Bee safety tips – how you can take the buzz out of stinging insects

According to the National Pest Management Association, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. Stinging insects including yellow jackets, carpenter bees, hornets and wasps call a variety of locations in and around a structure home including trees and bushes, building corners and overhangs, gutters, garbage cans, and under patios and decks.  What can you do to stay safe?  Read on, our bee safety tips can help you & your pets stay safe this summer.

It is also a known fact that certain species of stinging insects, like the honey and bumblebee, are very beneficial to our environment as they pollinate crops and flowers. But how do you know what stinging insect is a friend and which is a foe?

Yes, we know that bees are aren’t the only insect that can sting you, that’s why proper identification of the specie is the first step to determining if they are a threat or not. Stinging insects that pose a threat to humans include the bald-faced hornet, wasps and yellowjackets.

Yellowjackets are the most troublesome stinging insect pest in Michigan and the one Griffin Pest Solutions receives the most calls on. Their top billing on the annoyance chart comes from their close proximity to where people live and play.

Yellowjackets nest in and around homes because they are attracted to many of the foods we enjoy eating outdoors. Depending on the specie present they will build nests in wall voids, attics, crawlspaces and other enclosed cavities while other species will build nests underground.

A yellowjacket nest yellowjacket nest will have a paper Mache-like appearance that is made of wood mixed the insect’s saliva. Their main food source is other insects but they will aggressively forage for foods that are high in sugar content and that are often found on your picnic table or in garbage cans including beer, soda and fruit.

The carpenter bee, another commonly encountered stinging insect, presents a two-headed threat as it will sting if disturbed but also will bore into wood decks and sidings to construct their nests and in the process weaken the structural integrity of the wood.

Griffin Pest Solutions Three Tips for Avoiding Harmful Stinging Insects include:

  • Identify It Correctly – There are many kinds of beneficial flies that closely resemble wasps, and there are many kinds of “solitary” wasps, such as sand wasps, which also look exactly the same as yellow jackets but that pose a much lower risk. Griffin will make a proper identification before recommending a treatment option.
  • Take Away the Source of the Infestation – Removing a stinging insect’s source of food and shelter is the first step toward preventing and eliminating these pests. Cleaning up food and grease spills in outdoor patios and cooking areas (especially around the grill), using tight fitting lids on garbage and recycling containers, and emptying them on a regular basis, and covering food in sealed containers.
  • Use Exclusion Techniques – Seal exterior cracks and crevices to prevent stinging insects from entering your home and building nests. Make sure window, door and ventilation opening screens are not torn or missing.

Griffin Pest Solutions recommends that if you have any doubt on whether or not a stinging insect or any pest is harmful, to please give us a call. We also strongly encourage homeowners not to try to move or destroy a stinging insect nests on their own – this could cause serious harm to you and your family – and leave the task to a trained professional.

If you have questions or concerns about ants in and around your home call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@ for more information and a free estimate.

You can learn more about bee safety tips and prevention by visiting the Centers for Disease Control’s

Bee Safety Tips Serving Kalamazoo & Grand Rapids

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