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Some stinging insects, especially yellow jackets, can be extremely dangerous. They are aggressive, sting repeatedly and come in masses. Half of all emergency room visits in the USA last year were from stinging insect attacks. Yellow jackets nesting in a wall void or soffit area can be pushed further into your house by DIY spraying and may come straight through weakened interior drywall. Nests inside structures are especially dangerous and should be removed by a licensed pest control company. A close cousin, the European hornet, is active at night posing additional risks. There is a reason why our exterminators are outfitted in protective suits, are armed with specially made vacuums and carry professionally proven products. It is a dangerous battle!
Unlike termites, carpenter bees don’t eat wood but they bore it out as nesting sites. Unchecked infestations can cause damage over time. They are especially active around wood decks. The good news is that only the females sting and that is rare.
Yes. Favorite nest and hive locations include trees and shrubs, wood piles, wall voids, under eaves & siding, attics, decks, chimneys and in the ground. It is wise to slowly and carefully walk your property in early spring and observe any wasp or hornet activity. Give high attention to rodent burrows, cracks and crevices on the outside of the home. Look up at eaves and the roof line. Inspect your lawn for ground nests before mowing. Environmental Pest Control can provide free inspections.
In the Mid-Atlantic area peak yellow jacket – stinging insect months are August, September, and October. This is when the insects are at their most aggressive and nest populations are high. Care should be exercised if you are eating or drinking outdoors. Be sure to cover trash cans. Vigorous swatting can provoke wasps and hornets, which release pheromones prompting group attacks.
DIY traps baited with pheromones have become popular with homeowners. The idea is to capture the queens in early spring before they start new colonies. Most experts are dubious of this control strategy. It is impossible to catch all of the queens. Traps are not effective for area-wide nest control.
European hornets are found in Virginia and Maryland and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. They are big, about 1”, and have stingers and large poison sacs that can inflict a very painful sting. They build large nests up to 3 feet in length in any hollow (porches, trees, barns, and attics). Although not as aggressive as yellow jackets they will vigorously defend their nests. European hornets are active at night and are attracted to lights. This makes eradication more difficult and dangerous. They can cause severe damage to your shrubs and trees as they hunt for sap, gnawing off bark, and returning to feed again and again. According to the Virginia Tech Extension Service Lilac, Boxwood, Viburnum, Fruit Trees, Birch, Willow, Poplar, Ligustrum, Rhododendron, and Dogwood are particularity susceptible to damage. There is no effective insecticidal treatment. Environmental Pest Control can identify plant damage caused by these hornets. Nest locations can be found and quickly and safely exterminated.