Stinging Insect Identification Guide

What are stinging insects?

As their name describes, stinging insects are insects that possess a stinger. Some stinging insects, such as honey bees, can be very eco-beneficial, while others are aggressive and pose a significant danger to people. Stinging insects use their stingers for hunting their prey or as a means of defense. These insects come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. People living in our Madison, Alabama service area are most likely to come into contact with the following species of stinging insects: hornets, red wasps, ground-nesting hornets, and paper wasps.

a paper wasp crawling on a leaf

Are stinging insects dangerous?

When stinging insects are living outside and away from people, they are not dangerous pests. However, when they decide to build a nest in our yards or on our homes, they pose a significant threat to people. While not all species of stinging insects are aggressive, some are, and all will defend themselves or their nest by delivering painful stings. Those people allergic to their venom may have a severe allergic reaction or even go into anaphylactic shock.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Stinging insects live and breed outside and are opportunistic pests. They will take advantage of any yard or home that offers them safe sources of shelter and is near food sources. Stinging insects, depending on their species, will hunt for and feed on insects, plant nectar and pollen from flowering plants and trees, and discarded proteins and sweets found in trash cans, compost, and outdoor eating areas.

Where will I find stinging insects?

The locations stinging insects build their nests depends on the species:

  • Hornets typically place their nests up off of the ground in tree cavities, bushes, chimneys, and eaves.

  • Red wasps and paper wasps build their nests in protected areas inside tree cavities, between rock crevices, under roof eaves, under decks, and in doorways.

  • Ground-nesting hornets place their nests in rotting tree stumps, under woodpiles, under bushes, and in the ground holes of small animals like rodents.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

Get rid of stinging insects by partnering with the trusted experts at Custom Pest Control. For over 20 years, we have been helping home, and business owners maintain pest-free properties. If you are looking for a personal approach to pest control, look no further.

At Custom Pest Control, we customize our home pest control programs to meet the unique needs of each of our customers as well as specialized commercial pest control plans. Let our family protect your family from North Alabama’s toughest pests! For more information about our stinging insect control service, reach out to Custom Pest Control and speak with one of our friendly professionals today.

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

The best way to prevent problems with stinging insects is to partner with a professional and implement the following prevention tips in and around your Huntsville home:

  • Don’t overplant flowering vegetation near your house.

  • Remove fallen trees and tree stumps from your yard.

  • Fill in any ground holes in your yard to prevent them from building nests there.

  • Seal up holes found along the roofline and under roof eaves.

  • Caulk any openings located in the exterior walls of your house.

  • Replace torn or loose window or door screens to keep stinging insects out of your house.

  • Store flower pots, buckets, and other things that can collect water upside down when not in use.

  • Keep tight-fitting lids on trash cans and compost bins.

  • Clean up food debris in outdoor eating areas.


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