In our New England service area, we have a few common bees and wasps that can become a problem for homeowners. The three most common pests are paper wasps, yellow jackets, and honey bees. When these insects come into your yard to pollinate your plants, they can be a benefit. But when they come into your yard and create a nest, they can create problems. This is because social insects are wired to protect their nests. If you get too close, these three types of stinging insects will swarm and attack you. Here are a few ways you can prevent stings from occurring.
1. Seal Garbage
The most aggressive stinging pest that will establish itself in your yard is the yellow jacket and yellow jackets love garbage. They eat sweets and meats and will be drawn in by the smell of organic matter rotting in your trash. Be sure to keep all exterior trash in a sealed receptacle to keep from attracting yellow jackets.
Yellow jackets, paper wasps, and also hornets, will feed on bugs in your yard. The more bugs you have around your home, the more inviting your yard will be to stinging pests. Everything you do to control bug populations will have the secondary effect of reducing stinging insects. Try these tips:
- Reduce moisture near your home by cleaning your gutter system, trimming tree branches, and creating space between the plants in your landscaping.
- Rake leaves up and remove twigs. Organic clutter promotes dampness after it rains.
- Stow clutter away or throw it in the trash. Yard clutter gives hiding places for rodents and other small animals. This can introduce ticks, fleas, and other pests that wasps feed on.
3. Plant-damaging Insects
If you have aphids, scales, or whiteflies damaging your plants, you may have issues with wasps as well. Wasps feed on these insects and the sweet honeydew they produce. The best way to control these insects is with routine treatments. This should be done by a licensed professional.
4. Fill Holes In
Yellow jackets establish themselves in ground holes. If your yard has holes, it is a good idea to fill them in. It is no fun to have a swarm of yellow jackets attack you while you're mowing your lawn. If holes are being created by wildlife pests, reach out to a wildlife control specialist.
5. Seal Entry Points.
Bees, paper wasps, and yellow jackets are all capable of finding a hole in your exterior and creating a nest inside the walls of your home. It is a good idea to do routine inspections of the outside of your home.
- Fill in gaps around plumbing and wire conduit.
- Check and repair gaps or broken seals around door and window frames.
- Use a caulking gun to fill in any holes that have been created by wood-damaging pests.
- Patch gaps or holes in your soffits or roofline.
6. Reduce Flowers and Flowering Plants
This is probably not a preference but nectar is a food source for wasps and removing these plants can reduce stinging pests. But, if you've taken other measures to reduce these insects, you may only get occasional visits for the purpose of pollination, and that's okay. Even a yellow jacket is mostly docile when it is away from its nest. You can walk slowly through hundreds of yellow jackets and not get stung. There are many people who are crazy enough to do it. But we wouldn't recommend it.
- Since stinging insects love nectar, they are naturally drawn to sweet smells. For this reason, perfume or cologne can attract them to you.
- If you wear bright colors or flower patterns, you may get mistaken for a flower patch and draw unwanted attention.
- These insects can draw sweet liquid from a cup, be sure to cover cups when you drink outside.
- If you prepare food outside, cover it until you're ready to throw it on the grill, and dispose of leftover food in a sealed plastic bag.
Stinging Pest Control
If you need assistance controlling stinging insects in your yard, or the food sources they eat, we can help. American Pest Solutions offers coverage for a wide range of yard and home pests. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.