Was I Stung By a Bee or a Wasp?

Bee vs wasp sting infographic in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control

Spending time outside in the summer can lead to a plethora of bug bites. Two of the main culprits are, of course, bees and wasps. Unlike mosquitoes, bees and insects will sting to defend themselves. Usually, they prefer to mind their own business and have no interest in stinging you whatsoever. That said, stings happen—typically when they are provoked. Wasp stings are more common than bee stings, and also more painful. Although the symptoms from bee and wasp stings are similar, it’s important to know how to identify whether you were stung by a bee or a wasp. The experts at Johnson Pest Control are here to help you differentiate between the two—read on to learn more!

Wasp Sting or Bee Sting?

With different temperaments, bees and wasps have different stinging habits. For the most part, bees are not aggressive and thus unlikely to sting unless directly provoked. Honey bees are the bees that will lodge their stinger in the person they sting, causing them to die shortly afterward. Other bees can sting repeatedly, but it is rare for them to do so.

Wasp stings can be much more painful than bee stings. This is due in part to the fact that wasps are capable of stinging repeatedly—often in the same spot. Wasps are more aggressive and will sting at will, especially when they are provoked or when their nest is threatened. They get more aggressive in the late fall months, which is when their populations grow in size and resources start to thin out.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bee or Wasp Sting?

The reactions to or symptoms of a bee or wasp sting are usually the same, and will clear up in just a few day’s time. After being stung, it’s important to remove the stinger (if it was lodged) and immediately clean the area with antibiotics. Some of the common reactions to a bee sting vs wasp sting include:

  1. A sharp, stinging pain at the site of the bite
  2. Swollen, red bumps wherever a bite occurred
  3. Itchiness and irritation
  4. A numb feeling at the site of the bite

If someone is allergic, the symptoms of a bee or wasp sting can be much more dangerous, or even lethal. Anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting can start within two hours of the incident and rapidly get worse. Immediately get to a doctor if you start to break out in hives or have trouble breathing.

Wasp and Bee Problems in Sevierville TN

Bees and wasps play an essential role in pollinating our flowers and foliage! That said, stings are a common occurrence in the spring and summer. If stinging insects build a nest on or near your property, it’s crucial that you contact a local bee and wasp removal expert to deal with the problem. Trying to get rid of them yourself can lead to being stung by these insects repeatedly. For help with wasp or bee problems, contact the experts at Johnson Pest Control today!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Johnson Pest Control - Quality pest control services in Sevierville, Knoxville TN and surrounding areas.Entomologists from Johnson’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Different Types of Wasp Nests

Identifying different types of wasp nests in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlEveryone knows that insects are at full-force in the summer. One of the most common summer pests here in the Sevierville area is the wasp! There are several different types of wasps common to the area, and they all build different types of nests. Some wasps are more aggressive than others and can sting repeatedly. This makes it important to learn about the different characteristics of wasp nests. If you notice any of the below wasp nests in or around your yard, always exercise caution. Keep reading for expert tips from the team at Johnson Pest Control on how to identify different types of wasp nests.

Common Wasp Nests in Tennessee

Many wasps are confused for yellowjackets, but they’re all different in several ways. The easiest way to identify them is to learn what their nests look like:

  • Mud daubers
    • Their nests are built be female members
    • These nests consist of short mud tubes
    • Often appear to look like an organ pipe
    • Often found under eaves, garages, attics, or on the sides of buildings
  • Yellowjackets
    • Made out of a papery material and have a single opening
    • Interior contains hundreds of cells for eggs
    • Some types nest underground, often with thousands of members
    • Otherwise build nests in hollow trees, under porches, and a number of other areas

Wasp nest information in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control

  • Bald-faced hornets
    • Nests are typically at least three feet off the ground
    • Built out of chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva
    • Can grow to the size of a football or basketball
    • Usually in trees, bushes, or wooded areas, but also can be on buildings
  • Paper wasps
    • Look like upside-down umbrellas
    • These nests are more open, with visible cells at times
    • They are typically supported by a single stalk and made out of a papery substance
    • Found beneath eaves of structures, in attics and wall voids, and in other enclosed areas

    What Should You Do When You See a Wasp Nest?

    If you notice a wasp nest forming on or near your property, it’s safest to be cautious around it. Even when a nest appear dormant or empty, there still could be lingering stinging insects inside. When it comes to defending their nests, certain wasps can become very aggressive and either chase or sting you—repeatedly. For that reason alone, it’s best to always enlist the help of your local wasp removal experts at Johnson when you have a wasp nest problem.

3 Common Summertime Wasps

Paper wasps are one of three common summertime wasps in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlHere in Sevierville, summertime is beloved by all. Warmer temperatures means more time spent outdoors near the beaches, at parks, or in your own backyard. Unfortunately, wasps love the summertime as much as you do, and can be a constant nuisance for people all summer long. Wasps are more than a nuisance, though–they can be dangerous and are known to sting when they feel threatened. There are 3 common summertime wasps to look out for: paper wasps, mud daubers, and, of course, yellow jackets. If you see signs of stinging insect activity or nests built near your home or business, it’s important to stay away. Read on for more things to know about these summertime wasps from the experts at Johnson Pest Control.

What to Know About Summertime Wasps

  1. Paper Wasps. These wasps are known for the papery nests they build, which look like upside-down umbrellas. Their nests typically hang from tree branches or twigs, but can be built on porch ceilings and door railings as well. The nests usually only contain about 30 wasps, but are still dangerous. While paper wasps aren’t as aggressive as yellow jackets, their stings are especially potent and can cause an allergic reaction in some.
  2. Mud Daubers. As their name suggests, mud daubers build their nests from mud. They are mostly black in appearance but may have light-colored markings. The most characteristic feature of the mud dauber is their thin, thread-like waist. Nests are usually located in covered areas such as porch ceilings, sheds, and attics. These wasps are less social than other types, often preferring to be solitary. Mud daubers aren’t as aggressive and will only sting when directly handled.
  3. Yellow Jackets. During the summertime, yellow jackets are infamous for being aggressive. Yellow jackets congregate in colonies of up to or more than 1,000 workers. This is why it’s so important to never attempt to knock down a nest on your own. Yellow jackets will not bother you unless they feel threatened, in which case they may sting more than once.

Common summertime wasps in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control

How to Prevent Wasps

Wasps are a normal part of life, but it’s important to avoid nests and swarms of them. In addition to keeping an eye out for nests forming on or near your property, it’s crucial to know how to prevent wasps when you spend time outside:

  • When outdoors, wear shoes, especially in grassy areas.
  • Do not leave drinks or food in accessible areas.
  • Install screens on doors and windows.
  • Always keep garbage in sealed receptacles.
  • Do not swat at wasps as it increases the likelihood of an aggressive reaction.
  • If stung, seek immediate medical attention, as reactions can be severe.

Safe Wasp Removal

When it comes to wasp problems, it’s important to always be very cautious. Never try to remove nests yourself, as this can be very hazardous for anyone around at the time. The team at Johnson has the years of experience needed to provide safe and reliable wasp removal during the summer and all year long.

Common Spring Pests to Be on the Lookout For

Prevent spring pests by spring cleaning your Sevierville TN home. Get tips from Johnson Pest Control! Spring is almost here in the Sevierville area, and many people are welcoming the warmer weather. Unfortunately, with the spring season comes the pest season. This time of year, many pests that may have been less active in the winter have a resurgence of sorts. To prevent the many types of pests that will likely look to invade your Tennessee home, it’s important to implement some pest prevention measures into your spring cleaning routine! Read on for top tips from the experts at Johnson Pest Control.

Spring Pests in Tennessee

While many of the following pests are active all year long, they are particularly in action starting in the spring months. There are five pests in particular that create trouble for property owners every spring: ants, stinging insects (wasps and hornets), stink bugs, termites, and rodents! Spring is simply the start of the pest season and can last well into the summer if pest control isn’t implemented right away. By safeguarding your property now, you can help lessen the risk of getting an infestation as pests become more and more active.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Pest Prevention

With so many people planning to clean their home for springtime anyway, it’s the perfect opportunity to implement pest control measures. For the best chance of making your home unsavory for pests, try the following tips:

  1. Tidy up! Clean under furniture, wipe down surfaces, and inspect areas of your home that need some fixing up.
  2. Clean your windows and doors thoroughly. If you find any cracks or crevices make sure to securely seal them.
  3. Deep-clean your carpets and rugs. Vacuum, shampoo, or even steam-clean the surface.
  4. Sanitize and clean your kitchen with a focus on your appliances. Crumbs and spilled liquids welcome all types of insects and pests.
  5. Remove debris from your yard, and trim any shrubs or tree branches away from your home. Clear out your gutters and downspouts.

You Have Pests in the Spring—Now What?

Sometimes pests are inevitable, especially this time of year. For your best chance at controlling active infestations and preventing future ones, the exterminators at Johnson can help. Our team will work with you to develop a custom pest control plan suited to the needs of your property.

Protect Yourself from Aggressive Stinging Wasps

While the distinct buzzing noise and mere sight of hornets or wasps are enough to make most people swat wildly (or run) in fear, there are much safer ways to deal with these sometimes aggressive summer pests. We advise our home and business owners that when it comes to stinging insects, gaining a better understanding of these pests’ behavior and habits is an important part of helping to prevent stings.

In fact, stinging insects can pack more than just a painful sting. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from common household pests, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room every year.

The best way to ensure you or someone in your family doesn’t become a victim of painful stings is to understand which species are causing problems on your property and how best to avoid them. However, hives and nests should never be handled or removed on your own as some colonies can contain hundreds of insects and can sting en masse in defense of the nest.

Here are some tips for the three most common aggressive flying stinging insects:

Bald-Faced Hornets

Bald Faced Hornet - Johnson Pest ControlBald-faced hornets get their common name because they are largely black in color, with a mostly white face. These social insects live in colonies that can contain between 100 and 400 members at their peak. They build nests that are at least three feet off the ground and in exposed locations such as trees, utility poles, overhangs, houses, sheds or other structures. Unlike many other stinging insects, bald-faced hornets do not reuse their nests season after season.

Prevention: Bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will attack if their space is invaded. During the summer months, walk around the exterior of your home to inspect for nests on a routine basis, paying special attention to overhangs, eaves, the underside of porches and decks.


Yellow Jacket Hornet - Johnson Pest ControlThese social insects tend to build nests in trees and buildings, as well as in the ground. They are slow to sting unless their nest is threatened, in which case they will become highly aggressive. Unlike bees, yellow jackets can sting several times and inflict severe pain.

Prevention: Yellowjackets are especially attracted to sweets and proteins, so it is important to cover food and drinks during outdoor events and promptly clean up and dispose of food and garbage in a sealed trash container.

Paper Wasps

Red Paper Wasp Hornet - Johnson Pest ControlPaper wasps get their common name from the paper-like material they use to build their nests. Their nests are typically made in the shape of an umbrella. These pests build nests on twigs and in tree branches and shrubs, as well as porch ceilings, eaves and similar covered places. Wasps are capable of stinging more than once and may use alarm pheromones to call for back-up in defending their nest.

Prevention: Check for paper wasp nests before performing yard work such as shrub or hedge trimming. Treat wood fences and deck railings with a repellant oil to deter paper wasps from gathering cellulose for nest creation.

Because of the aggressive nature of these stinging insects, it important to contact a pest professional to remove nests on your home or property.