Stinging Insects

What are stinging insects?

Bees, yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps are all examples of stinging insects. Stinging insects are beneficial when found living and nesting outside and away from people. Stinging insects are responsible for pollinating a wide variety of plants and crops, and predatory stinging insects species help keep populations of nuisance insects in check.

yellow jacket detail of the eyes and face with fine hairs

However, these stinging insects become much less beneficial when they establish their nests on our properties, or worse, right on our homes! Stinging insects are most active during the late summer and into early fall when their colonies are at peak numbers and members are out and about, energetically foraging for food before the temperatures begin to drop. The most common species of stinging insects found living in our area of Virginia include hornets, mud daubers, and yellow jackets.

Are stinging insects dangerous?

Stinging insects can be very dangerous pests. Both yellow jackets and hornets are extremely aggressive and territorial species of stining insects and have the ability to sting their victims over and over again, repeatedly delivering painful stings and injecting their venom into their victims. When a person is stung, the venom they inject is strong enough to cause severe allergic reactions or, in some cases, trigger anaphylactic shock that will require immediate medical attention.

Mud daubers are also considered dangerous as they have the potential to sting and inject their powerful venom into a person, but mud daubers are actually rather docile and much less of a threat than hornets and yellow jackets. These stinging insects typically only sting if they are handled directly or feel threatened.

If stinging insects are posing a danger to you and your family by nesting on your property, do not attempt to eliminate them on your own. Removing stinging insects and their nests can be dangerous when attempted by an untrained individual and therefore should only be removed by an experienced pest control professional.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Stinging insects have the potential to nest on any property that provides them with suitable nesting sites and easy access to food and water sources:

Yellow jackets, hornets, and mud daubers feed on the following:

  • Insects

  • Proteins

  • Nectar

  • Sweets

  • Honeydew

Most stinging insects are attracted to properties with:

  • Open garbage cans

  • Compost piles

  • Gardens

  • Flowering vegetation

  • Clogged gutters

  • Bird baths

  • Ponds or pools

  • Leaky outdoor fixtures

Where are stinging insects commonly found?

Where stinging insects prefer to create their nests depends on their exact species:

  • Mud daubers like to create their nests in places that provide them with a lot of shelter like rock crevices, rock overhangs, and under porches, decks, and roof eaves. These stinging insects can often also be found nesting inside attics and in outbuildings such as barns, sheds, and garages.

  • Yellow jackets are ground nesters, meaning that they often use abandoned holes created by small animals to place their nest in. However, at times, yellow jackets will create their nests up off the ground in places like under the eaves of homes, behind walls, in chimneys, and inside attics and crawl spaces.

  • Hornets create their nest up off the ground on or inside trees, utility poles, underneath porches or decks, under roof eaves, in attics, on chimneys, and behind wall voids.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

The best way to eliminate stinging insects from your home is to partner with a pest control professional. When you partner with us at Triple S Services, we'll identify the stinging insect species present on your property, locate the source of your stinging insect problem, and work with you to resolve it. Our professionals will take care of your stinging insect removal needs in a safe manner, utilizing modern and effective treatment solutions, and providing the services needed to prevent future infestations.

To learn more about implementing our stinging insect control services into your Central or Northern Virginia home or business, reach out to us at Triple S Services!

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

In combination with the professional pest control services from Triple S Services, here are some tips to help make your home and property less appealing to stinging insects:

  • Caulk cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls.

  • Place a cap on all your chimneys.

  • Fix holes along the roofline and roof intersections of your home.

  • Trim tree limbs away from the exterior of your home.

  • Outdoor trash cans should have tight-fitting lids on them to prevent stinging insects from foraging for food inside them.

  • Keep your outdoor eating areas cleaned up and free of food debris.

  • Fill in ground holes, and remove fallen trees and tree stumps from your property.

  • Keep gutters clear, and repair leaky hoses and outdoor fixtures.


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