The much anticipated and desired arrival of warm weather has finally hit the St. Louis area. The pleasant temperatures have brought everyone outside to enjoy those summer activities. Unfortunately, this includes wasps, bees, hornets and other stinging insects.
Wasps, while annoying and sometimes frightening, actually have beneficial value. They are known to prey upon other unwanted pests and, under normal conditions, will avoid humans. The problem wasps create for the homeowner is when they build their nests close to homes and in high traffic areas. They are very territorial and become agitated when people come near their nests. They will sting when threatened, often several times. The various species of wasps are comprised of two categories: social or solitary. The social wasps, as the name implies, live in colonies and may number in the thousands.
Bees, in a simple description, are flower feeding winged insects, most of which sport colorful body hairs. The bee gets their protein from pollen and their energy from the flower nectar. The adult females will collect enough pollen to feed their larvae. They will lose some of the pollen while transporting it and darting from flower to flower. This is nature’s greatest pollination system and is what gives such value to bees. The other beneficial value of bees is they are great producers of honey and beeswax. The honey bee is one of the most beneficial and well known of all bee species. They are not made for long distant travel but rather dart quickly from flower to flower. The honey bee hive can have as many as 60,000 bees. Bees will normally sting only in self-defense so your best approach is to avoid being in close proximity of bees.
The hornet is a very intimidating creature, reaching approximately 1.25 inches in length. The European hornet, introduced to the United States by humans, build large hives by chewing wood into a pulp. The omnivorous hornet feeds mainly on other insects, helping eliminate them from around your home. However, these pests can be very aggressive when people come close to their nests, therefore causing a real threat. They will defend their hive with their potent stinger and, unlike the honeybee, are able to sting multiple times. Some people have very dangerous reactions to hornet stings.
In summary, wasps, bees and hornets are beneficial insects that deserve respect. While they are not an automatic threat to humans, allergy-prone people should avoid being in close proximity of them. You certainly don’t want to come around their nests and hives. It is always best to call your professional pest control specialists in the event of a huge population of these stinging insects. If you see stinging insects around your home or yard, call Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions and schedule a free inspection to find out the extent of your problem.