The most common stinging insects we encounter are the honeybee, European paper wasp, yellow jacket and bald-faced hornet. Honeybees are on the decline across the United States and they are a beneficial insect pollinator. We call out beekeepers or vacuum out the hive so that we do not harm the bees. The most common stinger in Colorado is the European paper wasp. These wasps are yellow and black, with feet that dangle down. They fly erratically and have open comb nests that can be found behind window shutters, under gutters, decking, clothes lines, sheds, attics, etc. Yellowjackets are similar in appearance but are much stockier and are typically on a mission when they are in flight. Depending upon the type of yellowjacket species, they can build their nests underground, in a void behind a wall, or on the exterior of a home, business, or in a tree. They have enclosed nests that look like gray paper mache. Inside the nest there will be combs like that of the European paper wasp. The last stinger we typically encounter are the bald-faced hornets. These insects are very aggressive and are easily distinguishable by their black bodies and white faces. Their nests are similar in appearance to those of yellowjackets and they will build nests on the exterior of homes and business, build them inside the walls, or hang them off limbs of a tree. These insects are pests because of the risk they pose to human health. A sting from any of these stinging insects is extremely painful and for those people that are allergic it can be life-threatening.
Treatments for Stinging Insects
Common treatments include direct treatment with a liquid insecticide, injection of nest with insecticidal dust, vacuuming, or physical removal. A typical service for these insects will include a detailed exterior inspection and treatment of all the nests on the home, business or property. With paper wasps, the nests are knocked down after the treatment. Yellowjackets and hornet nest treatments include a follow-up in 5-7 days to make sure the nest has been eliminated and to remove the nest or seal off the void to prevent future nesting. As mentioned previously, honeybee hives are not treated, but rather a beekeeper will remove the hive, or the hive will be vacuumed out and the bees will be given over to a beekeeper. We also offer honeybee hive extraction if the hive is more than 2 years old. An accumulation of honeycomb can attract other bees to the nest and other unwanted pests. In some cases, the honey can start to run on warm days damaging both the interior and exterior of the home.
Yellowjacket and hornet services come with a 90-day warranty against that nest becoming active again. Paper wasp services come with a 30-day guarantee due to their ability to build nests quickly. Most of our calls are for One-Time services, but we do offer Seasonal Monthly services (May-October) as a preventative stinger service or an Every-Other month service in combination with a general pest service to decrease or eliminate stingers on your home or business.