How and When to Control Yellow Jackets, Hornets and Other Beneficial Stinging Insects
When you think about beneficial stinging insects, bees are likely the first ones to come to mind. After all, they’re essential for our agricultural crops, pollinating 80% of all the fruits and vegetables we eat as well as ornamental plants. But, do you realize that yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets are also beneficial? In other words, you may want to think twice about swatting them. But, living with stinging insects isn’t easy and it’s important to know when and how to control them.
While you may not realize it, these stinging insects contribute to the pollination of your flowers, trees, fruits, and vegetables although not quite as much as bees do. The real environmental benefit of wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets, however, is pest control. They feed on a wide range of otherwise damaging pests including:
- And other pests
When wasps, and other stinging insects are in their natural habitat they aren’t a real issue for humans. It’s when they build their nests in our homes, garages, and other structures that they can be a problem. Nearly all wasps and hornets are aggressive defenders of the nests where they rear their young. If they choose to build that nest too close to a populated area, there is a risk that they’ll attack passersby.
If you disturb a stinging insect nest, you’ll likely be the victim of a targeted attack by soldiers whose job it is to defend the nest. Only female wasps and hornets can sting. It can be an extremely painful experience to say the least. If someone is stung who is allergic, it could be life threatening. Rather than risking the health and well-being of yourself or your family, it’s important to control stinging pests that are too close.
If you’ve spotted a stinging insect nest on or near your house, you might be tempted to take matters into your own hands to exterminate them. Before you take on one of nature’s most aggressive insects, take a few things into consideration:
You can easily go to your local supermarket or big box store and buy wasp and hornet sprays, but beware. Many insecticides contain pyrethroids. These toxins can be deadly, causing respiratory failure or paralysis. More commonly, they cause symptoms such as headache, nausea, incoordination, tremors, facial flushing and swelling and burning and itching sensations.
In order for DIY pest control sprays to work, you have to get close and basically saturate the nest and any live insects. If the nest is located up high, you’ll need to climb a ladder, carry the spray, and defend yourself as they attack. You could be stung and/or fall and get hurt. Not to mention the fact that you may inhale the spray and experience issues like those noted above.
If you notice wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets building a nest in the spring, take action and remove it right away. The longer the nest is undisturbed, the more comfortable (and territorial) the inhabitants will become. They’ll also continue to build on to the nest and a large nest means a large community that’s willing to defend its turf.
Stinging insects like wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and bees are extremely beneficial to the environment and should be preserved. Without them, we wouldn’t have the variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants, and trees we enjoy now. There would also be a much larger population of pests that we’d have to contend with. Despite this, you don’t want stinging insects living in or around your home. It’s just not safe.
Don’t let wasps, hornets, and other stinging insects take over your yard and garden. Protect your family from painful stings and bites, but don’t put your own health and well-being at risk. Leave it to the pest control experts. Contact us at Lu-Crest Pest Control to discuss your pest control needs or to schedule an appointment today. We offer a variety of programs designed to suit your needs and your budget.