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  • Writer's pictureJeffery McChesney

Bees, Wasps, Hornets--Friend Or Foe?

Bee flying  into flower

Most people don’t realize that bee, hornet, and wasp stings can be deadly. Over the last several years, more and more Americans have been killed when these seemingly innocent pollinators attack suddenly and, at times, without provocation.

From 2000 to 2017, the alarming number of deaths linked to insect stings was approximately 62 deaths annually, for a total of 1,109 reported deaths---most of which could have been prevented. This number may be underreported, as stings can be responsible for the occurrence of other medical emergencies such as allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, heart attack, and sunstroke.

Bee, wasp, and hornet stings can cause everything from minor irritation to severe, life-threatening emergencies, according to recent data released from the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms of an allergic reaction brought on by a sting include:

  • Swelling of the face, lips, or throat

  • Hives or itching over large areas of the body

  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing

  • A sudden, sharp drop in blood pressure

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Loss of consciousness

If any of these potentially life-threatening symptoms are experienced, you should seek medical attention immediately to avoid life-threatening consequences.

Safely Ridding Your Home Of Potential Stingers

One common cause of insect stings is a homeowner’s attempt to rid their home of a nest without the proper knowledge or tools. You can work in tandem with a qualified pest control company to eliminate the problem but leave the risky work to the professionals who can safely remove these pests with little risk to themselves or to you. Some things you might do to start the process of identification and elimination include:

  1. Identify the location of the nest. Regularly inspect your home, your garage, and your yard for possible nest locations. Some common places for them to take up residence include: _Under roof awnings and behind shutters _Hanging from tree branches _Around fence posts and playsets _In hollowed-out tree trunks and near woodpiles _In holes in the ground; yellow jacket nests are generally found here

  2. Do not attempt to stir up nests to determine the actual location. If you suspect that you have bee, wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket infestation on your property, do not attempt to confirm this by agitating them to see where their location is. Call in a qualified pest professional to determine their location and take care of the population safely and efficiently.

  3. Leave the bees alone! You must identify the insect that you are working with before you attempt to get rid of it. Bees are more docile than wasps, yellow jackets, or hornets, and they are critical to our ecosystem as pollinators. A honeybee has a hairy body, while other stinging insects are typically hair-free. Most bee colonies can be allowed to co-exist peacefully on your property without threat of harm. If they must be removed, call in a bee professional to do so safely and ethically.

  4. Treat stings quickly and look for signs of an allergic reaction. If you suspect that you have been stung by a bee, wasp, yellow jacket, or hornet, assess for signs of allergic reaction and act quickly to avoid life-threatening consequences. Steer clear of the area in which you sustained the sting and call in a professional to determine what kind of insect you are dealing with.

  5. Seal up your home to keep them out. Noticing a few insects indoors means that there are likely queens looking to set up camp due to a change in seasons or the desire to look for food. To prevent an infestation from occurring, take the following actions: _Make sure that seals around doors and windows are tight. Find holes and seal them up. _Inspect window screens for holes and patch them. _Keep all garbage and lawn waste containers sealed and away from entrances to your home. _Rinse recyclables before placing them in bins.

Pest Preppers: Your Best Defense Against Stinging Insects

At Pest Preppers, we have the knowledge, experience, and expertise to rid your home of all types of pest infestations. Our comprehensive preparation, treatment, and clean up services make us one of the best in the business. We will leave your home and belongings clean and pest free once more. Don’t risk your health---and possibly your life---attempting to deal with bees, hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets on your own; contact our qualified professionals today for a consultation and proposed treatment plan to eradicate these potentially dangerous pests for good! Contact us today at to see how you can gain peace of mind once more and rid your home of all types of pests!


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