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3 Proven Methods for Managing Stinging Insects Around Your New Jersey Home

Thursday, July 18th, 2013 by Bill Cowley

If you have been stung by a bee, wasp or hornet you can very likely recall the circumstances.  The instant pain and then the lingering ache, heat and itch at the site of the sting makes for a very unpleasant experience.  A sting can be quite painful and cause a reaction ranging from mild to serious and possibly even life threatening if the person is highly allergic.  Bees and wasp stings are responsible for a half million emergency room visits every year, according to the National Pest Management Association.  Approximately 2 million Americans have allergies to stinging insects.  

Stinging insects are a threat all summer long but activity is typically heightened at the end of summer.  Nests become more dangerous towards the end of the summer as worker populations within the nest are higher.  The larger the nest and the more workers in the nest the more aggressive the insects tend to be.  Stinging insects like yellowjackets, hornets, wasps and bees vary in their aggressiveness but typically will sting if they feel threatened.  Therefore take great care not to disturb the nest of a stinging insect, do not swat at them or provoke them to avoid being stung.   

If you discover a stinging insect nest around your New Jersey home or business you have a few management options to choose from:

1.  You may choose to leave the nest alone if it is not in a high traffic area and you have no concerns of anyone being bitten.  If it is a social bee or wasp nest, the workers will all die out at the first frost.  If you choose to let the nest alone minimize traffic around the nest as well as other activities, including mowing near the nest site which can irritate them.  Be aware that if it is early in the season, the worker population in the nest may grow considerably.  And the larger the nest and the higher the population the greater the threat that nest becomes.  Workers from larger nests tend to be more aggressive and you also run the risk of being bitten by many more insects.

2.  You may attempt to remove the nest on your own.   Note that we do not recommend do-it-yourself methods when it comes to stinging insects.  It is important to identify the type of stinging insect you are dealing with before removal.  Honeybees are protected by law in the state of New Jersey since they are so essential to our agricultural system.  If you discover a honeybee colony inside of your home or on your property the best course of action is to contact the New Jersey Beekeepers Association who can safely relocate the colony. 

Removal can range from easy to quite difficult and dangerous depending on the type of stinging insect you are dealing with, the location of the nest and the size of the nest.  If you decide to do-it-yourself there are some important things you should know:

  • Act at night when the insects are back at the nest and less active. 
  • Wear protective clothing and equipment.  Ensure your skin is fully covered including your hands and we highly recommend a bee veil that covers your head and face. 
  • Use a flashlight but do not shine it directly onto the nest or you may disturb the insects. 

3.  Contact a licensed pest management professional. This is particularly necessary if the nest is located in a hard to reach area, it is late in the season and populations in the nest are higher, there is more than one nest or the nest is quite large or if you have had an allergic reaction in the past. 

For more information on stinging insects or for a free estimate on removal of one visit us here.