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Fall Foes: Watch out for These Stinging Insects

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Posted: Friday, August 22, 2014 5:49 am | Updated: 1:31 am, Sat Aug 23, 2014.

(NewsUSA) - Many stinging insects become more aggressive in late summer and fall. Their hives are near maximum capacity, and they are scavenging for food to sustain the colony into the colder months. Being able to recognize different types of stinging pests can help determine whether there is an actual threat.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) advises to always use caution around stinging insects, especially if you suffer from insect allergies. Here are some stinging insects that you should look out for this fall:

Africanized Bees

Africanized "killer" bees are indistinguishable from honeybees to an untrained eye. The only physical difference is in the length of their bodies. Africanized bees are much more aggressive than normal bees, will chase a target up to a quarter mile from their hive and are known to wait should a target go under water.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are also known as "umbrella wasps." They live in small colonies and are not aggressive by nature. However, they will sting if their nest is threatened. These nests are usually up high and can be attached to tree branches, porch ceilings or attic rafters.

Bald-Faced Hornets

These hornets are larger than other stinging insects. They get their common name from their coloring, which is mostly black with a white face. Hornets are typically very aggressive. Anyone or anything that invades their space will elicit a defensive response. They have smooth stingers and can sting multiple times.

Yellowjackets

There are several species of yellowjackets, and they are distinguished from other stinging insects by their black head and distinctly black and yellow patterned abdomen. They are most active in late summer, when their colonies are at their peak. They are territorial and will sting people who come near their nests.

Stinging insects and nest or hive removals should only be handled by pest professionals. Some species have nests containing thousands of individuals that could swarm and sting and could create a dangerous situation. Proper identification is also important as some species are pollinators and are beneficial to the environment. Qualified pest professionals or apiarists can safely relocate pollinator colonies from the property without destroying the hive.

For more on stinging insects or to find a pest professional in your area, visit PestWorld.org. For more information on pollinators, visit PollinatorHealth.org.

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