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Do Pest Control Strategies Change When Treating Different Stinging Pests?

Since I work with insects and arachnids all day, I get excited to share my knowledge and experiences with my kids. I should be used to it by now, but it still surprises me when they show little interest in how that particular crawler develops or what that flying harpoon is hunting for. They just want to classify everything as naughty or nice. Thanks, Santa. Regardless, most of us care most about whether it will cause us pain. So when we set out to make the yard feel safe, do pest control strategies change when treating different stinging pests?

image of a bee


The first and most important clarification for the stinging types of yard invaders is if they are pollinators. Honey bees are top on the list for most important and should not be dealt with through insecticidal means. A few honey bees flying around are a wonderful thing and are not going to bother anyone unless they are forced into a defensive mode. If they are swarming as they sometimes do, it is best to reach out to a beekeeper who can trap them and take them where they can do their thing without bothering you.

Bumblebees are another docile flyer that can sting but are highly unlikely to.

image of a bee


The next distinction is the question of flying versus crawling. When we think of stinging pests, we automatically think of wasps, but there are other pests such as ants or scorpions that can sting but do not fly. Crawling insects can be treated with

  • barrier sprayimage of scorpions
  • targeted spray
  • soil drench
  • granulation
  • bait
  • dust

depending on the specific pest in question.


image of beehiveFor those stinging pests that fly, there are several options available to treat them including:

  • contact kill spray
  • residual spray
  • dust
  • nest removal
  • trapping
  • bait

Strategies to Consider

    • Species – If they are aggressive, you will probably want some kind of protection to approach the nesting site or tool to be able to treat from afar. If they are gathered together in a big group, a quick knockdown spray can be helpful. If they are strung out in ones and twos, it might be best to use a residual product to keep working on them while you go do something fun and safe.
    • Location – If it is in a void or in the ground, a dust will likely yield better coverage. If it is exposed, it might be easier to spray them directly. If the nest cannot be located, it might be best to trap them or use a residual spray where they are landing.

image of beehive

  • Surroundings – It is always good to consider the surroundings. Will you possibly send overspray onto flowers, non-target insects, or possibly your neighbor gardening a few feet away? If so, select a method that allows for a more controlled application. Is the nest hovering above your large window that you just paid to have cleaned? If so, it is best to use a dust instead of a spray that won’t spot the windows. In some cases, it may be possible to just have the nest removed without applying anything.
  • Professional Approach – While everybody loves a good battle against nature, why risk the pain? Even if your mantra is, “bring on the pain train,” it is a good idea to get identification help from someone who is trained in that area. The stinging insect pros at Rove Pest Control are ready and willing to help with everything from identification and strategy advice to taking the whole project off of your hands.