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Stinging Insects


Quick Stats:

Color: Brownish with yellow markings; a few species with reddish markings
Shape: Wasp-like, with long legs
Size: 5/8 – 3/4 inches
Region: Found throughout U.S.
(information obtained from


Stinging insects are semi-social and live in small colonies. They eat nectar and other insects including caterpillars and flies. In the autumn, inseminated females will seek places to spend the winter, and may find their way indoors, especially if there is a cathedral ceiling present.


Stinging insects hang their comb nests from twigs and branches of trees and shrubs, porch ceilings, the tops of window and doorframes, soffits, eaves, attic rafters, deck floor joists and railings, etc.


While not an aggressive species by nature, stinging insects will sting if they are disturbed or their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause the same risk of allergic reaction as other insect stings.

Stinging Insect Prevention

Stinging insects often build nests in residential yards. Before trimming shrubs or hedges, or picking fruit, check the plant for stinging insect nests. Treat wood fences and deck railings with a repellent oil to deter stinging insects from gathering cellulose from the wood.

Do not attempt to remove a nest on your own, as there is a high probability you will get stung.


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