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Having a yard gives you and your family an opportunity to get outside and enjoy fresh Utah air and native plants. The combination of outdoors and fresh air are also ideal for insects and wild life, which may often bring them to your yard and home. Some are okay to have around, as they will not hurt you or your family. Others, such as stinging insects, can cause some pain, especially if you or a family member are allergic.

Are stinging pests cause for concern?

Warm weather tends to bring everyone outside, including stinging insects. Some of these insects can be benign or even helpful. Certain bugs – the dragonfly is a good example – help to control other insect populations. Butterflies and bumblebees are also beneficial insects – they serve as pollinators, which is needed for our planet. However, Other insects aren’t as completely harmless, though. Wasps, hornets, and bees present an all-together different challenge for homeowners. While many of these insects offer similar benefits, they also pose a threat to people – they aggressively defend themselves by stinging other creatures they view as a threats. There are many types of stinging insects, but their stings very in pain and health issues like painful swelling, infections, nausea, and in rare cases even death. Not only do you need to worry about the stinging pests themselves, but also about locating and removing their breeding places.

Types of stinging pests in Utah

Hornets

Hornets overwinter near small crevices in home siding, tree bark, and rotten logs. But, the most likely place to find their nests is on the branches of trees and large outdoor, tree-like shrubs. In late spring, they build paper nests in tree branches and underneath eaves. The insects are often attracted to scraps near outdoor eating areas. Homes with protected nooks on outdoor siding and hard-to-reach soffits provide ideal spots for hornets to make nests. These areas are within range of food sources like flowers, garbage cans, and road trash. When hornets perceive threats near their nests, they become aggressive and can deliver painful stings. Angered hornets can also squirt venom into the eyes of enemies, causing temporary blindness. While their stings typically cause no long-term damage, the pain from stings is intense and people allergic to their venom may have serious medical reactions.

Scorpions

Especially common in Southern Utah, in places such as St. George, scorpions are arthropods they have eight legs, two pedipalps, and a tail with a venom-injecting barb. Scorpions have two venom glands that produce venom used in hunting and self defense. Scorpions do not have bones instead they have an exoskeleton made of chitin, which is similar to the shell of a shrimp. Because scorpions can live in such hash environments they have adapted the ability to slow their metabolism to as little as one-third the rate for most arthropods. This enables some species to use little oxygen and live on a single insect a year. Each scorpion has its’ own unique venom, thus they all have a different toxicities. This is why the Arizona Bark Scorpion is lethal and the Desert Hairy Scorpion isn’t. Even new born scorpions have venom so do not underestimate their size.

Scorpion venom is used in moderation, it takes the scorpion a lot of energy to produce. It is used for subduing prey, in self defense and in some species mating. The venom is comprised of a groups of complex molecules called a neurotoxin, these contain proteins consisting of 60-70 crossed linked amino acids. When injected the neurotoxin attacks the nerve cells of the victim causing paralysis and death. The sting of the Bark Scorpion is can be fatal to young children, the elderly and those who are allergic to the venom.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are often mistaken for bees, although their bodies lack the same amount of hair, rounded abdomen, and the expanded hind leg used for carrying pollen of the bee. These social wasps live in colonies that may contain thousands of insects at a time. Known to be aggressive defenders of their colonies, yellow jackets are otherwise not quick to sting. However, the sting of a yellow jacket is painful, and each insect is capable of delivering multiple stings. Because they are equipped with lance like stingers with small barbs, compared to the larger barbs in honey bees, yellow jackets are capable of stinging repeatedly. Yellow jacket stings may induce severe allergic reactions in some individuals.

If you are noticing an abundance of any stinging pest in your or around your home, let us help you protect your family. If you are experiencing issues, need help controlling, or just need advice, give us a call. We are happy to come check things out for you. We serve families and business around Utah, including Salt Lake City, Murray, Bountiful, Saint George, Cedar City, Washington, Dammeron Valley, Diamond Valley, Parowan, Hurricane, La Verkin, Toquerville, Enoch, Santa Clara, Ivins, and Salt Lake City. Give us a call for a quote today!

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