Stinging Insects ‘Hymenoptera’ – Identify And Eradicate
Stinging insects, Hymenoptera species, are as their name entails, they sting or bite their prey. These insects range from bumblebees to wasps to hornets to yellow jackets. It may surprise you but ants are also classified as stinging insect.
There are currently around 115,000 Hymenoptera species. These insects include, but are not limited to the following:
Stinging insects play a major role in pollination. These pollinators spend most of their time pollinating 90 percent of flowering plants, blackberries, pumpkins, squash, watermelon, blueberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, peppers, kiwi, potato, onion, and okra. All of these crops and plants would not be able to reproduce with stinging insects.
Stinging insects are found throughout North American. Nearly every state has stinging insects, whether they are just houseflies or red ants, they are stinging insects nonetheless.
Identifying Stinging Insects
It is crucial to identify the most common Hymenoptera species. Everyone should know what sets each stinging insect apart from all the rest. It is not really necessary to identify every bee or ant species. But, you do need to be able to identify them as a whole, as well as their nests.
- Paper Wasp – The paper wasp can get a little aggressive to humans, but only if they feel threatened. The body is multi-colored with a mixture of brown or gray and yellow. The characteristics of the antenna are similar to that of the yellowjacket but with a larger body.
- Yellowjacket – The yellowjacket can be found all throughout North America in rural, suburban, and urban neighborhoods. The body is a mixture of black and yellow, with a black antenna. The yellowjacket can be aggressive toward humans and animals when threatened.
- Bald-Faced Hornet – Bald-faced hornets are some of the most aggressive stinging insect species. They attach their nests to tree branches, shrubs, and eaves. The body is a mixture of white and black. The head is slightly larger than some other hornet species.
- Honey Bee – The honey bee plays a major role in honey production. The body is covered with fuzz and a mixture of orange and yellow colors. Honey bee nests can survive for one or more years, depending on the location.
- Carpenter Bee – The carpenter bee bore holes in trees and other wooden structures. The bored holes are utilized for reproduction and shelter. The upper body is yellow while the lower body is a glossy black. These stinging insects are not as aggressive as the yellowjacket and the honey bee.
Stinging Insects – Are They Dangerous
Not all members of the Hymenoptera species are severely aggressive. In most cases, these stinging insects only become aggressive when threatened. There is not much a stinging insect will not do to protect its young and nest. It is unwise to approach a stinging insect nest without knowing the risk or experience.
The best way to determine the severity of aggression is through a visual inspection from afar. Experts claim larger nests equal a larger colony. It is just common sense, larger colonies pose more danger for humans and animals than smaller colonies.
Why Do Stinging Insects Exist?
The main purpose of stinging insects is pollination. Without these insects, most flowering plants and some vegetables and fruits would no exist.
Eradicate Stinging Insect Nests
It is not recommended to near a wasp, bee, or hornet nest without precaution. Average people do not possess the skills or experience to safely eradicate a nest. As soon as you approach a stinging insect nest, the colony will become aggressive. While some of these are known to be more aggressive than others, all pose a danger to people and animals in close proximity to a nest.
Stinging Insect Treatment Options
There are several stinging insect treatment options, including organic and chemical-based pesticides and methods. Licensed pest control contractors utilize pesticides approved by the EPA.
Small stinging insect nests can safely be eradicated with home remedies containing dish soap, boric acid, almond oil, black pepper, peppermint, and vinegar.
A technique known as “tarping” can also be utilized to eradicate small nests. This process utilizes polyurethane tarps to trap the colony into a confined space.