How to Identify Stinging Insects Around Your Home

Identifying Stinging Insects

Stinging insects can be anything from wasps to hornets to bumblebees, and their sharp defenses actually send hundreds of thousands of people to the emergency room every year. It’s not just people with severe allergies either. Nearly anyone is susceptible if they get too many stings at once. Protecting yourself starts with keeping your property entirely free from hives and nests. Of course, it’s important to remember that not all stinging insects represent the same threat to your family. If you want to know more about identifying stinging insects so you know which ones you have, we’ll look at the signs. 


Friendly Fliers 

Just because an insect has the ability to sting, does not mean that it's aggressive. In fact, most insects are relatively happy to leave you alone if you’re willing to do the same. While the instinct might be to run around or to try and kill a bee, wasp, or hornet with your hands, the advice is not to aggravate it. This doesn’t mean that you can’t stop one from flying down your shirt, but it does mean that you should go after it when there’s no need. Some of the friendliest fliers around are honey bees. These fuzzy teddy bears are social creatures and they typically won’t act unless they feel their nest is threatened. In addition, carpenter bees might build a tunnel in your home, but despite their name, the males can’t sting you. Only the females have needles, and they won’t be buzzing around. Carpenter bees look a lot like bumblebees, but you’re less likely to have an infestation of bumblebees in the house. 


The Wasp Family 

The wasp family is a little more aggressive, so it pays to watch out for them. They don’t live off of honey, they actually live off other insects. When they feel like they’re under attack, they start stinging, which will release pheromones that attract other wasps to them:

  • Bald-faced hornets: Black in color with a white face, these hornets control other insect populations. Their nests are often made on trees or other overhanging structures. 
  • Mud daubers: Long and skinny, they’re usually black, though they sometimes have a bit of metallic sheen to them. These stinging insects aren’t found in a pack. They build mud tubes that are about an inch long. 
  • Paper wasps: Paper wasps are brown with yellow markings. Their nests look like paper-mache and are often found under overhangs. They are not an aggressive species, but they are extremely likely to sting if their nest is disturbed in any way. 

Contact McDuffie Pest Control

The staff at McDuffie Pest Control knows that whether it's a bumblebee or a yellow jacket, the reality is that you'd probably rather not have to deal with bugs of any kind on your property. It's why we're here to help you determine what you have, and the best way to go about handling it. Many of these creatures may seem like little more than destructive nuisances, but in reality, they're performing really important jobs that you need them for. If you're interested in learning more about keeping your property and your ecosystem safe, contact us today to learn more about our services.