Find a
Location

Stinging Insects

Bald-Faced Hornets

bald faced hornet
Color: Black with white pattern on face
Shape: Long, wasp-like
Size: 1/2 - 5/8 inches long; queen 3/4 inches long
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits

Although not true hornets, Bald-faced hornets are social insects. Their colonies may contain 100—400 members at their peak. Populations are largest during the late summer. Bald-faced hornets usually build their paper nests in shrubs, trees, on overhangs, houses, sheds, utility poles, or other structures three or more feet off the ground.

Threats

Bald-faced hornets will attack anything that invades their space. They are able to sting over and over again due to their smooth stingers. Their stings carry venoms that the stings hurt, swell or itch for around 24 hours. Humans are at equal risk of allergic reaction from their stings as with other insect stings.

Prevention

Bald-faced hornets are beneficial insects because they help control many pest species. Control is warranted; however, if a nest is close to the ground or near an occupied structure. Routinely inspect the outside of your property for stinging insect nests.

Honey Bees

honey bees
Color: Predominantly golden-yellow with brown bands
Shape: Oval; bee shape
Size: 1/2 in
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Habits

Honeybees are active pollinators, and produce honey which feeds their young in colder months. The honeybee is the only social insect whose colony can survive many years.

Threats

Honeybees do sting, but they only sting once due to their barbed stinger. The sting can be extremely painful if the stinger is not immediately removed from the sting. Persons allergic to insect stings will have a more severe reaction.

Prevention

Honey bee management should be addressed by a professional. Treatment or removal of a honeybee nest and the honey product can be very messy. Because honeybee colonies are so large, only a honey bee pest control professional or experienced beekeeper can safely remove a honeybee nest.

Yellowjackets

yellowjacket
Color: Abdomen usually black and yellow patterned similar to band
Shape: Wasp-like
Size: 3/8 - 5/8 inch long
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits

Yellowjackets live in nest or colonies. Their nest are usually found in the ground or in cavernous areas such as crawlspaces. Feeding on proteins and sweets they can usually be found around trash and recycling bins. The colony is at its peak in late summer and early autumn.

Threats

Yellowjackets are territorial and will sting if they feel that there nest is threatened. They can sting repeatedly and can cause allergic reactions. They are extremely aggressive.

Prevention

Wear shoes in grassy areas. Keep trashcans covered and remove garbage frequently. Do not swat at yellowjackets, it will just increase the likelihood an aggressive reaction. Avoid wearing any sweet-smelling perfumes. Make sure your door and window screen are in good condition.