Naperville’s Stinging Insects

Stinging Insects in Naperville, IL

Naperville, with its heavy rain in the spring and hot, humid weather in the summer, and its residential streets lined with old, beautiful trees, is an ideal breeding ground for stinging insects. Not all the stinging pests that hover around our homes are exactly alike and it can be useful to tell them apart. Off all the stinging insects we are likely to face, bees, carpenter bees in particular, are the most benign. Carpenter bees pose little to physical threat to humans. The males have no stinger at all and the females are only known to sting when extremely threatened or confined. For example, if you try to manually remove a carpenter bee by cupping her in your hands, you may experience a sting. What makes the carpenter bee a pest is the property damage they can cause. Carpenter bees earned their name because they chew holes in wooden structures. They chew these holes for the purpose of laying eggs. After the eggs are laid, they they put food and pollen in the hole and reseal it using saliva and chewed wood pulp. They serve an important role as pollinators and killing them should be the last option when tackling a carpenter bee problem. They prefer wood that is untreated, therefore, if you don’t want them making a home in your deck, patio or fence, simply paint the wood with some sort of laminate or finishing. This is usually a safe way to guard against a bee infestation.

Other stinging pests are much more harmful. Yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps are all highly social creatures that live in well constructed colonies. Each of these insects have the ability to sting multiple times and will aggressively protect their nests and each other whenever they are threatened. Because they are so attracted to meats and sugary foods, they are often seen hovering around garbage cans and will bother us while we eat outdoors. Hornets like to build their nests in aerial locations; tree branches, gutters and porches are some of their favorite spots. Meanwhile, yellow jackets will build their nests closer to the ground; the base of a tree, a sidewalk crack, and railroad ties are some of their hot spots. Between the hornets and wasps in the air and the yellow jackets in the ground, it can feel like you’re surrounded by harmful pests. If one of these insects lands on your skin, do not panic. Try gently blowing it away instead of swatting it with your hand. These are aggressive creatures and you do not want to threaten them. If you are stung, the sting will usually remain relatively localized, resulting in some swelling, redness and pain. For some people, a sting might cause anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reactions that can include wheezing, dizziness, shortness of breath or a drop in blood pressure. Anaphylaxis symptoms can be deadly and those who know they are prone to anaphylaxis from insect stings should carry an EpiPen with them everywhere. If your pest problem every gets too dangerous or troublesome to handle on your own, you can always call your local pest control expert. We will help you love summer again.