Stinging Insects Put a Damper on Summer FunNPMA Staff
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Summer is here and people across the country are enjoying
backyard barbeques and days by the pool. But the National Pest
Management Association (NPMA) cautions that anyone spending time
outdoors this season should be aware of the health threats posed by
wasps and Africanized "killer"
bees. These and other stinging insects send more than half a
million people to the emergency room every year, the NPMA
"Everyone knows that insect stings can be unpleasant, but few
people stop to think about the serious health threats posed by these pests
during the summer months," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of
public affairs for the NPMA. "If a hive is provoked or threatened,
they can swarm and sting en masse, which can be life-threatening
especially for anyone who has an allergic reaction. For this
reason, we strongly discourage homeowners from attempting to handle
a stinging insect infestation on their own and instead recommend
they contact a pest professional."
When outdoors, be aware that stinging insects can build nests
underground, in trees, shrubs, overhangs, eaves, utility poles,
tires, houses, sheds and other structures, depending on the
The NPMA offers these tips to avoid stinging insects this
- Wear shoes, especially in grassy areas.
- Overseed grassy areas to get better coverage, as this will
deter ground-nesting insects.
- Paint/stain untreated wood.
- Remove garbage frequently and keep trashcans covered.
- Do not swat at a stinging insect as it increases the likelihood
of an aggressive reaction.
- Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes.
- Ensure all doors and windows in your home have screens that are
in good condition.
- Seek immediate medical attention if stung, as reactions can be
- Do not attempt to remove a nest on your own. If you have an
infestation, contact a qualified pest?professional.
For more information on stinging insects, or to find a pest
professional, visit www.pestworld.org.
NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was
established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's
commitment to the protection of public health, food and