Several stinging insects in Massachusetts can quickly become harmful pests in the home and garden. Many of these insects belong to the Hymenoptera order, which is venomous.
Besides becoming a problem due to their stinging nature and venom, these insects can cause plenty of property damage. A closer look quickly helps homeowners recognize the differences between these types of stinging insects.
We close off this guideline with pest control options from Safer Nature. Typically, our pest control methods cover organic and conventional strategies, resolving population overgrowth.
Common North American Stinging Insects in Massachusetts
Stinging insects are an interesting mixture of beneficial and harmful characteristics, so viewing them as pests is difficult. However, several flying stinging insects are a threat due to the venom they carry.
Some people may be allergic to this venom and suffer painful inflammation from bites or stings. Others can have severe anaphylaxis caused by stinging insects, which can be fatal. Here, we explore what stinging insects nest in the ground, your home, and your garden.
1. Yellow Jacket Wasp
Massachusetts is home to several yellow jacket species, the worst stinging insects. The species that inhabit this state include the German, eastern, and common yellow jackets. These insects grow from 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch long. They have distinctive yellow and black bands on their bodies.
These stinging insects nest in the ground, tree stumps, and hollow logs. Besides the outdoors, they make nests in areas like attics, barns, eaves, and walls. The nests of these stinging insects can grow to include over 100,000 adult wasps.
Yellow jackets are known for their swarming behavior and respond quickly and aggressively to threats. They can sting their victims repeatedly without dying.
Avoid wearing perfume and bright colors if you know of a nest nearby. Also, do not kill any of them, as this will alert the swarm to a threat, prompting a potentially deadly attack.
These stinging insects are responsible for over half a million emergency room visits yearly. They are especially dangerous for people who are allergic to their venom.
2. Paper Wasps
Paper wasps are familiar sights in Massachusetts, growing between 3/4 to 1.5 inches long. The European and brown northern paper wasps are semi-social and build small nests housing four to 30 adults. They make hanging nests in and around the home and in gardens.
Paper wasps are not aggressive but will sting if provoked. These wasps also don’t lose their stingers and can sting repeatedly. People often mistake the European paper wasp for a yellow jacket. These wasps are more of a nuisance factor than a danger.
3. Cicada Wasps
Cicada killer wasps grow up to two inches and focus on killing and eating cicadas. They build their nests in dry, well-drained soil.
Cicada wasps are not aggressive and are harmless to people. However, if there are too many nests and wasps around, they can become a nuisance.
4. Bald Faced or White-Faced Hornet Wasp
Bald Faced or White-Faced hornets are not true hornets but are relatives of the yellow jacket wasp. This relationship should give you an idea that these black stinging insects with white face markings are similarly aggressive in defending themselves against perceived threats.
These wasps grow to between 0.5 and 5/8 of an inch. They build hanging nests attached to trees and home structures rather than in the ground. They will signal the colony to attack if something or someone disturbs their nests. They can also sting repeatedly and retain their stingers.
5. European Giant Hornet Wasp
Another stinging insect in Massachusetts that looks like a wasp is the European giant hornet. It shares similarities with the Asian giant or murder hornet.
The European giant hornet’s head is darker than the murder hornet’s. It also features a dark band on the abdomen and teardrop patterns like the yellow jacket instead of bands like the murder hornet. This wasp builds its nests in tree hollows or underground. It is not an aggressive stinging insect.
6. Asian Giant or Murder Hornet
The murder hornet, or Asian Giant hornet, is New England’s only true hornet species. These giant stinging insects share similar physical features with the German yellow jacket but grow between 1 and 1.5 inches.
Murder hornets are nocturnal and nest in tree hollows and other empty spaces. Because they are primarily active at night, they have little interaction with people, so attacks are rare. However, this invasive species gets its name from ripping the heads off bees, so it requires pest control to protect bee species.
7. Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees are a problem because they make holes in wooden structures for nesting purposes. They favor burrowing into siding, rafters, eaves, decks, and wooden furniture.
Because of this burrowing characteristic, they weaken wooden house frames, patios, and more. This behavior poses a threat by weakening critical housing frameworks and the value of your property. Although female carpenter bees can sting, they are seldom a threat to people or pets.
8. Honey Bees
Honey bees build massive wax hives on or in walls, on trees, or in cavities in nature or homes. These bees are less than an inch long and are active throughout the year, making honey. The colonies of these small stinging insects number anything from 4,000 to 50,000.
Worker bees protect the hive by stinging intruders with venomous barbs. The barb contains a tiny sac of venom which the bee deposits into the intruder’s body. This sac continues to release venom to take care of the threat. The worker bee loses its life in the process.
9. Bumble Bees
These small stinging insects make their nests in ground cavities, beneath outside structures, or against or on frameworks near the ground. They are seasonal stinging insects lasting only for the summer. The queen continues their species, beginning a new hive the following spring.
Bumble bees aggressively protect their hives. They can sting multiple times without dying. Unfortunately, their numbers are declining, despite their plant-pollinating benefits. Because of this essential pollinating behavior, it is best to protect bees and bumble bees. Relocation is far better than using pesticides to remove them from a specific area.
Control Your Environment With Safer Nature Pest Control
This short list of stinging insects gives you an idea of the types of pests that can threaten your life and property in Massachusetts. Besides mosquitoes, these stinging insects can be harmful or harmless.
Suppose you feel that you or your property are under threat. In that case, Safer Nature has various pest control options to help manage the situation.
Depending on the extent of the problem, we may suggest relocating small stinging insects like bees. If the problem involves yellow jackets, we may recommend organic or traditional pest control methods to solve the problem.
Contact us online or call (978) 325-1325 for a Safer Nature solution that works.