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Little Stingers, From Bad To Worst

Carpenter bee

There are many insects in Nassau County that can sting you. But not all stinging insects are created equal. Some have no interest in stinging you at all, but will, under certain circumstances. Others have no problem stinging you all day long--and probably like it. Since there is really no stinging insect that is truly harmless, here is your list of Nassau County Stingers from bad to worst.

  1. Carpenter bees. Let's face it, these bees are more dangerous to your home than they are to you. They bore holes up into your eaves and under your deck to make chambers for their hives. If you see this little bumblebee-looking stinger flying around, you're probably safe. Only the female carpenter bees sting, and they aren't inclined to do so. These bees die after they sting you because their stinger has a barb on it that catches in your skin, and vital parts are pulled free of their body with the stinger. One of those parts is the venom sack, which continues to pump venom for over a minute. If you've been stung by a bee, swipe the stinger off to prevent all the toxin from getting into your skin.
  2. Bumblebees. Bumblebees can sting, but just like the carpenter bees, it is only the female who stings, and they don't prefer to. It is important to note that bumblebees do not have a barb on their stinger. So, though they are not an aggressive stinger, they have no problem doing it--multiple times. If you see a fat bee and are wondering if it is a bumblebee or carpenter bee, look at its hiney. The carpenter bee is black from the waist back.
  3. Honey bees. You've probably seen pictures of fools--I mean, people--with honey bees all over their faces. Don't be deceived, these bees sting. They aren't aggressive and they die after they sting, but these insects can swarm and ruin your day quickly.
  4. Wasps and Hornets. These stingers are mildly aggressive, but will generally leave you alone if you don't bother their nest. Wasps are social insects that release an attack pheromone when they sense a threat. They have no barb on their stingers and can sting multiple times. They also pursue a target, but they don't pursue far.
  5. Africanized Honey Bees. Initially called "killer" bees because of a news magazine report and a movie that was inspired by it, these bees are definitely aggressive, but far from killers. A person, even elderly, can be stung multiple times by Africanized honey bees and live. But it is unpleasant to say the least. These are social bees that swarm and pursue a target further than any other honey bee. The good news is, they die after they sting you.
  6. Yellow Jackets. These little buggers are the worst. They are aggressive, bad tempered, swarmers that will pursue a target and go around obstacles to get at them. And, like their cousins, these wasps can sting multiple times. What is even worse is that these stinging insects hide in holes. That means homeowners are at risk every time they mow their lawns. The vibration from a lawn mower can send these stingers into a frenzy.

The best way to combat stinging pests is year round pest services. If you live in Nassau County, contact Parkway Pest Services. Our experienced technicians will inspect your property and remove the nests and hives that produce these insects. The fewer nests you have, the fewer stinging insects you'll have. And, that is always a good thing.