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Stinging Insects

  • Paper Wasp

    Paper Wasp

    • Color: Black, brown or reddish with yellow markings.
    • Size: 3/4 to 1 inch.
    • Feed on: Adults forage for nectar and insects to feed their young. They are natural enemies of many garden pests.
    • Found in: Because their nests are open and lack an outer covering, these wasps often build them in enclosed areas, such as attics, outdoor restrooms, dense bushy habitats, and fences.
    • The Sting: Paper wasps are much less aggressive than yellow jackets and hornets but when disturbed or threatened, they can sting repeatedly.
    • Characteristics: Nests are built from wood fiber and plant stems, which can cause damage.

  • Yellow Jacket

    Yellow Jackets

    • Color: Yellow and black head/face with band-patterned abdomen.
    • Size: Workers 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch.
    • Feed on: Sweets and proteins and commonly invade outdoor activities.
    • Found in: Yellow jackets can be found anywhere humans are; they nest in the ground or in cavernous areas such as eaves and attics.
    • The Sting: Yellow jackets may sting repeatedly and can cause allergic reactions. They become more aggressive in autumn when the colony begins to die out except for the queen.
    • Characteristics: There are several species of yellow jackets, which experts can differentiate by their abdominal patterns.

  • Bald Faced Hornet

    Bald Faced Hornet

    • Color: Black abdomen, with white markings at the posterior; large white patches on face.
    • Size: Up to 1 inch.
    • Feed on: Flower nectar, fruit juice, sap, and insects.
    • Found in: Bald-faced hornets build colonies inside large enclosed carton nests that hang from trees, bushes, or buildings.
    • The Sting: A hornet’s venom can cause anaphylactic shock, so it is wise to leave control to a professional.
    • Characteristics: A single mated queen will start a new nest each spring, then the workers expand the nest to the size of a basketball with hundreds of hornets. By the end of the summer, the workers die out, the nest hangs empty and newly mated queens overwinter beneath the bark of trees.

  • Mud Dauber Wasp

    Mud Dauber Wasp

    • Color: black and yellow
    • Size: 1″ in length and have a long body, similar to a Paper wasp
    • Feed on: small, colorful spiders, such as crab spiders and other related species, orb weavers and some jumping spiders
    • Nests: usually find them in and around all different sorts of plant life
    • Identifying Characteristics:  two body sections, but a distinct long, string-like waist section. They are independent and do not live in colonies. They are non-aggressive, and very rarely sting. 

  • Honey Bee

    Honey Bee

    • Color: Golden-yellow with brown bands.
    • Size: 1/2 inch.
    • Feed on: Honey bees eat nectar and pollen from plants they pollinate. They also produce honey from this nectar to feed their young.
    • Found in: They often build hives in tree crevices and shrubs, but may also build them in attics or chimneys. Colonies may contain tens of thousands of bees.
    • The Sting: Honey bees can sting only once, then die. It can be very painful if the stinger is not immediately removed. Allergic persons may have severe reactions.
    • Characteristics: Honey bees are beneficial insects because of their role in pollination. It is the only social insect whose colony can survive many years.

  • Bumble Bee

    Bumble Bee

    • Color: Striped black and yellow or orange, brighter colored than honey bees.
    • Size: 3/4 inch.
    • Feed on: Bumble bees feed on nectar and pollen from plants they pollinate. They also produce honey from this nectar to feed their young.
    • Found in: Bumble bees usually nest on the ground in clumps of dry grass, old bird nests, abandoned rodent burrows, under abandoned buildings, even in car cushions or old furniture.
    • The Sting: This bee can be aggressive around nesting sites but rarely when foraging. Problems can occur when nests are close to human activity.
    • Characteristics: Bumble bee colonies generally have fewer bees than do honey bee colonies. Most colonies contain only a few hundred bees