In 2020 the buzz around stinging insects has centered on the Asian giant hornet. This invasive pest has garnered significant media attention and poses a threat to native pollinator species on which farmers rely on for crop pollination.
The Asian giant hornet, however, is not a major threat to employees and visitors in and around most commercial facilities including restaurants, office buildings, warehouses, manufacturing facilities and retail outlets.
While some stinging insects are beneficial to our environment, others pose a threat. According to the National Pest Management Association, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year due to allergic reactions.
The most encountered stinging insects in and around commercial facilities include yellow jackets, paper wasps, honeybees, carpenter bees, and bald-faced hornets.
Stinging insects will establish nests in a variety of locations in and around commercial properties including:
- Trees and bushes
- Building corners, eaves and overhangs
- Inside attics and beams and supports in warehouses, barns or open-air facilities
- Gutters and poles
- Garbage and recycling dumpsters
- Inside exterior wall voids
- Around loading docks
- In the hollows of playground equipment at schools, daycare facilities and parks
- Outdoor dining areas including under patio furniture
The stinging insect experts from Sprague Pest Solutions offer the following tips for keeping these unwanted visitors in check:
- Correct Identification
There are species of flies that closely resemble wasps, and there are numerous types of "solitary" wasps, such as sand wasps, which look like yellow jackets but pose a much lower risk. Making a proper identification before having your pest services provider design and implement a management program is essential.
- Remove the Root Cause
Identifying and removing the root cause of the infestation is the only way to truly arrive at an effective long-term solution. Removing a stinging insect’s source of food, water and shelter will prevent them from becoming an ongoing problem. It is also important to maintain good sanitation protocols including cleaning up food and grease spills in outdoor dining and cooking areas; using tight fitting lids on garbage and recycling containers, and emptying them on a regular basis; and covering food waiting to be prepared in sealed containers.
- Deny Access
Work with your pest services provider and maintenance staff to seal exterior cracks and crevices to deny stinging insects’ access to your facility. Eliminate moisture sources, and make sure window, door and ventilation screens do not have openings in them and keep entry and loading dock doors closed when not in use.
For more information on how Sprague Pest Solutions can design an effective stinging insect management program for your facility, call 855.805.0755.