St Louis Pest Control Blog

Which Stinging Insects Should you be on the Look Out for?

Stinging Insects

Stay safe and sting-free while enjoying the outdoors this summer by learning how to avoid the more aggressive insects such as Africanized honeybees, yellowjackets, and wasps. We’ll help you avoid the most common places where these insects like to nest and what to do if you find an infestation.

Stinging Insects

Hornets
European hornets are large and aggressive and can damage foliage in your yard as they gather materials from shrubs and trees to create their nests. They’ll fly around at night, which makes them different from many other stinging insects.

  • Places to avoid: European hornets like to build gray, paper-like nests in openings and gaps in walls, as well as hollow trees.
  • What to do if you stumble upon an infestation: leave stinging insect control to the professionals. They are aggressive if they feel their nest is being attacked, and each nest can house hundreds of these hornets.

Baldfaced Hornets
Although called hornets, these pests are actually yellowjackets. They’re plentiful and are found nearly everywhere in the United States. They are helpful insects who eat insect pests like flies and are flower pollinators, too.

  • Where they live: Most baldfaced hornets live in bushes and trees, in gray, football-shaped nests.
  • What to do if you find a nest: If you find a nest on your property, call a stinging insect exterminator. These hornets can be aggressive when they feel that they are threatened.

Yellowjackets
Yellowjackets tend to build nests on trees and buildings as well as in the ground. They are slower to sting unless their nest is threatened. Yellowjackets are capable of stinging multiple times. Of the 16 different species of yellow jackets, the most common one is found in every state.

  • What to avoid: At barbecues, cover food and clean up by properly disposing of garbage (particularly sweets and proteins).
  • How to get rid of a nest: Just as with other stinging insects, let the pest control professionals remove yellow jacket nests using the proper equipment and experience.

Paper Wasps
You may notice paper-like nests shaped like an umbrella on twigs and branches of trees and shrubs as well as porch ceilings, eaves, and attic rafters. Those are the work of paper wasps who have carefully chosen these covered spaces to build their nests.
Humans are at risk of wasp attack when they accidentally contact the nest. Like yellow jackets, wasps can sting more than once. In defending their nest, they will use alarm pheromones to call for back up.

  • Places to avoid: shrubs, hedges, fruit trees, plants, wood fences, deck railings, etc.
  • How to get eliminate: You can treat wood fences and deck railings with a repellent oil to minimize the chances of these unwanted insects. But if you find an infestation or single nest, contact a licensed pest control professional to remove and treat for wasps.

 If you have a stinging insect issue call us at 636-343-7900 or visit www.stlbugs.com for more information.

What is living in my Attic?

Critter Problems?

Have you been hearing noises coming from your attic? At night or during the day? Have you found any other signs of animals in your home such as fecal droppings or footprints?

Attic Pests

If you’ve never actually seen the animals, but you think you’ve got a problem, here are a few things to consider when it comes to pest control of attic pests.

Birthing Season

Birthing season is from March to October. During that timeframe, wild animals often seek out den sites that are safe and secure from predators to use as a nesting site. Chances are you’re hearing a female and her dependent young upstairs.

Fortunately, the situation is temporary. We often recommend giving the mother and young several weeks in order to allow the babies to become more independent and relocate. Typically the mother will decide to do this as soon as it’s no longer safe for her young to be in your proximity. She and her young will abandon the den site.

You want the mother to remain with her young because if they get separated, the young babies will venture out in search for their mother and may get trapped between walls or be so tucked away in some obscure location of your attic that you would never find the abandoned nest.

Most Likely Offenders

  • Squirrels: If you are hearing noises during daylight hours you most likely have a squirrel living in your attic. The behavioral pattern of squirrels is to be active only during the day.
  • Raccoons: Raccoons are nocturnal animals, so if you are hearing noises during nighttime hours, you most likely have a raccoon or flying squirrel living in your attic.

Sprinkle baking flour around the perimeter

To check for footprints, you can sprinkle all-purpose baking flour around the perimeter of the attic and check the next day.
Here’s how to decipher tracks:

  • Squirrel tracks are smaller, approximately 1” long. The front feet contain four digits, sharp claws, and three large palm-like pads. The squirrel’s rear feet contain five digits and four palm pads.
  • Raccoon tracks closely resemble a small human hand. They are larger than squirrel, measuring between 2” and 3” long.

Look for other Clues

  • Squirrel—you may find nuts, leaves, and other debris around the attic left by the squirrel. You may also find squirrel droppings, which look smooth and oval in shape.
  • Raccoon—raccoons generally urinate and defecate outside to avoid attracting predators, but sometimes they create what’s called a “latrine” to use inside. If you see an oily stain on the ceiling, that’s a definite sign.

Have a pest in your attic? Call us at 636-343-7900 or visit our Wildlife Page for more information.

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