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Stinging Insects

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Professional Stinging Insect Extermination – What You Should Know!

A stinging insect is a classification in reference to insects that sting. Yellowjacket, wasp, ant, hornet, and bee species belong to this classification. Thousands of Toronto residents report insect stings each year. Most of these are only mild cases, with victims reporting minor allergic reactions – swelling, redness, discomfort, and itching. Unfortunately, some insect bites end with an emergency hospital visit to treat anaphylaxis. The victims in these cases are allergic to bee stings.

The yellowjacket, hornet, bee, ants, and wasp are members of the Hymenoptera order. Many Hymenoptera members are useful insects that play a role in pollination. Pollinators carry pollen from male plants to female plants to fertilize them.

In Toronto, the most commonly reported stinging insect sightings include the bald-faced hornet, carpenter bee, honeybee, and yellowjacket. Contrary to belief, the bald-faced hornet is a yellowjacket, not a hornet.

Physical Characteristics Utilized In Differentiating Between Hornet, Yellowjacket, And Wasp Species

Paper Wasp

The paper wasp exhibits mild aggression when stressed and threatened. The stinging insect generally minds its business unless a predator nears its nest. Paper wasp nests are constructed from a gray honeycomb-shaped nest that is constructed from material similar to paper. Nests are commonly seen hanging to eaves, fence posts, decks, and eaves.

Two paper wasp species – European and Northern paper wasps – are found in North America. Differentiating between the two paper wasp species is is fairly simple. The European paper wasp is oftentimes mistaken for the yellowjacket species, with its black body with yellow stripes. The Northern paper wasp is brown and orange. The abdomen is black with white or yellow stripes.


The yellowjacket is one of the most aggressive stinging insects. The insect’s aggression level is at its highest during the breeding season and when the colony reaches the maximum size. The capacity of the nest is several thousand, with up to 15,000 cells. Like the paper wasp nest, the yellowjacket nest is constructed from thin, gray, paper-like material. They are commonly found hanging under decks, porches, shrubs, and attics. Some yellowjacket species erect their nests underground.

The adult yellow jacket is black with yellow stripes. The yellowjacket is one of the fastest stinging insects.

Bald-Faced Hornet

The bald-faced hornet is an aggressive stinging insect. Its aggression level is at its highest when the colony is at maximum capacity. The nest, shaped like a teardrop, can be found hanging on tree branches, shrubs, tall grass, and eaves. The adult is a mixture of white and black, with a large thorax and head. The stinger protrudes from the abdomen.


The honeybee is one of the easiest going insect species. It only shows aggression when under stress or threatened. The nest, constructed from wax and filled with honey, can be found in hollow trees, crevices in large rock formations, and holes in the side of buildings.

The honeybee colony survives longer than most other stinging insect species. The workers spend late spring, summer, and early fall storing food for the winter season.

The yellow/orange body is covered with fine hair that looks “fuzzy.” The stinger protrudes from the abdomen.

Carpenter Bee

The carpenter bee has a mild nature, only exhibiting aggression when threatened and stressed. The insect bores holes up to 3/8” in rotting wooden structures like tree stumps, decks, fence posts, siding, and porches. The holes are utilized for nesting.

The adult has a glossy black head and abdomen while the thorax is covered with thin yellow fizz. The male is easily identifiable, thanks to a yellow spot on the face. The female has a stinger that is rarely utilized because of her timid nature.

Should I Be Concerned About My Children And Pets During A Stinging Insect Infestation?

Yes, stinging insects exhibit aggression, even when an innocent child or pet nears their nests. The male does not have a singer, only the female, which rarely puts it to use. Only when the young are threatened will the female stinging insect be forced to utilize her stinger.

Many stinging insect species exhibit solitary behavior, meaning they do not live or travel in colonies. Nests hidden underground and deep inside bored holes are difficult to detect. An unsuspecting human or animal could face grave danger while unknowingly approaching the hidden stinging insect nests.

People with allergies face severe health risks following a bee sting. These individuals may begin to experience anaphylaxis symptoms within minutes of a bee sting. This is a life-threatening condition that requires emergency treatment.

Why Is My Toronto Property Under A Stinging Insect Threat?

Some stinging insects are drawn to rotting wood while others are just opportunists looking for a safe place to build their nests.

What Is The Safest Pest Management Strategy To Eradicate Stinging Insects And Their Nests?

We do not recommend DIY insecticides for stinging insects or their nests. Unlike the flea, fly, tick, stinkbug, and ladybug, the stinging insect poses grave danger for humans and pets. Never approach a stinging insect nest without the proper equipment, knowledge, and experience. Over-the-counter insecticides are low-strength formulas that may eradicate a few stinging insects but will have little to no impact on the nest.

If you decide to go the DIY route, it is recommended to wait until dusk to attempt treatment. Our exterminators have decades of combined stinging insect extermination. Contact our local Toronto office to learn more about our exterminators and pest control services.

Should I Be Concerned About Pesticide Exposure When Treating Stinging Insects?

No, our exterminators will not initiate pesticide or insecticide treatment until the property is vacant. We ask our clients to vacate their properties at least 30 minutes before and four hours or longer after each treatment. This effort is to protect our clients and their family and pets from exposure to chemicals found in pest control products.

Is Stinging Insect Pest Management Expensive?

There are several factors that determine the overall cost of professional pest management services. These include the following:

  • Insect species type
  • Property size and type
  • Nest size and capacity
  • Nest location (interior or exterior)
  • Treatment type

When Can I Expect The Exterminator To Arrive At My Toronto Home?

We need at least 24 hours to process your stinging insect inspection request, in most cases. Please submit your service request as soon as possible to eliminate any potential, unnecessary delays.

What Is The Best Way To Prevent A Repeat Stinging Insect Problem?

Some stinging insect species utilize the same nest breeding season after breeding season. For this reason, it is crucial to remove the nest to prevent future problems. Our residential stinging insect control is top-notch but affordable and accessible.

If you have any other pest control issues please check out other services.

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