They build their homes in our walls, attics and under eaves, and in trees, shrubs, and even in holes in the ground. Simply walking by their nests could be enough to trigger a fierce response, with some of these aggressive pests posing grave danger with their painful stings and bites. However, they are pretty hard to avoid, especially when they build their nests in our living spaces.
The Dangers of Wasps, Hornets and Bees
Common in or close to nearly every household, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can cause much more than a painful irritation. According to the National Pest Management Association, stinging insects are responsible for more than half a million people being sent to the emergency room every year.
Over spring and summer, flying insects can be a major concern for people across the country. Wasps, bees, and hornets are the most common types of stinging pests in Central Florida. Because of their highly aggressive nature, residents of areas infested by these pests are advised to avoid attempting to exterminate them by themselves. Instead, learn how to safely identify the pests and contact an expert to handle the extermination.
Types of Wasps
Florida is home to several wasp species, including Paper Wasps, Yellow Jackets, Cicada Killers and Mud Daubers.
Yellow jackets have a distinctive black and yellow coloration on their bodies. Their sting is renowned for its irritation and can lead to serious health concerns. They can sting multiple times since their sting is not barbed. Mature yellow jackets feature a thin waist and characteristic segmented body. Unlike bees and hornets, yellow jackets have no hair on their bodies and have elongated wings. While they are not always aggressive, yellow jackets can cause problems in large outdoor events, where they can access open drink containers and food leftovers on plates.
Paper wasps are common insects in Florida and can be easily identified with their yellow bodies with brown markings or black with yellow or red markings. They also build distinctive nests, which they build using paper-like material to house their colonies. Shaped like an inverted umbrella, their nests can be huge, housing up to 250 wasps. They often build their nests under house eaves, on shrub branches and on tree trunks.
Cicada Killer wasps are mild-mannered and active across Florida throughout the summer. They are often busy digging burrows in light-textured soils or storing up cicadas they paralyze as food for their larvae. Since our vegetable gardens often offer the best conditions for cicada killers, it is best to be wary of them when cultivating, watering, and weeding the gardens.
You can identify cicada killer wasps by their black and yellow markings on their large bodies. Males are much smaller than females, with the latter measuring approximately two inches long.
Mud Daubers are a little different from their relatives: they are not very aggressive and only sting people when they feel threatened. Mad daubers are black with slender bodies and typically build their nests under eaves or on the sides of buildings. Their main dish is spiders, which they paralyze with their stingers and lay their eggs inside. Once these eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the paralyzed spider and burst out of their bellies–Yikes!
Types of Bees
Bees have been our dangerous friends since we realized the value of the honey they produce. There are four main types of bees:
- Honey Bees
- Bumble Bees
- Carpenter bees
- Africanized bees
With the exception of the Africanized honeybees, bees are generally less aggressive than the common types of wasps. Bees are an important part of our ecosystem; they pollinate flowers, fruit trees and make honey for us.
Is There A Difference Between Hornets and Yellow Jackets?
Understanding the difference between hornets and yellow jackets can be tricky for people trying to get rid of the insects in their homes. Yellow jackets are actually hornets. The term “hornets” is used to signify a species of stinging insects that have above-ground nests. Irrespective of where they build their nests, all hornet, and yellow jacket species live in large colonies and are social creatures. While they are more aggressive than bees, they are mostly docile and are only aggressive if triggered or threatened.
Is Florida Home to Yellow Jackets?
Unfortunately for the residents of Florida, the Eastern Yellow Jacket, the Bald-Faced Hornet, and the Southern Yellow Jacket are common in most parts of Florida. Do not confuse the yellow jacket with a bee. Yellow jackets have the ability to sting humans more than once as their stings are not barbed.
Do Yellow Jackets Build Nests in the Ground?
Yellow jackets typically live in the ground. However, the Southern Yellow Jacket lives in both underground nests as well as aerial nets. Eastern Yellow Jackets typically build their nests in subterranean (underground) nests.
How Do You Identify Hornets?
Hornets have typical black and white markings, unlike wasps, which boast black and yellow markings. Hornets can also grow into large insects measuring over two inches in length. While they are often more docile than wasps, hornets can have very painful and dangerous stings.
How to Exterminate Yellow Jackets, Wasps and Hornets
It is not safe to have your children live in a wasp-infested home, but we do not advise resolving the wasp issue by yourself. Instead, we recommend identifying the insects and understanding how dangerous they can be, then calling experts to help you with the extermination.
Wasps and yellow jackets pose a monumental risk to your household. Do not wait until one of your household members gets stung to take the action. If you are in search of experts in pest control who can safely eliminate these stinging insects from your home or areas in proximity to your home, call us today at 352-223-3618 click here to make an appointment for your free inspection today.