Those ‘other’ stinging insects (besides mosquitoes)…
Wasps, hornets & bees – buzz, buzz, buzz
It’s summer and those other stinging insects are out and buzzing about, too…
Research suggests over 2.2 million North Americans are allergic to stings from these ‘other’ insects, and it might surprise you to know they send over 550,000 people to the hospital (and as many as 55 people die from their stings) in North America every year…
So it’s always important to be cautious if you encounter any of them.
To know which pests you might be dealing with,
have a look at the following stinging insects guide…
• Are longish, slender & hairless
• They often build their nests on tree branches, porch ceilings, and in door frames
• Aren’t typically aggressive, but if they feel threatened, they can and will sting to
defend their nest.
• While they resemble wasps, hornets are far more aggressive and will attack
anyone who invades their space
• They often build their nests in tree branches, and on houses & sheds
• Their stings are more painful, and, unlike the honey bee, can sting multiple times
• They become more of a problem in late summer.
• Are one of the most common bee species
• Live in hollow trees (if not kept in a bee hive)
• Because they’re pollinators, they’re beneficial to plant life
• While honeybees do sting, because their stinger falls off when they do, they can only sting once.
• Are somewhat typically larger than honey bees
• Usually build their nests in the ground, but can also be found in soffits
• Can and will sting more than once
• When feeling threatened, will chase a perceived aggressor for a considerable distance.
• Look similar to bumble bees
• Aren’t normally dangerous to humans because they rarely sting – and only females have a stinger
• Are borers, so can cause damage to any wooden structure as they bore into the wooden members.
What you should do if someone shows signs of a severe reaction to an insect sting
• Call 911
• If the victim has an injectible epinephrine (EpiPen), they should use it immediately
• If the victim can’t swallow, give them an antihistamine like Benadryl (diphenhydramine).
Then you should take the following steps
• If the stinger is visible, remove it as quickly as possible (by scraping the skin horizontally with the edge of a
credit card or your fingernail)
• If there’s a venom sac visible at the end of the stinger, take care not to squeeze it – because it’ll inject even
more of the insect’s venom into the skin. NOTE – Only honeybees will leave a stinger – hornets, wasps,
and yellow jackets typically won’t leave a stinger
• Then gently clean the bite area with soap and water to prevent secondary infections
• If blisters appear, don’t break them
• To relieve pain and reduce swelling, raise the affected limb, and apply a cold compress of ice or a cool,
wet cloth to the bite area
• Use topical steroid ointments and/or oral antihistamines for itching.
Seek medical care if
• The sting or bite is in or near the victim’s mouth
• The victim has a known severe allergy to a stinging or biting insect
• The victim was treated using an injectable epinephrine (EpiPen)
• The bite/sting site looks infected (increasing redness, warmth, swelling, pain, or pus occurring several
hours after the sting or bite).
• Avoid walking barefoot where stinging insects forage
• Avoid drinking from open soft drink cans that have been left sitting – because stinging insects
are attracted to the sugar – so often will crawl inside… and could bite your lip when you take
• Keep food covered when eating outdoors
• Avoid sweet-smelling perfumes, hairsprays and deodorants
• Avoid wearing bright colored clothing with flowery patterns
• An allergist can screen for insect allergies, as well as provide a preventive treatment called venom
immunotherapy. It works by gradually increasing doses of purified insect venom, and has been
shown to be as much as 97% effective in preventing future allergic reactionsto insect bites.
If these stinging insects are setting up residence on your property,
we recommend you contact a pest control professional
who practices Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by
• Inspecting your home for infestations
• Identifying the species you’re dealing with
• Then treating the identified problem using an accepted pest control method that will work best for
you and your situation.
So, save your DiY ‘energy’ for something else (maybe that old piece of furniture you’ve been wanting to refinish), and leave the pests to your local pest control company – like TermiGuard Services & Fenwick.
We’d love to help you get rid of your ‘buzzing ‘stinging pests!’
Find out more
Give us a call at one of the numbers below TODAY!