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Stinging Insect Control


Many insects and crustaceans have the ability to inflicts stings when threatened, while others use stinging as a method of paralyzing their prey before eating them. This page deals specifically with bees and wasps, both of whom belong to the family Vespidae.



HoneybeeHoneybees are essential pollinators and should not be interfered with except when they pose a threat to human health and safety. They usually are non-aggressive unless they are threatened.

Honeybees have been under pressure from presently unknown causes in the past few years, and their numbers are in decline. Because they are essential to pollination, it is more important than ever that they bee protected.

When control is necessary, the preferred method is to have a beekeeper remove and relocate them. Honeybees should only be killed when they are presenting an imminent threat to human health and safety, and their non-lethal relocation is impossible.


Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jacket waspYellow Jackets are wasps, not bees. They average between 1/2" and 3/4" inch in length, and are very aggressive.

Yellow jackets are very susceptible to insecticides and may be controlled using any of a wide variety of aerosols and dust products that are labeled for their control. But because yellow jacket nests are often concealed within structural voids and may have multiple entry holes, control can be difficult.

Because of their aggressiveness and the difficulty of locating their nests with precision, recommends that the control of yellow jackets inside walls or voids be left to professionals.

There are also a number of traps and other products available at our store. Used properly and in sufficient quantity (six to eight traps per acre), wasp and yellow jacket traps can dramatically reduce the number and annoyance of wasps, without the risk of pesticides poisoning beneficial insects.


Baldfaced Hornets

Baldfaced hornetBaldfaced hornets are about an inch in length, black in overall color, with white or yellow markings. They are very aggressive and have been known to attack in great numbers with little or no provocation. When this happens, the multiple stings can be life-threatening.

Because of extreme aggressiveness of this specie and the risk involved in treating them, recommends that treatment of baldfaced hornets be left to professionals.


Paper Wasps

Paper waspThere are many species of "paper wasps" whose size, appearance, and habits vary greatly. They all share one behavior, however: They build their nests out of paper that they manufacturer themselves from wood and saliva.

Typically, paper wasps build their nests in relatively exposed locations under horizontal surfaces, such as under porch ceilings, attached under the top of door and window trim, under awnings, etc.; as well as in hollow voids such as metal fence posts and swing sets, basketball hoop stanchions, PVC furniture, and inside vacant birdhouses.

Paper wasp problems are usually simple to treat. Exposed nests can be quickly treated using a squirt or two of any of the many over-the-counter aerosols labeled for their control. Follow the label instructions carefully and be aware of things like wind direction. (Also, make sure you have a clear path behind you -- just in case you miss and have to run.)

Paper wasps in places like fence posts and PVC furniture require a bit more finesse -- and a bit more risk, since you have to get closer to the nest. Most professional exterminators use dusts injected into the posts or furniture to treat these sorts of problems -- and most professional exterminators get stung in the process from time to time. So unless you can actually see their nest, recommends that you either use wasp and yellow jacket traps or call a professional.