Stinging Insects

What are stinging insects?

Stinging insects are pests with thin bodies, transparent wings, and stingers capable of injecting venom into both prey and predators. Bees, wasps, mud daubers, and cicada killers are a few of the common stinging insects here in eastern Texas. These irritating pests belong to the order Hymenoptera, which consists of bees, wasps, ants, and sawflies. There are many stinging insects prefer to live in large colonies, such as honey bees and certain wasp species. Mud daubers and cicada killers, however, prefer to live alone.

a mud dauber wasp landing on a flower in a garden in cypress texas

Are stinging insects dangerous?

Solitary stinging insects are capable of inflicting painful stings; however, most stinging insects rarely become aggressive unless you threaten them or wander too close to their nests. A single wasp sting, while painful, is usually no more dangerous than receiving a pinprick. If a stinging insect colony decides to nest on your property, the danger increases. Social wasp colonies may have several-hundred individual insects capable of defending their nests, which means you could get stung over a hundred times if you disturb them. Individuals with allergies to stinging insect venom are particularly at risk and should always seek medical attention right away if stung.

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Stinging insects are drawn to properties with plenty of food and water sources close by. Cicada killers invade while looking for cicadas, wasps are attracted to foods with high protein and sugar content, and many honey bees love properties with bright, nectar-filled flowers. No matter why they invade, finding nests on your property can be dangerous.

Where will I find stinging insects?

Depending on the species of stinging insects invading your property, you can find these pests in many areas. They usually build their nests outside, but indoor nests do occur. Indoor nests are usually places in attics, wall voids, garages, and barns. Cicada killers are a solitary species. Females burrow into the ground and dig tunnels in the soil to lay their eggs, usually in gardens and yards, in the soil around trees, and at the edge of wooded areas. Cicada killers are not known to nest inside. Honey bees nest in tree cavities or rock crevices. Mud daubers place their nests under decks, porch ceilings, and roof eaves. Wasps build their nests in bushes and shrubs, in door frames, on tree branches, under decks, and under eaves. The last thing you want to do is drive over a stinging insect nest with your lawnmower, which is why early identification and removal is vital.

When are stinging insects most active?

Cicada killers, honey bees, mud daubers, and wasps all are mostly active during the day, foraging for food to feed their colonies. Their most active period is typically between dusk and dawn. Mud daubers, honey bees, and wasps become active in the late winter and remain active through late summer and early fall. Summer is when you are most likely to see large numbers of stinging insects flying around because it is the time of year their colonies are at their largest and require the most food to sustain its members. Cicada killers are most active during the early months of summer when they are mating; newly hatched adults emerge from the ground in the early spring.

Interesting facts about stinging insects

To help you better understand the most common species of stinging insects in our Spring, Texas area, here are four interesting facts about stinging insects.

1. Cicada killers only produce one generation per year. The male dies off after mating, and females die after laying their eggs and providing food for the larvae. Cicada killer larvae don’t just feed on cicada bugs; they feed on other insects as well. Adults also feed on flower nectar and tree sap.

2. Honey bees are the only insects to make honey and a single honey bee produces about 1 tablespoon of honey each year. In one year, a honey bee colony eats between 120-200 pounds of honey. Honey bee colonies are made up of a queen, workers, and drones; the worker bees are all female and the drones are all male. The drone's only job is to mate with the queen.

3. Mud daubers are known to hunt the dangerous black widow spider to feed their young. Mud daubers are so named because of the mud-like material they construct their nests with.

4. When wasps are fearful or sense danger, they emit a pheromone that attracts other wasps to attack. This is why it is common for people and animals to be attacked by a group of wasps. Wasps are excellent predators and feed on most of the insects that cause damage to crops, making them invaluable to us.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

It is never a good idea to try and remove or eliminate stinging insects without a pest control professional by your side. Many stinging insects become aggressive when their nests are tampered with, which could result in several painful stings if you aren’t careful. The safest way to get rid of stinging insect pests is with a little help from Kingston Pest Control. Our pest technicians have several years of pest control experience under their belts and are committed to keeping your property pest-free all year long.

Avoid the stress of stinging insects invading your residential or commercial property when you partner with Kingston Pest Control. We offer several stinging insect treatments and removal services. No matter how big or small the problem, Kingston Pest Control has a solution. To schedule your free inspection, contact Kingston Pest Control today!

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

Stinging insects are difficult to prevent, but you can still remove a few factors that could attract them to your eastern Texas property:

  • Never leave chip bags, sauce bottles, or soda cans out after outdoor events or gatherings.

  • Keep plates of food covered while hosting outdoor parties to avoid attracting stinging insects.

  • Store pet food in a sealed container and avoid leaving uneaten pet food out in between feedings.

  • Remove sources of standing water, which could attract wasps and other insects.

  • Keep your trash cans sealed and stored away from the exterior walls of your home or business to keep stinging insects away.


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