Stinging Insect Season is Here

One of the most painful feelings I have felt is the sting of a bee. I have always tried to masterfully run away from these pests to avoid their harmful sting but I sometimes make it worse by creating such a commotion that they are naturally inclined to follow me to see what I’m up to!
Most stinging insects reach their peak during the second half of the summer months when the colonies forage for food that will sustain their queens during the winter.   Here are just a few that you may encounter while you’re outside:

  • Honeybee:  These “hairy” bees have yellow and dark brown coloring.  They are not aggressive and will leave you alone unless provoked.  They typically nest inside cavities of trees.
  • Africanized Killer Bees:  This type of bee looks nearly identical to the honeybee but they are much more aggressive.  They nest in a variety of outdoor areas, such as hollow trees, sheds, porches, utility meters and even trash cans.  They are referred to as “killer bees” because when provoked, they attack in swarms and can cause serious injury or death to their victim.
  • Paper Wasps:  These wasps can be found in a variety of colors from reddish brown to orange with varying bright stripes of yellow and red.  They are sometimes referred to as “umbrella wasps” because their nests have the shape of an inverted umbrella.  Their nests are built under eaves of homes, under decks, behind shutters, hollow components of playground equipment and under the protective foliage and branches of trees and shrubs.
  • Mud Daubers:  These wasps received their name because they construct their “nests” from mud.  These clusters of mud are often attached to the walls of buildings.  Mud daubers are solitary wasps and do not live in colonies.  They provision spiders for their larvae by paralyzing them with their venom and bringing them into their nest.

Stinging insects are beneficial because they pollinate plants and flowers and eat other harmful insects.  But if you do accidentally provoke an attack, here are a few tips recommended by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to deal with these pests.