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Stinging Insect Identification & Prevention

What You Need To Know About Stinging Insects

Insects like bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and mud daubers all have and use a stinger located at the end of the abdomen to defend themselves, the nest, or to paralyze prey. In addition to being known for their stingers and the painful stings they can deliver to us, these pests are also known for their ability to pollinate plants and control nuisance insect populations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stinging Insects

What are stinging insects?

As their name suggests, stinging insects are types of insects that use a stinger to protect themselves and their colony from perceived danger. These insects are very beneficial when found living outside and away from people. Many species of stinging insects pollinate a wide variety of plants and crops, while predatory species keep populations of nuisance insects under control. These pests are especially active during the late summer and early fall when the colonies are at their largest, and the workers are out foraging for food to feed their entire colony and to sustain their queen throughout the winter months.

Some of the most common species of stinging insects found in Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth, TX are carpenter bees, hornets, mud daubers, wasps, and yellow jackets.

Carpenter Bees
Carpenter Bees are a solitary species of stinging insect. They look very similar to bumble bees. Carpenter bee abdomens are black, smooth, and shiny. Bumble bees on the other hand have hairy, yellow abdomens.

Hornets are typically black and white to brownish-red in color. They prey on other insects and can become very aggressive when disturbed. The most common species of hornet that people come into contact with is the bald-faced hornet.

Mud daubers
Mud daubers are a large, solitary species of stinging insect. They range in color from black to metallic blue and may or may not have yellow or green markings. They create their nests out of the mud.

Wasps have a pinched waist and long thin legs that dangle below their body when flying. Their body is black or brown in color with yellow or orange markings. Their wings are grayish in color. The paper wasp is a species that people commonly come into contact with.

Yellow Jackets have a segmented, hairless body, and a distinctive thin waist. Their body has a well-defined yellow and black striped pattern on them. Their face and head are a blend of black and yellow colors.

Are stinging insects dangerous?

Yes, stinging insects are considered to be dangerous pests, especially when they decide to build their nest in high-traffic areas of your property, on your home, or in your home. Great care should be taken around individuals or nests. Their venom is strong enough to cause serious health consequences in people. Not all stinging insects are super aggressive, but when stinging insects feel threatened or are being directly handled, all will sting to defend themselves. Their stings are very painful and leave behind large red welts. Their venom can trigger an allergic reaction, sometimes even triggering anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Stinging insects live and breed outside, and therefore, have the potential to create a nest on any property that offers them sheltered nesting spots close to food and water sources. Stinging insects feed on a variety of things including insects and other proteins, nectar, sweets, and honeydew. Stinging insects also forage for food in open garbage cans, compost piles, gardens, and flowering plants and bushes.

Where will I find stinging insects?

Where a stinging insect places their nest is species-dependent. Typical nesting sites for aerial nesters include up high in trees, on utility poles, in bushes, under roof eaves, and in the corners of doorways. Ground nesters place their nests inside rock crevices, in woodpiles, on the ground, in-ground holes, and in other protected spaces. Stinging insects mainly live and nest outside, but sometimes they will find their way inside through openings in a home’s exterior. Popular indoor nesting spots include in or on chimneys, behind walls, and inside crawlspaces.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

The best way to solve your property’s stinging insect problem is to partner with a local pest control company. When you partner with Cantu Pest & Termite, our knowledgeable and friendly professionals will provide the comprehensive services needed to eliminate stinging insects and prevent their return. With over 30 years in the pest control industry, we are proud to offer all our customers dependable, affordable, and eco-friendly home pest control and commercial pest control services. To learn more about eliminating stinging insects from your Dallas-area home, reach out to Cantu!

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

In addition to our professional pest control services in North Dallas, the following tips can help to prevent problems with stinging insects on your Texas property:

  • Place garden and compost areas away from the outside of your home.
  • Make sure all window and door screens are intact.
  • Place weather stripping around windows and doors.
  • Place caps on all chimneys.
  • Keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris.
  • Remove overgrown vegetation and piles of debris from your property.
  • Trim back tree limbs, shrubs, and bushes back away from the exterior of your home.
  • Remove water sources by maintaining gutters and fixing leaky outdoor fixtures and hoses.
  • Seal as many entry points as possible by caulking cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls of your building.