Enjoy the Outdoors without the Sting of Wasps, Yellow Jackets and BeesNPMA Staff
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The late summer and fall months are popular times to be
outdoors, but it's also the most active season for stinging insects
jackets and carpenter
bees. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns
that during these months, stinging insects are busy scavenging for
food to prepare for the winter. They are often attracted to
backyard barbecues and picnics, which increases your chances of
being stung. In fact, the NPMA reports that stinging insects send
more than 500,000 people to the emergency room every year.
Here are a few facts to help you protect yourself from stinging insects
- Unlike some stinging insect species, wasps
are known for their unprovoked aggression. A single colony of wasps
can contain more than 15,000 members, so an infestation should not
be taken lightly.
- Some stinging insects can build their nests in the ground,
jackets and velvet
ants, which despite their name are a species of wasp.
Velvet ants have a painful, needlelike stinger that can provoke an
allergic reaction. Over-seeding your yard provides more coverage
and discourages these pests from nesting on your property.
- Painting or staining untreated wood in fences, decks, swing
sets and soffits will help keep stinging insects such as carpenter
bees out. Carpenter
bees resemble bumblebees
and create nests by drilling tunnels into soft wood, which over
time, can severely compromise the stability of a structure.
- Only female carpenter
bees have stingers. Female carpenter bees will only sting if
threatened, but reactions to these stings can range from mild
irritation to life-threatening respiratory distress.
- The NPMA recommends inspecting your property frequently for
signs of a stinging insect infestation. Common nesting sites
include under eaves, on ceiling beams in attics, garages and sheds
and under porches. If you find a nest or suspect an infestation, it
is critical that you hire a pest professional. Attempting to remove
a nest on your own can be extremely dangerous.
For more information on stinging insects, including prevention
tips and pest guides, visit www.pestworld.org.