If your family is anything like mine, you’ve been looking forward to summer since, well, fall! School is out and kids are running free in your yard, riding bikes, kicking the ball around, and getting into their normal outdoor shenanigans. With summer weather finally here though, the bugs are out in full force. I’m of the mindset that no bugs are good, but my kiddo of course loves chasing ants around the pavement and poking at potato bugs. Where our opinions may differ here, there are some bugs that we both steer clear of, and that’s anything with a stinger! Here is some information about at home pest control for stinging insects.
To learn more about some of the common stinging insects we’re facing this summer, I turned to our friends at Wil-Kil Pest Control for some tips. Here’s what they had to share:
Why do I have stinging insects?
There is no specific reason why you may spot stinging insects in your yard or near your home. While they may be attracted to your flower or vegetable garden, these insects are opportunistic builders and have been known to create their nests in areas without any obvious attractants.
What are some common stinging insects?
Watch out! These pests pack a powerful sting! Despite their name, bald-faced hornets are actually a type of wasp and are typically black with a white pattern on their face and white stripes on their thorax. It is important to be very careful around any type of stinging insect, especially bald-faced hornets, as they possess a lance-like stinger that allows them to repeatedly sting their victim. Their nests are pretty distinct; they have a grey, papery appearance and are in the shape of a big, bloated football. They are generally found in bushes and trees.
Paper wasps are the most common wasps found in residential areas and are brown with yellow markings, bearing some resemblance to yellow jackets. Known for nests made of paper-like material, these pests are relatively social and live in small colonies. Paper wasps typically hang their nests from branches of trees, porch ceilings, tops of windows or doorframes and even attic rafters. The nest hangs like an open umbrella and has open cells that can be seen beneath the nest. With a stinger similar to hornets, paper wasps have the ability to sting multiple times when threatened.
Similarly to paper wasps, these stinging insects are black and yellow striped and are notoriously aggressive, often stinging repeatedly if they feel threatened. They build paper nests that can be several feet across in size and house up to 3,000 members. Typically these nests are found in the ground, in trees and sometimes in protected structures in and around your home, including attics.
- Inspect the outside of your home for large populations of stinging insects and/or nests in trees or shrubs, underground and on the side of your home.
- Use caution when playing outside or gardening. Always wear closed toe shoes and avoid bright colored clothing.
- Avoid bringing sugary drinks and food outside whenever possible.
- When you eat outside, don’t put food out until you are ready to eat. Make sure leftovers are put away immediately and trash is thrown away.
- Be sure that your home is properly sealed off including windows and door frames. Repair or replace any holes, gaps or tears in window or door screens.
- Avoid wearing scented perfumes and lotions.
- When working outside, avoid wearing loose fitting clothing and always wear shoes, socks and other items to fully cover your body.
- Do not try to get rid of these insects on your own! Do-it-yourself methods and products from the local hardware store are often ineffective and if handled or applied incorrectly can be hazardous to your health. Always call a pest management professional for home pest control of stinging insects in your yard.
For more information on these, or any other pest infestations, please visit www.wil-kil.com.