Summer is when stinging insects thrive, and California residents need to make sure they are taking proper precautions to protect themselves and their families.
While some stinging insects are beneficial to our environment, others – including carpenter bees, wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets – can pose a threat to people and structures.
What areas of your home and yard are most susceptible to stinging insects? Stinging insects can nest in a variety of locations in and around structures. These include trees, bushes, cavities in the ground, attics, crawlspaces, gutters, sheds, building overhangs, and decks.
With the exception of a few species, stinging insects are expert colony builders. For example, yellowjacket colonies can host upward of 5,000 insects, and a honey bee colony can reach the size of a small city in excess of 20,000.
Stinging insects deserve your respect. According to the National Pest Management Association, allergic reactions to insect stings send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room annually.
If you come across a nest, proceed with caution, because stinging insects can be very aggressive. Removal of any hornet or wasp nest is not a do-it-yourself job, and should be done by a licensed pest management professional.
The Clark Man recommends the following tips to help you protect your family and pets from stinging insects:
- Seal Cracks and Crevices: Seal all visible cracks and crevices to keep these pests from moving indoors, and inspect around the yard and along the perimeter of the house regularly for nests
- Keep Food Covered: During a picnic or cookout, cover all food when outside, and be sure to keep tight-fitting lids on trash bins
- Avoid Excessive Use of Fragrances: If spending long periods of time outdoors, avoid excessive use of perfume or cologne, as yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sweet-smelling fragrances. When possible, choose unscented shampoos, soaps, lotions, and sunscreen
- Adjust Your Wardrobe: Avoid wearing dark colors and floral prints, since these patterns can attract stinging insects. Wear closed-toe shoes, especially in grassy areas where hornets and other pests often nest
- Remain Calm, Cool, and Collected: Do not swat a nearby pest or flail in panic – these movements may actually provoke an attack. Instead, remain calm and slowly walk away from the area. The insect should fly away without causing any harm
If you have problems with stinging insects in and around your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send the Clark Man an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time I’m the Clark Man
, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your