Sinister Summer StingersNPMA Staff
Friday, August 13, 2010
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
"Two varieties of stinging insects, the hornet
and the carpenter
bee, pose significant threats to ones health and home," says
Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA.
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
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.
The NPMA offers these tips for protecting your health and
property from summer stingers:
- Wear shoes, especially in grassy areas.
- Paint/stain untreated wood.
- Do not swing/swat at stinging insects.
- Seek immediate medical attention if stung, as reactions can be
Due to the aggressive nature of these pests, Henriksen
emphasizes that homeowners should not attempt to remedy an
infestation on their own. A licensed pest control
professional should be contacted whose expertise and technology
can best rid your home of these pests and prevent future
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