Stinging Insect Identification

Stinging insects vary greatly by behavior, nesting habits, and appearance, but they all have in common a stinger extending off their abdomen. The stinger is why these pests come to be such unwanted pests when they decide to nest in our yards. Eco-important pests, stinging insects help to pollinate plants. Predatory species like paper wasps, yellow jackets, and mud daubers help control nuisance insects and dangerous insects like mosquitoes, aphids, and other garden pests.

Some stinging insects feed on many of the same foods we do like sugary liquids and proteins, which is why yellow jackets and other stinging insects are problematic around garbage cans, recycling bins, and wherever there is food outdoors.

umbrella wasp stinging insects pest control
Most people cringe at the sight of wasps, yellow jackets, and other stinging insects near their homes, and for a good reason. When stinging insects nest in a yard or other high-traffic areas near people, the risk of a sting occurs. When stinging insects live outside, away from us and our homes, they pose little threat. But when they decide to share our yards and houses, they are dangerous. Stinging insects are small, and their only means of defense is using their venom-filled stinger. In those allergic to the venom, the consequences of being stung can be life-threatening. Even those who are not severely allergic would rather not be stung by these pests, causing people to avoid their yards when stinging insects are present.
Stinging insects will take advantage of any space providing them with an appropriate area to build a nest near their preferred food sources. Whether you live in a more rural location, in the city, or somewhere in between, you will find stinging insects. Aerial (above the ground) nesting locations include tree branches, rock crevices, utility poles, bridges, roof eaves, and doorways. Those nesting on the ground build their nests under shrubbery, dense vegetation, naturally occurring ground holes, and the abandoned nests of small animals. Stinging insects also like to build nests indoors in large open spaces found in man-made structures like garages, sheds, barns, and warehouses.
Stinging insects will take advantage of any space providing them with an appropriate area to build a nest near their preferred food sources. Whether you live in a more rural location, in the city, or somewhere in between, you will find stinging insects. Aerial (above the ground) nesting locations include tree branches, rock crevices, utility poles, bridges, roof eaves, and doorways. Those nesting on the ground build their nests under shrubbery, dense vegetation, naturally occurring ground holes, and the abandoned nests of small animals. Stinging insects also like to build nests indoors in large open spaces found in man-made structures like garages, sheds, barns, and warehouses.
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