Stinging Insects

What type of stinging insects are in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi?

Bees and wasps are examples of stinging insects. Stinging insects are beneficial to the environment when living and nesting outside and away from people. Bee and wasps are responsible for pollinating a wide variety of plants and crops. Predatory species, such as wasps, can help keep species of nuisance insects under control. Stinging insects are quite active during near the end of summer and in early fall, when their colonies are at peak numbers and workers are out foraging for food.

european paper wasp creating a nest in a tree outside of a covington louisiana home

European Paper Wasp

European paper wasps are semi-social, and live together in small colonies. They have six long legs that dangle down when they are in flight, and have pinched waists. They are brownish-red to dark brown in color, and have yellow markings. They are often confused with yellow jackets. Paper wasps are regularly identified by the umbrella-shaped nests that they create from paper-like material.

bald-faced hornet on a yellow plant in an jacksonville alabama yard

Bald-Faced Hornet

Bald-faced hornets are a large species of stinging insect. They are referred to as “hornets” due to their large size, but they are actually close relatives of yellow jackets and paper wasps.  Bald-faced hornets have long, thin, wasp-like bodies. Their bodies are black, and they have an off-white pattern covering most of their face, hence their name, “bald-faced” hornets.

three yellow jackets creating a nest outside of a jackson mississippi home

Yellow Jacket

Yellow jackets are social, and live together in large colonies with thousands of members. Their faces and heads are a combination of black and yellow colors. Their bodies are banded in black and yellow, while their bodies are segmented with thin, pinched-in waists. Yellow jackets are hairless, have elongated wings, and their legs hang down when in flight.

bumble bee on a yellow flower in a mandeville louisiana yard

Bumble Bee

Bumble bees have oval-shaped bodies that are completely fuzzy. Their bodies are black with yellow, orange, or reddish-colored stripes (species-specific). Bumble bees aggressively defend their nests and deliver rather painful stings.

honey bee on a purple flower in a birmingham alabama yard

Honey Bee

Honey bees are primarily a golden-yellow color and have brown banding. Honey bees pollinate more than 100 crops throughout the United States. They can only sting once due to their barbed stinger. Honey bees are able to survive many years, the only social insects able to do so.

How do bees and wasps gain access?

Bees and wasps mainly live outside, though they can find their way inside while foraging for food. Once inside, they may stay and build a nest. Bees and wasps usually make their way inside through gaps in siding, cracks in foundations, through spaces around windows and doors, in holes along the roof line, or inside chimneys.

Where do bees and wasps hide?

Bees and wasps build their nests and hide out in a variety of locations, depending on whether they are aerial or ground nesters. Outside, they build their nests in trees, rock crevices, on chimneys, on utility poles, in abandoned small animal nests, and underneath porches, decks, or roof lines. Inside homes, stinging insects sometimes build their nests in or hide out in attics, vents, ducts, and crawl spaces. They usually prefer dark, warm, dry areas to build their indoor nests.

What are the signs of bees and wasps?

To determine if bees and wasps are nesting on your property or inside your home, be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • You're suddenly surrounded by bees and wasps whenever you try to spend time outside on your deck or porch.
  • You see large numbers of stinging insects buzzing around trash cans, gardens, shrubs, and outdoor eating areas. This most likely means there is a nest located nearby.
  • You hear buzzing sounds inside your home behind its walls or in the ceiling.

Can I get rid of bees and wasps myself?

Bees and wasps are invasive, they can be damaging to the structure of your home, and they may be dangerous for you and your family to be around. We strongly encourage you to call a professional as soon as you suspect that you may have a bee or wasp infestation. Call us at Havard Pest Control to take advantage of our 70 years of pest control experience.

Bees and wasps prevention tips

There are a few things you can do to try and keep bees and wasps from entering your home:

  • Don’t over-plant flowering vegetation on your property, especially near the outside of your home.
  • Fill in holes found in your lawn.
  • Remove tree stumps, fallen trees, and other debris from your property.
  • Keep tight-fitting lids on all garbage cans, and maintain outdoor eating areas.
  • Seal holes in the exterior of your home.
  • Place caps on all chimneys
  • Replace any door or window screens that are not completely intact.
  • Place weather stripping around all windows and doors.
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