Stinging Insects

large yellow and black paper wasp

Bites or Stings

Hazard to Health

Florida is home to a variety of insects that can sting you. Stinging insects use a sharp or barbed protrusion to defend themselves from outside attackers (like animals and humans). As you travel south through the state of Florida—including cities such as Jacksonville, Gainesville, and Tampa—you may encounter various species from this list of stinging insects:

  • Bumblebees, which are easily recognized, have large black and yellow patterns on their abdomens. Nesting sites for bumblebees include holes in the ground, abandoned rodent burrows, and hollowed trees or buildings.

  • Hornets build nests from paper-like material formed from chewed wood. Hornets may build nests in trees, shrubs, or even near or inside structures including roof overhangs, attics, and walls.

  • Yellow jackets are thin and have black and yellow markings on their bodies. These stinging insects make nests in the ground or inside logs, but they have been known to construct nests inside the walls of houses. Because these nests are close to ground level, it can be easy to accidentally disturb their nests.

  • Wasps, much like yellowjackets, have slender bodies that can be black, brown, or red. Their nests are also paper mache-like and usually hang down from eaves or piles of wood.

Why do I have stinging insects?

Stinging insects are typically attracted to areas that provide adequate food and water sources, such as swimming pools and ornamental ponds. Feeding habits vary from one species to another, but it could include other insects, plant nectar, and even pollen.

Are stinging insects dangerous?

While the sting of some insects itself is not that painful, serious problems can arise if you have an allergic reaction to the sting. For this reason, stinging insects can be considered dangerous.

Some stinging insects rarely bother people unless they are bothered first. Others seem to antagonize people without any provocation. Wasps and hornets, members of the class Hymenoptera, have venom in their stingers that can cause serious illness or death. Some stinging insects—such as wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets—are able to sting multiple times because their stinger does not remain behind in the skin. Bumblebees, by contrast, leave their stinger behind.

How should I get rid of stinging insects?

Removing stinging insects from your home or business is a dangerous job that you should leave to a professional, especially if you know you are allergic to their sting. At McCall Service, our experienced pest technicians can diagnose your stinging insect problem and provide a free estimate for removing them from your home.

How do I prevent stinging insects in the future?

The best way to prevent stinging insects from taking up residence around your home is to use dedicated, regular pest control treatments. Contact McCall Service at the first sign of a pest problem to protect your home, family, and pets from bees, wasps, or other stinging insects.

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