Stinging Insects

What are stinging insects?

Stinging insects are insects that use a stinger to protect themselves from danger. Many species of stinging insects pollinate a wide variety of plants and crops and are considered environmentally beneficial. Predatory species of stinging insects hunt nuisance insects, helping to keep their populations under control. When living and nesting outside and away from people, stinging insects are considered helpful and are wanted, but when nesting near or inside homes, they become a danger and unwanted.

a mud dauber flying near a flower in hattiesburg mississipi

Some of the most common species of stinging insects living in and around Hattiesburg and Laurel, MS are carpenter bees, bumblebees, wasps, mud daubers, and honey bees.

Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees are a solitary species of stinging insect. They look similar to bumblebees but lack the yellow markings on their abdomen. Carpenter bee abdomens are black, smooth, and shiny. Bumblebees, on the other hand, have a hairy, yellow abdomen.

Bumblebees
Bumblebees are identified by their oval-shaped bodies that are completely fuzzy. Their bodies are black with yellow, orange, or reddish-colored stripes. Bumblebees feed on nectar, using their long hairy tongues to lap up the liquid.

Wasps
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. Their wings are grayish in color. Paper wasps and yellow jackets are common species of wasps.

Mud daubers
Mud daubers are a large, solitary species. They range in color from black to metallic blue and may or may not have yellow or green markings. As their name suggests, they create their nests out of the mud in the shape of a cylindrical tube resembling an organ pipe or pan flute.

Honey bees
Honey bees are light golden brown in color, have a darker brown banding, and are covered in a layer of fine hair. Honey bees have a barbed stinger extending off of their thorax (hind-end). Because their stinger is barbed, each honey bee can only sting its victim once.

Are stinging insects dangerous?

Stinging insects are dangerous pests. The venom they inject through their painful stings is strong enough to trigger serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Some species of stinging insects are aggressive (wasps, bumblebees) while others are not (carpenter bees). However, it is important to understand that any species will defend themselves and their colony from perceived threats by delivering painful stings. Great care should be taken around stinging insect nests. If there is a nest on your property that has been placed in a dangerous location, contact a professional for the nest’s safe removal.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Stinging insects live and breed outside, and have the potential to create a nest on any residential property that offers them sheltered nesting spots that are close to food and water sources. Stinging insects feed on insects and other proteins, nectar, sweets, and honeydew. Stinging insects will forage for food and water in open garbage cans, compost piles, gardens, flowering plants and bushes, clogged gutters, bird baths, ponds, and leaky outdoor fixtures. Stinging insects are most problematic near the end of the summer and into early fall. This is when colonies reach peak numbers and members are out and about actively foraging for food.

Where will I find stinging insects?

Where a stinging insect places their nest is species-dependent. Stinging insects are usually described as aerial or ground nesters. Typical stinging insect nesting sites include up high in trees, on utility poles, in bushes, in rock crevices, in woodpiles, on the ground, in ground holes, in wooden structures, under roof eaves, 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 inside chimneys, behind wall voids, and inside crawlspaces.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

To eliminate stinging insects from your home or commercial property and prevent a re-infestation, partner with an experienced professional. At Holifield Pest Management, our certified and licensed professionals can provide the comprehensive services needed to find and safely eliminate all the stinging insects living in your home or business and prevent their return. For all of your residential or commercial pest control needs, call the full-service pest control experts at Holifield Pest Management. We serve Laurel and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and surrounding areas. To learn more about our stinging insect control services or to receive a free estimate, reach out to us!

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

Listed below are some preventative steps you can take to help keep stinging insects from taking over your Jones County, Mississippi home or commercial property:

  • Caulk cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.

  • Repair holes along the roofline and roof intersections.

  • Eliminate water sources.

  • Place a cap on your chimney.

  • Keep outdoor eating areas clean.

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

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

  • Outdoor trash cans should have tight-fitting lids on them to prevent stinging insects from foraging inside them.

 

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