Hornets and bumblebees and paper wasps, oh my! Houston is home to all sorts of stinging insects, few of which are welcome sights around our homes. Not only can they deliver painful stings that take days, if not weeks, to heal, but they can also threaten at-risk individuals with anaphylactic shock or other long-term health concerns.
Stinging insects are far more difficult to control than many people believe. Since these pests can build nests on tree limbs and roof eaves, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to remove all possible nesting sights. Plus, you may only spot a stinging insect colony after the infestation has occurred. It's not recommended to face these pests on your own – unless you want to risk stings, swelling, and pain, that is.
What is the easiest way to get rid of stinging insects in Houston? Prevent them from settling down in the first place. This comprehensive guide from All-Safe Pest & Termite can help you make an informed decision about what comes next. Once we explain the different stinging insect species in Houston, we cover why they're dangerous and what effects they can cause around the home. We also provide tips for how to create a sting-proof yard, including effective techniques that have withstood the test of time.
Are you currently dealing with a stinging insect infestation? No worries – we also cover how the support of a professional pest control company can help you get rid of pests without risking further harm.
Now, let's dive into everything you should know about stinging insect invasions, starting with all the facts about their presence, appearance, and method of attack.
Know Your Enemy: Identifying Common Stinging Insects
The best way to begin your fight against stinging insects is to understand the species common to the Houston area. There are four major types: paper wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and mud daubers. Let's take a closer look at each one:
- Paper wasps: Paper wasps are a type of stinging insect known for their paper-thin, almost 'feathery' looking nests. You can typically find their hives in dry or sheltered areas, including spaces under roof eaves or the lower halves of tree branches. Paper wasps can deliver multiple stings, which can be painful and potentially dangerous for those with allergies.
- Hornets: Although somewhat similar to paper wasps in appearance, hornets are larger and more aggressive than their smaller counterparts. They also build their nests in sheltered areas like paper wasps, but they are more likely to create their hives in trees or shrubs. Like many other types of stinging insects, hornets can deliver multiple stings and become extremely aggressive while defending their nests.
- Yellow jackets: The aggressive yellow jacket is easily identified by its angular body and bright yellow and black coloration. They are most commonly spotted in the summer months and prefer to build nests in soil or under rocks, logs, and porches. Yellow jackets can be particularly dangerous to children and pets, as they are highly aggressive and can deliver multiple stings. These may cause serious allergic reactions requiring medical treatment.
- Mud daubers: As the name suggests, mud dauber wasps build their nests out of mud and are typically solitary insects. They are not as aggressive as other stinging insects but can still deliver painful stings if provoked. Mud daubers prefer to build their nests in sheltered areas and usually construct their hollow tube-like structures in garages, sheds, attics, greenhouses, and other outdoor spaces.
In case you didn't notice at first, all these stinging insects deliver more than one sting. Aggravating a nest may result in a full-on attack, which could place you in the hospital or require weeks of antihistamines.
Now that we're more familiar with common stinging insects in Houston, let's take a closer look at the dangers of stinging insects.
Stinging Insect Dangers: Property Damage And Health Risks
The first and most obvious side effects of stinging insects are the painful stings they leave behind. While one sting is bad enough, stinging insects often attack in swarms, meaning that you can get stung multiple times in a short period of time.
Most species of stinging insects are venomous, which means you're likely to have an immediate physical reaction. If you don't notice swelling or pain right away, you may begin to feel faint or nauseous due to the venom. In extreme cases, you may experience difficulty breathing, which warrants an immediate trip to the hospital.
Stinging insects can also cause property damage and potentially make your home less attractive to visitors and guests. Hives are unattractive and usually make guests uneasy. Plus, species like the mud dauber leave unattractive 'mud tubes' around your yard.
It's clear there's no way to live in harmony with stinging insects that have decided to settle down near your Houston property. Most stinging insects are highly protective of their nests, and children and pets are, unfortunately, often the first ones to encounter them. While venomous stings can cause extensive pain, they can also trigger severe allergic responses in susceptible individuals. Each year, stinging insects account for hundreds of hospitalizations, especially in cases of multiple stings. This means the best and safest solution is to get rid of their attractant factors completely, which protects your home and family from the side effects of stinging insect activity.
Keep reading to learn more about hornet and wasp prevention and how a few simple tips can work to protect your yard.
Creating A Sting-Proof Yard: Effective Tips And Techniques
Stinging pests can cause considerable grief on your property, and they can find many reasons to explore nearby. If they find your property appealing – and they almost always do – they may choose to stay and establish a colony.
Because of the potential seriousness of venomous insect stings, it can be helpful to follow these tips to help decrease your chances of having to deal with infestations:
- Seal garbage: Exposed garbage offers free food to stinging insects and is a major contributor to infestations around homes and businesses. Tightly sealing garbage can help decrease your chances of having to deal with insects of all kinds, including the ones that sting.
- Seal your home: Although somewhat rare, stinging insects can exploit openings in your home, garage, or outbuilding to establish colonies. Thoroughly seal your home to eliminate your chances of having to deal with these infestations.
- Eliminate clutter: Stinging insects love to explore and nest in cluttered areas, and this increases your chances of unwanted encounters. Eliminating clutter can decrease housing opportunities for stinging insects as well as your chances of getting stung.
- Keep greenery trimmed: Overgrown shrubs, bushes, and hedges make great harborage areas for stinging insects. Carefully trimming and pruning the greenery on your property can help you discourage the appearance of stinging insect infestations.
- Minimize standing water: Standing water is highly attractive to pests and necessary to keep stinging insect hives cool. Minimize the amount of water around your property, and be sure to remove any potholes, dips, or vernal pools. Topsoil is a great way to fill in ditches around the yard, as well as concrete, gravel, or peat rock. Remember: the more water you remove around your home, the less you have to deal with potential stinging insect infestations.
Keep in mind the tips above are designed to decrease your chances of dealing with stinging insect infestations. They aren't meant to get rid of existing pest infestations or remove any active hives around your yard.
If you do notice the signs and symptoms of stinging insects in your yard, you can reach out to All-Safe Pest & Termite for solutions. We stand ready to help with decades of experience and know just what's needed to protect your home.
Professional Stinging Insect Control: When To Call In The Experts
Stinging insect activity in Houston can spark fear and anxiety and potentially keep you away from enjoying your yard. At All-Safe Pest & Termite, we believe stinging insect control is a right, not a privilege, which is why we offer nothing but the best to Houston locals and their families.
First, we inspect your surrounding yard to locate stinging insects and their hives. Next, we apply hand-picked treatment solutions that are tailored to your needs and the pest species in question. Finally, we protect your home and business with a mix of dust and residual products. This ensures stinging insects never return to your home.
Not only is All-Safe Pest & Termite one of Houston's favorite providers of home pest control services, but we're also one of the most trustworthy providers of long-lasting, time-tested treatments. Since we cover our stinging insect treatments with a full pest warranty, you never need to worry about unwanted pests sticking around near your home.
Ready to protect your Houston property with our local pest control services? Give us a call to speak with a pro about potential solutions for your home. We look forward to serving you with outstanding services that meet and exceed your expectations.