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Stinging Insects

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Stinging insects, such as yellow jackets, wasps, hornets, and bees, are members of the Hymenoptera family. Many members of the Hymenoptera family are pollinators, which means they play a major role in the farming industry. If it not where pollinators, some crops – squash, apples, Another very important member of the Hymenoptera family is the ant. Yes, some ant species sting just like bees and yellow jackets. The red-imported fire, harvester, and acrobat ant species are just a few examples. When stinging insects are determined to be a threat to your property, the best way to eliminate the issue is to have them removed.

Stinging insects found in Los Angeles, California include the wasp, bee, yellow jacket, and ant. The paper wasp, bald-faced hornet (yellow jacket), yellow jacket, carpenter bee, and honeybee can be found in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. While hornets are also members of the Hymenoptera family, they are generally not an issue in California. At some point, it was believed that a large group of giant hornets was headed toward California from Asia.

What Stinging Insect Is Invading My Property?

Scientists believe there are more than 20,000 bee species, 4,000 of which can be found in the United States. With so many different bee species that share many of the same features, some people may struggle to differentiate between them. Below, you will discover a list of factors to consider when trying to determine which stinging insect is invading your home.

  • Insect characteristics
  • Nest characteristics and location

Paper Wasp

The paper wasp is moderately aggressive but tends to mind its own business unless someone or something makes contact with it or its nest.

Characteristics – There are two primary paper wasp species, including the Northern and European paper wasps. The European paper wasp’s body has yellow and black stripes, with two orange antennas that are similar to the yellowjacket and six legs. The Northern paper wasp’s body is brown with orange spots. The abdomen is covered with white and yellow stripes.

Nest – Paper wasps tend to create nests in the same of a honeycomb. The stinging insects’ nest is most often small, round, and gray.


The yellow jacket is known for its aggressive behavior, which is significantly heightened during the late summer and fall. As the colony continues to grow, so does the stinging insect’s level of aggression.

Characteristics – The yellow jacket’s body and abdomen are yellow/black striped, with two distinctive black antennas. The legs are very close to the abdomen in-flight to maximize flying speeds.

Nest – Nests generally start out small, but continue to enlarge to support the growing colony. Large nests can support up to thousands of yellow jackets at the same time. The nest is grayish black with an exterior coating constructed from materials similar to paper. The yellow jacket nest can oftentimes be found in thick bushes, in the ground, underneath decks and ports, and inside of basements and attics.

Bald-Faced Hornet

The blad-faced hornet is known for its highly aggressive behavior, which heightens significantly during the late summer and fall. As the colony continues to grow, so does the stinging insect’s aggression.

Characteristics – The body is smooth with a mixture of white and black coloring. The head, abdomen, and thorax are slightly larger than some other stinging insect species. The stinger is located near the abdomen.

Nest – The nest grows along with the colony. Its shape is similar to an upside-down teardrop. They can be found in trees, tall grasses, and bushes and hanging on the side of buildings.

Honey Bee

The honey bee’s aggression level is between low and moderate. Some honey bee species are more domesticated than others.


The body is a brown and yellow or orange multi-colored that is covered with light-colored fuzz. It is divided into three parts – a thorax, abdomen, and head. The stinger is located near the abdomen.

Nest – Instead of nests, honey bees create hives that are in the shape of a wax honeycomb. The hive can be found in hollow openings of tree trunks and gaps between rocks. The honey bee feasts on the honey throughout the winter. A colony of honeybees can outlive many other stinging bee insect colonies.

Carpenter Bee

The carpenter bee is not an aggressive stinging insect species. The only time the insect will exhibit aggression is when its nest is under threat.

Characteristics – The abdomen is large, hairless, and glossy black. This is one of the largest stinging insect species. The thorax is multi-colored black and yellow with a dense layer of fuzz. To differentiate between the male and female, experts recommend examining the facial area. The male has a tiny yellow spot on his head.

Nest – The nests are generally located inside of holes up to 3/8 inches in diameter. The carpenter bee bores holes inside of wooden structures to store their nests. The insect does not consume the bored-wood, but instead removes it from the hole to make room for their young.

Stinging Insects – Are They All Dangerous?

Not all stinging insects are considered “dangerous.” However, many of these insects exhibit aggressive behavior, which heightens significantly with colony size, season, and threat. It is not recommended to approach a stinging bee nest, even though you believe it does not belong to an aggressive colony. The worker stinging insect appears to be the most aggressive out of the colony. When the insects are alone and foraging for food, they are less likely to exhibit aggression unless they sense a threat. Yellow jackets and wasps are less likely to sting than the carpenter bee and hornet. Nest located along the ground floor are nearly impossible to detect until it is far too late. A colony of stinging insects poses more risk than a solitary species. People with bee allergies should stay clear of these insects as much as possible.

Stinging Bee Infestation – Why My Property?

Stinging bees can be found all throughout California. These insects are more of an opportunist than a threat unless they feel threatened. If your property offers the insects the essentials of survival, it will become a target.

Stinging Insect Infestations – How To Eradicate Quickly?

Eradicating minor stinging insect infestations are generally not that difficult. Pesticides found in big-box and hardware stores will do the trick. As the nest continues to grow, the pest control strategy will become more aggressive. Over-the-counter stinging insect products may work for small colonies but will do nothing to eradicate a moderate- to a large-sized colony. Threatening a colony of stinging insects will do nothing but put you at risk of being swarmed and bitten numerous times. Our stinging insect experts are here to help you eradicate your infestation and create a protective barrier around your home to prevent future problems.

Is Stinging Insect Treatments Safe?

This will depend on the type of treatment, the individual responsible for the treatment, and the conditions. All chemical-based insecticides pose a health risk to humans and animals. However, it is possible to reduce or eliminate these risks by following the manufacturer’s application instructions to a tee. It is also possible to decrease these risks even further by utilizing the United States Environmental Protection Agency-approved insecticides and pesticides.

Stinging Insect Treatment – How Much Does It Cost?

Pest control costs vary from one stinging insect infestation to another, depending on the following:

  • Species
  • Colony size
  • Location (interior or exterior)
  • Nest size
  • Property size

When Should I Expect The Exterminator To Arrive?

Immediately following your call, one of our qualified stinging insect experts will dispatch an exterminator out to your home. It will take between 24 and 48 hours to process your request. Please do not hesitate to contact our local Los Angeles office. We have been serving this location for decades, eradicating one stinging insect at a time.

Stinging Insect Infestation Prevention Measures

With a good strategy, it is possible to protect your property from future infestations. We will work alongside you to create a pest management strategy that is guaranteed to keep stinging insects at bay. You can start by eliminating any potential enticements, such as decaying woodpiles, downed trees, high grass, unruly bushes, and damaged wooden structures. Our stinging insect management program includes annual interior and exterior inspections to ensure your home remains pest-free. Preventing stinging insect infestations is not always the easiest task. But, with our qualifications, knowledge, and manpower, we can help you create an indestructible barrier along your property line and inside your home to deter future infestations.

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