By James Rodriguez
Western Territory Manager, J.T. Eaton & Co.
Taking care of a stinging insect problem is not for everyone — literally! The risk of being stung when trying to remedy a bee, wasp, hornet or yellowjacket problem is a true hazard because of the aggressiveness of some of these insects. In some individuals, even anaphylactic shock can occur.
When a person with no allergies is stung, the range of pain or inflammation can vary from a small welt, a tolerable pain, to itching and little swelling. Others with severe allergies may experience a rapid onset of symptoms like throat swelling, low blood pressure, and severe inflammation, which can lead to death. Keep in mind when you get the call for a treatment or inspection that if a customer has experienced anaphylaxis, some foods and medications can lead to similar symptoms and treatment may not be warranted.
In controlling stinging insects, like paper wasps or mud daubers, removal of the nest from under the eave line is critical to prevent any reinfestation. These are generally smaller nests, and are frequently found abandoned.
Every truck should have a telescoping web duster as part of a non-chemical approach to removing nests. Chemical treatment should be performed only if insects are present and as labels permit.
It’s also good to note how insects such as wasps and bees are beneficial and important to our well-being. Most of us know about bees’ ability to pollinate; wasps also feed on nectar, insects, flies and caterpillars — certainly helpful to anyone’s garden.