Yellowjackets, Killer Bees and Other Stinging Insects Pose Increased Threat in Late Summer & FallNPMA Staff
Monday, August 16, 2010
The late summer and early fall are
popular times to spend outdoors at barbeques or completing home
maintenance projects. But it's also the season that stinging insects -
"killer" bees are most active and aggressive, leading to
an increased number of stings. The National Pest Management
Association (NPMA) reports that more than 500,000 people are sent
to the emergency room every year due to insect stings, and reminds
people to take caution to protect themselves this season.
"By the late summer, stinging insects
colonies can contain upwards of 4,000 members," says Missy
Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. "Most
species are busy preparing their queen for the winter ahead, and
therefore are more aggressive than earlier in the season."
One of the most common stinging insects is the yellowjacket,
which build nests on tress and buildings as well as in the ground.
can sting several times, although they not normally aggressive
unless their nest is threatened. Wasps,
however, are known for their unprovoked aggression. They commonly
nest on ceiling beams in attics, garages and sheds. Africanized
"killer" bees are often confused with honeybees, but their
venom is more dangerous and the species is known for attacking in
large numbers if their nest is threatened. They can nest in strange
places such as tires and empty cars.
NPMA offers the following tips for avoiding stinging
- Wear shoes when outdoors, especially in grassy areas.
- Keep windows and doors screened.
- Keep garbage in sealed receptacles.
- Do not swat at a stinging insect as it increases the likelihood
of an aggressive reaction.
- If stung, seek immediate medical attention as reactions can be
- Call a pest
professional if you find a nest on your property or suspect an
For more information or to find a local pest professional,
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