Servicing Parker, Colorado, and Surrounding Areas
Call Today 720-597-8857 (click to call)
Call Today 720-597-8857 (click to call)
Parker Pest Control Services
Call Us Now 720-597-8857 (Click to call)
Though small in size, insects can be a real problem and nuisance that need the help of an expert insect exterminator. Parker Pest Control Services is here to help with your insect control needs.
Stinging insects (wasps/bees) (this page)
Other insects (box elder bugs, earwigs, silverfish, miller moths, flies, clover mites)
Or visit pages on these pests:
Stinging Insect Control:
In their overall activity, stinging insects such as wasps and bees are beneficial in their activities, particularly as predators of pest insects such as caterpillars and as pollinators. However, they can also be a serious nuisance problem in Colorado, especially in late summer when certain yellow jacket wasps forage at garbage and outdoor food areas. It is helpful to distinguish between the various types of wasps and bees because their disturbances and their management differ.
There are over 4,000 wasp varieties in the U.S., but wasps common in Colorado include yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets, paper wasps, and mud dauber wasps. Almost all insect stings (90% in Colorado) come from Western Yellow Jackets and the European Paper Wasp and often occur when a colony is accidentally disturbed. Paper wasps can be very aggressive in hot summer and their sting may cause severe pain, though they do not leave their stinger embedded as honey bee workers do.
Though not common, wasp stings can be deadly. The yellow jacket wasp may attack as a group and sting many times. This can be very painful and highly inflammatory especially if the sting is around the throat or other glands of the body. Another deadly wasp is the European paper wasp, which is newly established in Colorado. In the event a person accidentally swallows a wasp by perhaps drinking a soda can that one has crept into (they like sugar), it can bite and inject its venom into the throat, causing massive swelling and possible suffocation.
Most wasps develop by feeding on insects with the exception being the western yellow jacket, which primarily scavenges dead insects, other carrion, earthworms, or garbage. This scavenging nature is typically why they become a serious annoyance.
Social wasps are not generally important plant pollinators, though male wasps occasionally visit flowers to feed on nectar. Moreover, sugar is not the only thing that attracts wasps. Some are attracted to various meats.
Yellow jackets, hornets, and paper wasps make nests of paper. Solitary species nest in holes in the ground, rotten wood, or other natural cavities and some even make mud nests. Social wasp colonies start out small but expand quickly through summer as more wasps are raised and assist in developing the colony. By the end of the summer season, a colony may include dozens or even up to 10,000 wasps in a single nest. The common wasp can live for up to one year while queen wasps live for several years.
Yellow jackets are commonly mistaken for honey bees as they are banded yellow or orange and black but they are more intensely colored and do not have a hairy body. Sometimes mistakenly called “ground hornets,” their nests are typically underground in existing hollows or sometimes in enclosed dark areas of buildings such as crawl spaces or wall voids. The nest entrance is small and inconspicuous. Yellow jackets will defend their nest mightily if disturbed, so it’s best not to bother a yellow jacket or hornet nest in the ground or anywhere else.
The most common hornet in Colorado is the bald-faced hornet with a stout body and marked with dark and white striping. Their nests often attract the most attention due to their large size that are made of grayish paper and often found hanging from a horizontal surface such as on walls, under ceilings, window sills, building eaves and awnings, but also in trees and shrubs. Hornets rarely sting unless their colony is seriously disturbed, but their sting is often more painful than a yellow jacket and they can sting a person repeatedly.
Paper wasps have more slender bodies than other social wasps and most native ones are reddish-brown and marked with yellow. In contrast, the European paper wasp is marked with shiny black and yellow on its abdomen and sometimes mistaken for a yellow jacket. One way to distinguish the two: yellow jackets have black antennae and European paper wasps have yellow ones. Often paper wasps build their nests under building overhangs, but the European version is known to nest in small cavities in the sides of buildings, within metal gutters and poles, outdoor grills, roof voids or similar places. This habit of nesting in many locations around a yard increase the incidence of stinging. They do not scavenge, however.
Social wasp nests are more easily regulated early in the season when colonies are small by removing small nests at first site. Additionally, one can seal all openings that allow access to hollow tubing or similar spaces in the spring. The interior of children’s playground equipment can be notorious nesting sites for wasps so give them due attention. It’s also pertinent to cover all soffits and try putting a light in spaces where wasps like to gather and keep it on during the day. This will scare them away from that area.
If a wasp nest is discovered but is not causing a problem, one can wait until the nest is abandoned in the fall and then safely remove it in the winter. Do not, however, attempt to eradicate a wasp nest yourself unless you have a complete range of protective equipment and essential professional knowledge to complete the task safely. The best wasp elimination practice recommended is to call a stinging insect management professional who can use a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide, which is the safer and more effective method.
Nuisance problems with scavenging yellow jackets is the most difficult pest issue with wasps to manage and fully regiment as it requires all nests to be found and destroyed but many nests are inconspicuously located. And even if this is done, yellow jackets can fly as far as 1,000 yards from the colony while foraging. The best tip in this case is to deter yellow jackets from visiting an area by eliminating all food sources such as open garbage cans or pet food as well as water sources around the yard, especially during hot periods of drought.
The fundamental way bees differ from wasps is in their diet, which is nectar or pollen. In Colorado, the honey bee is extremely important to the agricultural economy. Many crops are dependent on them for production. They are such exceptional pollinators that the value of pollination alone typically exceeds $20 million annually and several million dollars of honey and beeswax products are also produced.
Honey bees also differ from wasps in that their nests are made of wax instead of paper. Additionally, honey bees are not aggressive insects, although they will defend their colony. Most bee stings occur when a person accidentally steps barefooted on a bee or if one becomes trapped in clothing. Foraging bees visiting flowers do not attack. In contrast with wasps, when a bee stings, its barbed stinger becomes embedded in the skin. The poison sac is left behind when the bee withdraws the stinger, and the bee subsequently dies.
The honey bee is the only stinging insect that produces a persisting perennial colony. During winter, they survive clustered together within their hive. Bees may become an annoyance during summer when a bee hive splits and some members of the colony swarm to set up a new hive inside a wall cavity of a residential or commercial premises. Most honey bee swarms occur on sunny afternoons in May and June. A bee swarm should be avoided, and any bee botheration handled by a professional exterminator. Sometimes a bee swarm can be removed by a skilled bee keeper without having to destroy the bees or they may need to eradicate them with a safe and effective synthetic pyrethroid insecticide. Additional work may be required to eliminate the honey and honey combs that may be present as these can attract other insects or animals once the bees are removed.
If a bee colony is located within wall voids of buildings, it must be eliminated as soon as possible because the large amounts of wax and honey that can be produced can damage the building and drywall when the hive dies out or if the combs melt due to extreme heat.
Unlike the honey bee, bumble bees are native to Colorado, and up to two dozen species are present in the state. They are all heavy bodied, quite fuzzy, and banded orange or yellow and black. Bumble bee colonies are produced annually. Fertilized queens survive the winter and begin to establish colonies in the spring. These nests can be found in abandoned rodent burrows or other small hollow spaces.
When you need help with either wasp control or bee control, call Parker Pest Control Services to do the job.
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