STINGING INSECTS. They may not have been invited, but stinging insects are inevitable guests to summers most anticipated gatherings. These summer fun-stealers send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year and are especially active during the second half of summer when the colonies forage for food that will sustain their queens during the winter. It is during this time that most people fall victim to the physical and financial sting that these summer stingers pose.
Worldwide, there are an estimated 9,000 species of ants, 20,000 species of bees, and 800 species of stinging wasps. Again, those of medical risk are social, existing in colonies consisting of numerous females known as “workers” that defend by stinging. In the U.S., social Hymenoptera include all 700 or so species of ants, but only about 35 species of bees, and about 30 species of wasps.
Two varieties of stinging insects, the hornet and the carpenter bee, pose significant threats to ones health and home.
Hornets live in large colonies and their nests are shaped like an inverted teardrop. While their venom is no more dangerous than other stinging insects, they are much more aggressive when disturbed and tend to sting repeatedly. This behavior adds to the potential for greater skin irritation or a serious allergic reaction.
Carpenter bees build their nests by drilling perfectly round tunnels into soft woods. Coarse, natural colored sawdust will often be present near the entrance to the nest. Over time, these tunnels can severely compromise the support structure of a building.
Here are some tips for protecting your health and property from stinging insects:
- Wear shoes, especially in grassy areas.
- Paint/stain untreated wood.
- Remove garbage.
- Keep trashcans covered.
- Do not swing/swat at stinging insects.
- Seek immediate medical attention if stung—reactions can be severe.
Due to the aggressive nature of those pesky and stinging insects, homeowners should not attempt to remedy an infestation on their own. Contact us HERE. We can help!
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