Keep that Stinger to Yourself


Ouch! What stung me? It’s not the easiest question for a parent to answer. From wasps to hornets, there are a lot of insects just waiting to unleash a stinger. Telling them apart can be important, as you look for remedies for stings and infestations. Each type has subtle differences and after a quick perusal you should be able to answer the question with the following information.

If it isn’t a bee, it’s a wasp. There are an estimated 20,000 different types of wasp. From black to metallic green, they come in every color and shape. Many are beneficial and consume pest bugs and grubs that destroy food crops. Like the tarantula wasp, many varieties are solitary and attack a specific creature in which to lay eggs. Other wasps are parasitoids and lay eggs in caterpillars. The larvae take control of the caterpillar’s mind and body and slowly eat the interior until they burst free. The types of wasp that cause problems for people are the social wasps. These are the ones that build a nest and have a hundred little buddies that all glare at you when you get too close. Social wasps belong to the vespid family and include paper wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets.

Paper Wasps
Too bad they aren’t as easy to get rid of as a piece of paper. Paper wasps get their name from the way they build their home. Using a combination of wood and saliva, their nests are a thin paper-like substance. Their nests are umbrella shaped and can be found under eves and within dense trees and brush. If the area is safe from rain, wasps will give it a try. Toys, playgrounds and unused barbeque grills are additional areas of choice.

Yellow Jackets
Though often confused with bees, yellow jackets don’t lose their stinger and are beyond mean. They nest underground and don’t care if you accidently stepped across the opening. Armed with a rapid repeat stinger, and mouth parts hard enough to tear flesh, yellow jacket are waiting for any excuse to use their weapons. It takes little to make them angry, stare at one long enough and you might run away screaming as it stings and bites.

Old rodent holes and sprinkler boxes are their favorite spots to build a nest. That doesn’t mean yellow jackets will only construct homes underground. Old furniture and couches left outside can soon have thousands of fat-bodied, angry flyers. Yellow jackets love meat and sugar. A nearby nest can ruin a picnic faster than a sudden storm.

Much like paper wasps and yellow jackets, hornets build their nests out of recycled wood fiber. Their homes are generally outside in trees and bushes. Their umbrella-shaped nests are covered by an additional layer of paper protection that looks like a rugby ball—chock full of rugby players.

Pointe Pest Control can help
Care should be taken when dealing with wasp infestations. Whether the problem is hornets or yellow jackets Pointe Pest Control is here to help. We’ll make them keep that stinger to themselves. Our technicians can help you identify the problem and create a no-fly-zone around your home. Give Pointe Pest Control a call today.

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