Every creature on the planet has a role to play in the survival of their ecosystem. This even goes for pests we hate having around – especially those with an annoying bite or painful sting. Insects like bees, wasps, and even mosquitoes do a lot for the environment, whether they’re pollinating, scavenging, or acting as food for other animals.
During the warmer months in states like Illinois and Wisconsin, you’re more likely to come across stinging insects. While they’re not normally aggressive, this doesn’t mean you won’t be stung. Before you go buy the largest can of insecticide you can find, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with and the potential environmental impact your decisions could have.
Common Types of Biting and Stinging Insects in Illinois and Wisconsin
Most people know that bees are important pollinators for plants and flowers, but did you know they play a vital role in one third of all food production in the world? Saving the bees is important, but there’s a difference between a few bees buzzing in your garden and a full-fledged colony on your doorstep. The two types you’re likely to find are bumblebees and carpenter bees.
Bumblebees are large, slow fliers with fuzzy yellow bodies. They tend to stick close to flowers and their nests, which can be found in protected areas like under old sheds, underneath patio blocks, or under dense shrubbery. They are extremely docile and will not attack unless threatened.
Carpenter bees are typically mistaken for bumblebees, but they’re slightly larger with shiny black abdomens and heads. Instead of building nests, carpenter bees like to burrow into untreated and unpainted wood, which is where they get their name. Unfortunately, this burrowing can bring them into close contact with you and your family, but again these bees are only dangerous when provoked.
Bees and wasps can sometimes be confused for each other, but there are some major differences between the two. Only a small number of wasps act as pollinators; the majority are scavengers and predators of agricultural pests like beetles, grubs, and aphids. Some farmers even introduce wild wasps into their fields as a natural form of pest control!
However, because of their predatory instincts, wasps tend to be more aggressive than their bee brethren. Hornets, yellowjackets and paper wasps are three common pests in Illinois and Wisconsin, and will aggressively defend their nests if they feel threatened. Their nesting habits are slightly different from each other:
- Hornets can form large nests the size of a softball
- Paper wasps typically form a visible nest that looks like an upside-down umbrella, typically under eaves and awnings
- Yellowjacket nests are hidden, and can be found both in the ground and high above where the siding meets the eaves
Mud dauber wasps, on the other hand, are more docile. True to their name, they make nests out of mud. These mud nests often look like organ pipes and contain rations of captured spiders for their young. Unlike bees, which can only sting once, wasps have reinforced stingers containing venom that allow them to inflict multiple, painful stings that can cause severe allergic reactions – and in some cases anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.
Mosquitoes may be the smallest of the biting insects you’ll encounter in the upper Midwest, but their ability to transmit ailments and diseases such as West Nile virus makes them the most dangerous for you and your family. Tropical mosquitoes can carry diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and Zika. Though that may not apply to people in Illinois and Wisconsin, these pests are still a sure-fire way to ruin your time outdoors.
Mosquitoes typically rest during the hottest parts of the day and feed at dawn or dusk. They enjoy heavily shaded, moist places, and gravitate towards low-lying areas without much wind. A female mosquito can lay up to 300 eggs in as little as a teaspoon of standing water, and in just two days the eggs can hatch and release more into the wild.
Compared to bees and wasps, mosquitoes don’t seem all that important to an ecosystem, but they act as food for many different types of creatures. Birds, bats, and spiders feed on adult mosquitoes, while aquatic animals like fish, frogs, tadpoles, and turtles enjoy snacking on their larvae.
What You Can Do
In most cases, it’s best to avoid bees and wasps entirely, as they are normally not a danger to humans. However, when their nests are in close proximity to us, they are more likely to perceive a threat and defend their nest at all costs. Additionally, in the late summer months some bees and wasps become more aggressive in seeking out food like sugar and fruit, which can bring them into contact with you and your family. If you decide to use pesticide or chemical sprays, keep in mind they can be extremely poisonous and should never be used indoors or near other people.
The Anderson Solution
Although most insects are environmentally beneficial, it can be difficult to coexist peacefully when they invade your personal space. Bees, wasps, and mosquitoes can be dangerous to people and often destructive to homes and other structures.
Anderson will safely and carefully eliminate bees or wasps and their nests from your home or property. Exposed nests may be removed on the day of service depending on the activity and size of nest. In other cases, we’ll come back on a day when it is safer to remove the nests. In addition, we will create a full report describing the treatment and how you can protect your home from further infestation.
What happens if bee or wasp nests form again? Don’t worry. Our pestfree365 program, which covers 36 common Illinois and Wisconsin pests, will ensure your home and property are protected throughout the entire year.
For a free estimate or to schedule stinging pest removal service, contact us today!