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Stinging Insect Identification

What are stinging insects?

We have a wide variety of stinging insects living throughout Texas. What they all have in common is a stinger strategically located at the end of the abdomen. Predatory species use the stinger to capture their prey, and all stinging insects use their stinger to defend themselves if necessary.

In nature, stinging insects are extremely helpful; not only do predatory insects help control nuisance insects, but they help out with the pollination of plants and crops and are important in food production. The problem is when these potentially dangerous pests decide to nest in our yards or on our homes; they become a hazard to us, our kids, and pets.

Stinging insects you are likely to have a run into in your Texas yard include bees, hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets.

  • Bees have oval bodies covered in hair. Their hair helps them to collect the pollen that they bring back to the nest. These stinging insects are extremely eco-important, helping to pollinate the crops, trees, and plants that provide us with food. 
  • Hornets and wasps look very similar to each other. They both have long bodies, narrow waists, and their bodies are hairless. The hornet tends to be more robust and larger. Also, hornets are social, while wasps are either social or solitary.
  • Yellow jackets are a combination of yellow and black colors. They have an abdomen that slopes down from the head and ends in a point at the hind end. Their six legs are long and thin and hang below the body when in flight.

Are stinging insects dangerous?

Stinging insects are dangerous; their venom is strong enough to cause allergic reactions, sometimes life-threatening allergic reactions in people. While not all stinging insects are super aggressive, some are, and any stinging insect will not hesitate to defend themselves or their nest from perceived danger. When nests are in a high traffic area of a yard, near an entrance or exit, or a window, it only increases the chance of a sting occurring.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Stinging insects have varied diets and feed on the same food we do or gather pollen from the plants and trees growing in our yards, making our properties easy targets for these pests. Trash cans, compost piles, outdoor eating areas, flowerbeds, gardens, and fruit trees draw these pests to our yards and make them want to stay. In addition, our yards often provide them with plenty of safe locations to build a nest and many sources of water like clogged gutters, puddles, and birdbaths.

Where will I find stinging insects?

Stinging insects build their nests in a wide variety of places depending on the species. Sometimes they place their nests in easily visible areas, like on tree branches, under roof eaves, or on utility poles, but other times their nests are very well camouflaged.

Knowing where hidden stinging insect nests may be on your property will help you locate them if you notice a large number of stinging insects suddenly in your yard.

  • Under decks and railings
  • Underneath of grills
  • Inside ground holes
  • Within tree stumps and tree hollows
  • Behind light fixtures
  • Inside flowerbeds, gardens, or other areas of dense vegetation

Determining whether there are bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets nesting on your property is a difficult task. When you spot a stinging insect nest on your property, it is always best to contact a professional to accurately identify the species and safely remove them.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

Get rid of stinging insects with the help of a professional. We would never recommend you try to remove a stinging insect nest on your own. At Men In Black Pest Control, we provide our customers with high-quality pest control solutions that will keep you and your family safe. Our professionals will make sure to meet your property's specific pest control needs through our customized services.

Our qualified and trained Seabrook pest professionals are ready to work with you to solve your Seabrook property's pest problems. Call us today to learn more about our residential and commercial pest solutions!

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

Let us help you live pest-free with our professional pest control services and the following stinging insect prevention tips:

  • Remove standing water from your property that provides a water source and attracts stinging insects. 
  • Cut back trees and shrubs that can house stinging insects nests away from your home's exterior walls.
  • Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins to keep foraging stinging insects out of them. 
  • Keep your grass cut short and fill in ground holes.
  • Remove downed trees, brush piles, and other debris from your yard that could become a nesting site.
  • Stop stinging insects from moving into your home by keeping windows and doors shut, making sure screens are in place, and putting covers over chimneys and vents.