Stinging Insects | 3 Dangerous Summertime Pests to Avoid

By Allison Clayton

Despite the sweltering heat, summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors! As the sun climbs high in the sky, many homeowners head out to their backyards to enjoy quality family time or even a little relaxation under the shade. 

But, wait, what’s that buzzing noise?

Oh no! Your lawn is full of stinging insects wrestling for their own space on your property! From aggressive wasps to annoying ants, these pests invade your summer activities and ruin all the fun! 

If you’re curious about what stinging insects you may encounter this summer, check out our article! We’ll give you all the details about what pests may litter your backyard as the temperatures rise!

Why are Stinging Insects Around During the Summer?

During the summer, insect populations seem to explode. You can’t go outside without swatting some creepy crawler away!

Why do homeowners struggle with more pests as the weather gets warmer? 

For many insects, the spring and summer seasons are peak mating periods. Ants typically engage in their nuptial flights, meeting in the air to breed. After successful mating, insects will begin creating their hives or colonies, building large populations as the summer progresses. 

Other insects exit hibernation as the weather heats up, explaining their sudden appearance from April to July. Hoards of insects could start cropping up around your yard or inside your home, trying to reach the warmth outdoors. 

Some queen insects also hide away during the winter, only emerging to lay eggs and build their nests once the harsh weather has subsided. You may notice these pests growing in size as the summer drags on!

Common Summer Stinging Insects

Bug spray doesn’t always keep these pests away! Here are the pests you should watch out for as the summer days stretch on. 

Bees

Typically grouped around flowers and clover, bees spend the summer pollinating nearby plants and caring for their hive! While bees aren’t as dangerous as wasps, they can still attack whenever threatened. 

Common Summertime Bees

Bumble bees are docile creatures and won’t sting unless seriously provoked. Unlike other bee species living in large or meticulously constructed hives, bumble bees are content to find a home wherever!

Similar to yellowjackets, bumble bees may build their small hives within holes in the ground. A queen bumble bee may live in hideouts left behind by rodents or moles. These hives are much smaller than the average honey bee nest, only housing around 100-500 bees inside. 

Honey bees are another common stinging insect you may see populating your yard. Unlike bumble bees, honey bees can be aggressive when protecting their nest, so avoid coming too close to an active hive!

Often having thousands of members within a large hive, honey bees can quickly populate your backyard! However, you shouldn’t disturb these pests if you see them flitting around your property. Honey bees may try to attack you, losing their stinger in the process and dying quickly after. 

Bees play an important role in pollination, and removing the bees could seriously harm the local ecosystem. Many bee species are endangered, and the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed and implemented legislation to protect pollinating species. Unless bees are actively harming you or your home, avoid bothering their hives. 

The Dangers of Bees

However, some bees may damage the wooden structures in or around your home. Carpenter bees burrow through unfinished wooden surfaces to create nests for their young. Instead of forming vast hives filled with hundreds of members, each nest is typically filled with a female bee and her eggs. 

Yellow and black bee on a wooden plank

Despite their small numbers, a carpenter bee population can still cause issues to the wood on your property. If you have unfinished wooden stairs, railing, outdoor furniture, or decks, the carpenter bees may destroy your possessions and leave behind unsightly feces stains. 

Carpenter bees can also ruin construction projects. If you’re in the process of building a home, the bees can bore through the wooden foundation and compromise your home’s integrity. 

Bees are also notorious stinging insects, so you may contend with painful injuries if you accidentally stumble upon a hive. While most bee species aren’t aggressive, all species could attack if you disrupt their nesting location or interrupt their foraging.  

Should I Get Rid of Bees? 

If you have a carpenter bee infestation, there are certain steps you can take to remove them from your home. proof. pest control even offers carpenter bee treatment services! But, if the bees aren’t causing any damage, feel free to leave them alone.

Bees share a vital ecological purpose, despite their reputation as painful stinging insects. Feel free to contact a reputable pest control agency like proof. if the insects impact your home, but you can typically live in peaceful cohabitation with many bees staying on your property!

Wasps

Wasps, on the other hand, are insects you shouldn’t cross! Unlike the typical docile nature of many bee species, most wasps are highly antagonistic to anything they perceive as a threat. 

While all are stinging insects, there are different wasp species that you may encounter in your backyard! 

Yellowjackets

Yellow and black yellowjacket resting on a long

Photo by Pixabay

Often considered one of the most aggressive wasp species, yellowjackets are fearsome pests to have on your lawn. Living in underground hives, homeowners often accidentally encounter yellowjackets when spending time outside or mowing their lawn. 

Yellowjackets can attack more than once, not losing their stinger after an initial attack. These pests may chase after you as you flee from an active nest. Running into these pests isn’t any fun! 

Take a look at how quickly yellowjackets swarm whenever the cameraman disturbs their hive.

You may even find these pests as they visit your backyard to forage. Yellowjackets consume sweet substances like flowers, fruits, nectar, and even soda. If you’re enjoying a backyard picnic, yellowjackets may visit your table to take a bite out of your hamburgers and hotdogs, too!

Gardeners often contend with yellowjackets feasting on fruit crops during the spring and summer. Keep an eye out for these pests as you reach for a ripened fig or raspberry!

Most yellowjacket species have the signature yellow and black coloration, but some, like the bald-faced hornet, differ. Despite its name, this black and white wasp is technically a yellowjacket!

Hornets

In the United States, there are only one hornet species. Originating from overseas, the European hornet has called America home since the early 1800s. European hornets are larger than traditional wasp species and don a yellow and brown pattern.

Building nests in hollow trees, ceiling voids, and under porches, European hornets boast hives of over 500-1000 insects. European hornets prey on smaller insects like bees, grasshoppers, flies, and other wasps

Yellowjackets are typically more aggressive, but a hornet sting can still pack a punch. These social wasps can exit their hive in droves if they sense a threat. Never approach an active hornet hive, as these pests mean business!

European hornets populate areas across the east coast, but many of proof.’s service locations have reported scattered sightings. For New York and southern Michigan residents, European hornets are as common as yellowjackets!

Paper Wasps and Mud Daubers

Unlike other wasp species, paper wasps and mud daubers tend to construct smaller hives. Paper wasp hives resemble an umbrella-like structure but can grow as large as a traditional wasp nest. 

Mud dauber nests are much smaller than other wasp hives. Instead of multiple insects populating a spacious hive, mud dauber nests only accommodate one female wasp and her eggs. 

Other wasp species construct their nests from wood pulp mixed with saliva. Newly mated queens will create the foundation of her nest before her workers take over.

As their name suggests, mud daubers utilize mud to create their short dirt casings. These wasps aren’t typically dangerous and won’t sting unless mishandled. They can even be an asset for some households as spiders are their primary food source!

Are Wasps Important Stinging Insects? 

Because of their affinity for flowers and fruit, wasps are capable pollinators. While they aren’t as effective as bees, wasps are still a critical part of the pollination process! According to the U.S. Forest Service, some wasps are responsible for pollinating hundreds of fig species!

Because of their roles as pollinators, wasps contribute to pollen distribution like bees. If a wasp or yellowjacket nest isn’t close to your home, you can safely leave it on your property. Many foraging wasps won’t attack unless directly threatened, so lone stinging insects should not cause any harm!

However, if wasps are terrorizing your home or threatening your family, you need to take action to remove them from your property! 

Wasp stings are painful and can disrupt your outdoor plans. If wasps have established a home on your residence, they can endanger you and your family. 

Contact proof. pest control for all of your wasp removal concerns! Our technicians can remove these pesky insects and keep your property safe. 

Ants

Rummaging through the food in your home and backyard, ants are a significant nuisance– inside and outside!

There are many different ant species scattered throughout proof.’s service areas. Here are some common ants found in the country:

  • Odorous house ants
  • Pavement ants
  • Fire ants
  • Carpenter ants
  • Acrobat ants
  • Little black ants
  • Pharoh ants

Like other stinging insects, ants prefer to snack on sweet substances, with many species preying on aphids that secrete nectar. Ants will also head toward residential areas, searching for their next sweet treat. 

From picnics to pantries, ants forage through yards and homes for discarded food. Some species like carpenter ants may even assemble secondary colonies inside, chewing and damaging floors and walls to create tunnels. 

While carpenter ants are a danger to your home, other ant species can cause physical harm. A lone ant typically won’t bite you, but hoards of ants can cause some damage if they decide to attack. 

Have you ever accidentally stepped in an ant mound? 

Thousands of ants will pour out to defend their home and begin reconstructing the damaged area. Unless you quickly retract your leg, a handful of ants will stick to your feet and clothing, leaving you with itchy bites!

Known for their sharp, burning bite, fire ants are one species that can leave a definite mark! As one of the most aggressive ant species, fire ants will brutally attack any predators near their mound, humans included!

Most ant bites are easily remedied with time and antihistamine cream, but multiple stings can leave you feeling exceptionally ill. If you’re allergic to ant venom, a few of these pests could give you an allergic reaction!

Unlike other stinging insects that usually create only one hive, there can be numerous ant mounds in your yard. It’s hard to enjoy your backyard area when surrounded by stinging ants! 

Other Summer Pests to Watch Out For

We all know bees, wasps, and ants are common backyard stinging insects, but what about other pests we see during the summertime? 

While many pests “bug” us as we spend a relaxing day in the sun, some aren’t considered stinging pests at all. Stinging insects possess stingers, with some able to inject venom into their prey with these sharp appendages. 

Check out this list of other common pests and how they differ from stinging insects! 

Mosquitoes

Despite their reputation as summer nuisance pests, mosquitoes aren’t stinging insects. While they may leave behind itchy marks, mosquitoes can’t bite or sting. 

Instead, mosquitoes use their long, sharp mouthpiece to pierce the skin and suck blood. Mosquitoes rely on a mammal’s blood to aid reproduction and couldn’t lay eggs without a blood meal. 

Their itchy bites make us miserable for days, but they can’t inject any venom with their mouthpiece, nor do they have a stinger to leave behind a painful welt. However, mosquitoes are dangerous in their own right!

Like many other blood-sucking pests, mosquitoes can transmit deadly diseases as they feed. The most common mosquito-related illness in the United States is the West Nile virus which can cause serious complications for those who develop febrile illness

Ticks

Similar to mosquitoes, ticks require blood to enable reproduction. Ticks will stick onto your furry friends for their next meal or climb atop your legs during a weekend hike in the mountains. 

During the summer, ticks can even inhabit your yard, especially if you have grassy areas or brush piles. Because they aren’t stinging insects, you don’t often feel a tick as it bites and sucks your blood.

Despite their small size, some tick species can transmit diseases through their bites. Some common tick-borne illnesses are:

  • Lyme disease
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Tularemia

While the symptoms of these diseases differ, they can all result in serious long-term complications. Some infections could even turn fatal. While they appear harmless, ticks are deadly pests you should quickly eliminate. 

Fleas

Like ticks, these blood-sucking insects latch onto your cats and dogs. As your pet runs outdoors, fleas will hop onto their skin and hide in their fur. Fleas bite down hard onto their skin and utilize their sharp needle-like mouthpiece to suck your pet’s blood.

While fleas seem like a pest that primarily bothers your four-legged friends, fleas can bite humans! Homeowners typically find tiny flea bites around their ankles or on their feet as these nuisance pests hide inside rugs and carpeting to find their next meal. 

Despite their sharp appendages, fleas aren’t stinging insects. Their bites may cause residual discomfort, but they lack the stingers bees, wasps, and ants have. That doesn’t mean fleas can’t cause considerable harm!

These pesky insects can transmit diseases like many other pests that prefer blood. While cats and dogs primarily suffer from flea-borne diseases, humans can contract illnesses like the plague, typhus, and even cat-scratch fever! 

How to Remove Stinging Insects

When pests are populating your lawn, you’ll want them gone fast. No one wants to share their barbeque plate with a wasp or ant!

Here are our top tips to keep stinging insects away from your home and yard.

Keep Your Lawn Clean

Tidying up around your yard is one easy way to reduce the number of stinging insects on your property. Bees, wasps, and ants are attracted to the sweet spoils found at a backyard party and often congregate around any leftover food. 

Never leave any food behind after the party has died down, or summertime pests may arrive as unwelcome guests! Dispose of unused food and drinks or carry your leftovers indoors to store in the fridge. 

Be sure to mow your lawn and keep it free of debris. A yellowjacket nest can easily grow to large numbers if it’s hidden under tall grass, fallen leaves, or tree limbs. Some ant species may even construct their colonies within hollowed-out and rotting branches.

While these insects don’t lay their eggs within water like mosquitoes, they still require access to clean drinking water. If your yard has ample stores of collected water in buckets, toys, or jars, the insects may stick around longer. 

Use Stinging Insect Traps

Another easy way to remove these pests from your home or yard is to utilize insect traps. We advise against trapping bees, but there are many options you can use to keep ants and wasps at bay!

For wasps, you can buy hanging baited traps online or create your own. To create a wasp trap, grab an empty 2-liter soda bottle, scissors, water, and sugar. Cut your soda bottle around the top edge of the label, and fill the bottle with your sugary water mixture. 

Place the other portion of the bottle inside, pointing downwards toward the water. Use some tape to keep both halves in place if you want a more secure trap. After finishing, set the bottle where wasps regularly gather.

To attract even more wasps, add some jelly or jam like in this video!

For a great ant trap, do the following:

  • Grab a plate or shallow bowl
  • Mix water, sugar, and borax
  • Spread the paste over your dish
  • Place your trap wherever ants frequent your home

After returning to the colony, your potent mixture can help eliminate foraging ants and colony members at once!

Always Remember to Take Out the Trash

Taking out the garbage can be a drag, but so are pests! Ants can quickly crawl into standing trash, making it even harder to remove from your home. Because these pests will eat almost anything, they aren’t picky about 2-day old leftovers!

Yellowjackets and other wasps will populate your trashcan if unsecured food items are sitting in the bins. Consider purchasing an outdoor trashcan with a lid, and always place your trash in tamperproof bags to keep insects from crawling inside. 

Contact a Pest Control Agency for Safe Removal!

One of the best ways to get rid of pests is to let the professionals handle the hard work. Stinging insects are dangerous in large numbers, and you shouldn’t have to deal with these bugs alone!

Whenever you have a large wasp nest on your property, give proof. pest control a call! Our trained technicians know how to safely remove wasps without endangering your home or family.

Because most wasp species are highly territorial and aggressive, we always advise against DIY wasp removal. These insects react erratically when threatened, and wasps may injure you as they leave their hive to attack. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for our wasp pest control services or to learn more about what we offer!

Want to remove carpenter bees from your home? proof. has your back! While we recommend leaving the average honey or bumble bee alone to their devices, we want to help you protect your home from carpenter bee home damage. 

Here at proof., we also cover numerous ant species that may invade your home or yard. Whether carpenter ants are boring through your home’s wooden foundation or fire ants are creating dangerous mounds in your yard, proof. pest control’s ant services can keep these harmful stinging insects at bay. 

Don’t struggle through another season with pests. Contact us today! 

Call proof. pest control at , or send us a message online.

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