How Dangerous Are Wasps And Hornets? | Critter Control Tampa

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Wasps swarming around a hive

Florida’s warm weather attracts tourists year-round, but they’re not the only ones attracted to the warmth. Buzzing insects like wasps and hornets live for the warm climate and will invade backyards across the sunshine state. These yellow and black striped insects pollinate like their bee counterparts but pose a serious threat to the health of Floridians. Unlike bees, wasps and hornets can repeatedly sting. Their sting is painful and can cause serious allergic reactions. 

If you notice wasps or hornets buzzing around, Critter Control of Tampa has you covered. Our service pros have the experience to identify and treat your home for these pests. When you want to take your backyard back from these stingers, give us a call!

How Common are Wasps and Hornets?

Wasps are highly common across the United States, while hornets are more common in Asia and Europe. Even though all hornets are wasps, not all wasps are hornets. Regardless, you don’t want them around your home. 

Across Florida, several species of wasps and hornets nest for the majority of the year. Since parts of Florida rarely see low temperatures, many wasps and hornets can live until December. Once temperatures drop low enough, the colony, with the exception of a fertilized queen, will die. Come warm weather, the queen will produce offspring and start a whole new colony. 

How Many Species of Wasps Are There?

There are nearly 30,000 species of wasps around the world, with about 17,000 of them being found in North America. Common wasps found in Florida include:

  • Yellow jackets
  • Mud daubers
  • Bald-faced hornet
  • Paper wasps.

Wasps are categorized into two groups: social and solitary. Social wasps build colonies and account for nearly 1,000 wasp species. Solitary wasps make up the rest of the wasp species and do not form colonies. A solitary wasp will use their stinger for hunting, while a social wasp uses it for defense. 

How Many Species of Hornets Are There? 

Compared to wasps, there are significantly fewer hornet species, with only 20 species worldwide. Most of the species are native to the tropical areas of Asia, but species can be found across Europe, Africa, and North America. Currently, the European hornet is the only hornet species in Florida and across the U.S.

Can You Be Allergic to Wasp and Hornet Stings?

It is possible to be allergic to wasp and hornet stings. Like most insect bites, the sting site will be red and itchy, accompanied by swelling and tenderness. While unpleasant, stings are usually not life-threatening unless you have an allergy. If you experience the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately: 

  • Hives
  • Swelling of the throat and tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fall in blood pressure
  • Shock
  • Loss of consciousness

How do You Treat a Wasp or Hornet Sting?

After you are stung by a wasp or hornet, the best thing to do is try to remove the stinger if it’s stuck in your skin. Use a thin blunt object, like the back of a knife or a credit card, to push it out. You can also use a pair of tweezers to pull the stinger out, but you risk being exposed to more venom if you do so. After you remove the stinger, wash off the area with soap and water and use an ice pack to prevent swelling. 

How do You Prevent a Wasp or Hornet Sting?

Wasps and hornets can quickly ruin your backyard fun. Before you host your next barbecue, here are some quick tips to prevent a stinging attack:

  • Wear clean, light-colored clothes
  • Avoid strongly scented body care products
  • Keep food covered and throw away food scraps
  • Avoid flowering plants in possible

What do Wasps and Hornets Eat?

The varying types of wasps have varied hunting habits. If a wasp feels threatened, it will sting its attacker to death, but feed it to its offspring. Adult wasps will primarily feed off nectar, fruit, spiders, and other small insects. Hornets, on the other hand, are much more aggressive hunters. They will feast on bees, flies, grasshoppers, crickets, and leaves. 

Can You Remove a Wasp or Hornet Nest

Removing a wasp or hornet nest on your own can be very dangerous, for safety, it is always best to call in the professionals to remove a nest. If you are set on removing the nest yourself, take precautionary measures, and wear fully protective clothing along with gloves. 

Each species of wasp and hornet build its nests in different areas. For example, yellow jackets like to burrow underground or build their nests in hollow logs, whereas paper wasps build their nests high up in trees. Depending on the location of the nest, depends on the best course of action:

  • Boiling water: the hot water will instantly kill the insects and destroy their nest. It works best for nests on or close to the nest. But could take several pots.
  • Soap and water: add dish soap to the boiling water, the soap will make it harder for insects to flee resulting in few stings. But could also take several pots
  • Pesticide: pesticide sprays are best for nests that are out of reach and are more effective than other DIY solutions. Follow the manufacturer’s directions and be mindful of pets.

If you use these methods without luck, contact Critter Control of Tampa. Our service technicians have the training and experience to exterminate the stinging insects plaguing your home.

For Wasp and Hornet Pest Control, Call Critter Control of Tampa!

No matter the wasp or hornet buzzing around your home, they can be taken out by Critter Control of Tampa. No nest is too small or too big, and our service technicians have the ability to properly identify the stinging insect and execute a plan to remove the nest. For wasp and hornet control, call Critter Control of Tampa or request a free estimate today!

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