7 ways to prevent swarms of stinging insects


April 24, 2024

Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE

Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE

Protecting customers from stinging insects is important, but protecting yourself as you perform services around homes and businesses also is imperative.

I can guarantee I am not the only one who has bumped into a bush or applied product to an area, only to be immediately swarmed and stung multiple times before getting away. Here are seven ways to help limit these occurrences — and hopefully avoid them altogether.

  1. Know what species are commonly found in your area, including their biology and behavior.
  2. Learn the nest types and preferred nest areas of honey bees (Apis spp.), yellowjackets, hornets and paper wasps.
  3. Before beginning any application, perform a preliminary walk around the property to inspect for these potential threats. This extra step can save you a lot of trouble and a potential trip to the hospital.
  4. Gather some “intel”: Ask the owner or occupant questions about stinging insect activity. Look for visual signs of activity during inspections, such as nests, high numbers of stinging insects at flowering plants, etc.
  5. Look for early-season activity. Make notes on the service ticket for later reference.
  6. Be exceptionally vigilant before climbing ladders. While on a ladder for any account, always inspect for honey bees, wasps or hornets that may be entering the structure from up high.
  7. Stay on the alert during peak activity and look before treating any dense shrubbery that may camouflage nests.


About the Author

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Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE, is national director of technical services at Nisus Corp.

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