Summer is a popular season to spend time outdoors, but it’s also the prime time for an increase in pest presence, especially from stinging insects like wasps, yellow jackets and bees. Stinging insects are aggressive during the warmer months because they are busy preparing their queen for the winter ahead. They are often attracted to backyard barbeques and picnics, and frequently enter homes in search of food.
Follow these tips to prevent stings from insects this summer.
• Stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room every year. They can swarm and sting en masse, which can be life threatening especially for anyone who has an allergic reaction.
• Unlike some stinging insect species, wasps are known for their unprovoked aggression. A single colony of wasps can contain more than 15,000 members, so an infestation should not be taken lightly.
• Common nesting sites include under eaves, on ceiling beams in attics, garages and sheds and under porches. Some stinging insects can build their nests in the ground, including yellowjackets and velvet ants (which are actually a species of wasps). Over-seeding the yard provides more coverage and discourages these pests from nesting around the property.
• Painting or staining untreated wood in fences, decks, swing sets and soffits will help keep stinging insects such as carpenter bees out. Carpenter bees create nests by drilling tunnels into soft wood, which can severely compromise the stability of a structure over time.
• Only female carpenter bees have stingers. Female carpenter bees will only sting if threatened, but reactions to these stings can range from mild irritation to life-threatening respiratory distress.
Homeowners should frequently inspect the property for signs of a stinging insect. Attempting to remove a bee or wasp nest on your own can be extremely dangerous, if you find a nest on your home r property call Johnson Pest Control at 865-453-7587.