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08/05/12

If it flies, buzzes, and stings, it’s a bee, right? While this is the common belief, there are actually many different species of stinging insects and bees are just one of them. For residents in the Midwest including Minnesota, you probably began to notice the emergence of stinging insects, including bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets, last spring and are now seeing their numbers multiply as the end of summer and fall draw closer. While some species are beneficial, others are more aggressive and dangerous, which means learning your stinging insects is a must! Here are the stinging insects that are most prevalent in Plunkett’s Midwest service area:

  • Carpenter Bee: ½ to 1 inch long with a shiny, black abdomen. Known for their hovering pattern and boring holes into wood to lay eggs. Females are the ones who can sting but it’s the males who act more aggressive.
  • Paper Wasp: 1 inch long with a dark brown color, black wings, and yellow markings on the body. Their nests are usually found under eaves, behind vents, in grills, and other enclosed areas. Will sting in defense of their nest.
  • Yellow Jacket: â…œ to ⅝ of an inch long with black coloring and yellow markings on the body. Nests are usually constructed in the ground but could also be in attics, behind walls, and inside hollow trees. Capable of stinging multiple times.
  • Bald Faced Hornet: ⅝ to ¾ of an inch long and mostly black in color with a white pattern over the face. They build paper enclosed, aerial nests which are usually found in trees, under eaves, and in chimneys.
So while we appreciate their important role in pollination and don’t mind that they help control other insects, the issue with these stinging insects lies in the fact that sometimes they deal annoying and painful wallops to our extremities with their stingers. In fact their powerful stings and the fact that some species (not honey bees) can sting several times over makes them a potentially dangerous pest to have in or near your home, even sending some to the emergency room with serious allergic reactions. As you can see, not all stinging insects are bees and while we are trying to take the heat of the bees, their presence may be just as alarming. Regardless of the type of stinging insect, attempting to remove hives or nests is not a do-it-yourself task and should only be completed  by a trained pest control professional. For pest control in Alexandria, Minneapolis, Lincoln, the Quad Cities or elsewhere in our service area that will get rid of your stinging insect problem, please contact Plunkett’s Pest Control.


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