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Stinging Insects

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What Are Stinging Insects?

Most people see the name stinging insect and think they know everything there is to know about this classification of insect. Sure, the name is pretty self-explanatory, but just because these species sting, that isn’t everything you need to know. Bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets all fall into the stinging insect classification, but did you know these insects all belong to the order of insect known as Hymenoptera, which includes the ant. Pretty fascinating when you think about it. What could the wasp, hornet, and yellow jacket have in common?

Along with this, most stinging insects are considered beneficial, as they pollinate and don’t pose a threat to people or property. This doesn’t mean they won’t sting you. It just means they don’t pose any health risks or potential structural damage. All this being said, just because an insect stings, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it falls into the classification of a stinging insect. This is extremely important because some insects sting and do pose health risks. It is imperative to learn to distinguish between the two, otherwise, you might end up inadvertently putting yourself or your family in danger.

The Paper Wasp

The paper wasp is one of mid-level aggression and doesn’t generally pose any threat unless you venture too close. You get too close and you risk the threat of a potential attack. This is likely because they fear that you pose them or their colony a risk. This is natural for just about any insect. This insect can be distinguished by its size and color. The paper wasp is usually smaller in size with a greyish coat and a round shape. They usually construct distinctive honeycombs located under eaves, overhangs, or even on fences.

The Yellow Jacket

The yellow jacket is a stinging insect with the highest level of aggression. Most people end up getting stung by these insects at least or once or twice in their lives. These insects are usually out and about in the late summer and early fall when the colonies reach their maximum size. Their nests are usually larger, as they can consist of hundreds on top of hundreds of other members. They usually cover their nests with gray and black colored paper-like material. These nests are commonly found in attics, under porches, and in dense bushes. Interestingly enough, some of the species do prefer to nest in the ground. Yellowjackets are yellow and black on the abdomen with stripes. They also have antennae on their head and extremely fast flyers.

It is their ability to tuck their legs against their bodies that make them extremely fast flyers. This gives them more aerodynamic capabilities.

The Bald-Faced Hornet

This is another one with a high level of aggression that appears in the late summer and early fall. This is also when the colony reaches its maximum size and member venture off to start separate colonies. They construct larger nests that reveal a similar appearance to that of a tear-drop. These nests are generally attached to trees, bushes, the side of buildings or some have even been found in tall, undisturbed grass. They are black and white with smooth bodies and extremely large heads for their size. The thorax is also overly large, but it is the abdomen where the stinger is located.

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