, under roof eaves, and in other protected spaces. However, stinging insects will sometimes choose to place their nests inside of a home or other building. Popular indoor nesting spots include in chimneys, inside attics, behind wall voids, and in crawl spaces.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

To get rid of stinging insects from your property, partner with the Texas pest control experts at Romney Pest Control. Our experienced professionals provide reliable and comprehensive pest control services that eliminate stinging insects as well as the routine services needed to prevent them from returning. If you are looking for high-quality pest control to keep your Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Austin, or Houston area home or business free of stinging insects, contact Romney Pest Control today.

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

Keep stinging insects out of your home with the help of the following stinging insect prevention tips:

  • Place a cap on your chimney

  • Fix holes along the roofline and roof intersections

  • Trim tree limbs back away from the exterior of your home

  • Outdoor trash cans and compost bins should have tight-fitting lids on them

  • Keep outdoor eating areas/grills clean and free of food debris

  • Fill in ground holes and remove fallen trees and tree stumps from your property

  • Get rid of water sources by maintaining gutters and downspouts, and fixing leaky hoses and fixtures

  • Limit the amount of flowering vegetation planted on your property, especially close to your home’s exterior

 
 
 

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