The majority of stinging insects are beneficial. They simply find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, becoming a threat to human health and safety. Finding a balance between safety and environmental sustainability can be a challenge. For bees and wasps, early detection is critical.
Here are five things to keep in mind:
- To prevent nest-building early in the season, apply an appropriately labeled liquid pesticide to eaves and overhangs, and an appropriately labeled dust in voids, crevices and other areas likely to harbor stinging insects.
- Knock down wasp nests and/or deter hive-building activity around houses and other inhabited structures early in the season, to force wasps away to build elsewhere. Botanicals, for example, provide immediate repellency and the stinging insects will seek out other areas that are not a threat.
- Keep an eye out for wasp nests in hidden areas such as behind false shutters, low overhangs, shrubs, detached garages, and other areas that provide them horizontal cover.
- To locate hidden nest sites of yellowjackets and honey bees, place a sugar- or honey-water solution to attract a high number of these types of stinging insects quickly.
- Limit the food supply by removing fallen fruit, keeping lids on trash cans, and reducing attractive plants and flowers close to windows and doors to greatly reduce the chance of stings.
Remember: Reduce the attraction, reduce the risk.