Stinging Insect Identification & Prevention

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Stinging Insects In Tucson, AZ

Tucson is home to many unsavory and dangerous animals. Stinging insects present a common pest problem for homeowners throughout our region. Learning about their habits and preferred nesting sites can help make your property less attractive to these dangerous insects. Use our pest guide to learn helpful information about stinging insects in Tucson.

carpenter bee on a blossoming flower

What are stinging insects?

Stinging insects can either be helpful or dangerous depending on what outdoor space they are calling home.

Outside, away from our yards and homes, stinging insects are helpful by feeding on and controlling populations of nuisance and dangerous insects. They also help with the pollination of plants and essential crops and trees.

However, when these insects decide to nest in our yards or on or in our homes, they can quickly become a significant hazard to people and pets. 

Types of stinging insects regularly becoming an issue in our Tucson yards are described below.

  • Bees: Bees have oval bodies and are brown, black, orange, or yellow in color. Hair covers their body and legs and helps them collect pollen to bring back to the nest. They are significant pollinators of crops, trees, and other plants.

  • Tarantula Hawk: The tarantula hawk is a large species of wasp that grows up to two inches. They have a dark bodies, bright red or orange wings, and long legs ending in hook-like claws. These wasps hunt and feed on tarantulas.

  • Wasps: Wasps have long bodies and narrow waists. Their bodies are hairless because they don't collect pollen. They have aerodynamic bodies, which help them fly quickly to chase down their prey.

  • Africanized (Killer) Bees: Africanized bees, also commonly known as "killer bees," are a highly-aggressive species of bee that came about due to the interbreeding of European and African honey bees. They are fairly large for bees, typically ranging from 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch in length, with golden-brown coloration that closely resembles their European counterparts. They are distinguished by their fiercely territorial nature and extremely painful stings, known to swarm perceived threats that wander into their territory, even accidentally.

Identifying stinging insects can be difficult; the best way to know which species is on your property and safely remove them is to partner with a local pest control expert. 

Are stinging insects dangerous?

There is a danger associated with stinging insects. To defend themselves, their nesting sites, and to hunt, they use their venom-filled stingers extending from their hind ends. Being on the receiving end of a bee or wasp sting is unpleasant and usually quite painful. Those allergic to stinging insect venom can experience a localized or more widespread reaction that can affect a person's ability to breathe and potentially be life-threatening. 

Tarantula hawks are primarily dangerous to their tarantula prey. They aren't aggressive towards people; if you leave them alone, they will likely leave you alone. However, if a sting were to occur, you would probably be in quite a bit of pain. People consider Tarantula hawks one of the worst stinging insects because their stingers are large and administer one of the most painful stings. Not allowing them to become comfortable on your property is always best!

Why do I have a stinging insect problem?

Stinging insects are pests that live, breed, and thrive outdoors. Bees and wasps can make themselves at home, almost anywhere-including our yards. 

Our Arizona yards offer them many places to build safe nesting sites, hunt insects, and collect pollen. In the Tucson area, having a reliable source of water is vital. Our home's leaky hoses and outdoor faucets can provide them with the water they need to survive.

Where will I find stinging insects?

We find stinging insects in a variety of places, each species having preferred nesting sites. Unlike most wasps which are social and nest together in groups, tarantula hawks live alone and burrow under the ground. These stinging insects fly low and like to stay at ground level, so they can easily hunt their tarantula prey. 

Some of the most common places bees and wasps nest in our Tucson yards include under roof eaves and decks, in shrubs and trees, under woodpiles, in garden areas, behind siding and shutters, and around light fixtures. 

If you notice a lot of stinging insect activity on your property on a regular basis, there is likely a nest on your property that needs to be found and safely removed. For stinging insect identification and pest control services in Tucson, contact Conquistador Pest & Termite.

How do I get rid of stinging insects?

Reach out to the professionals at Conquistador Pest & Termite for help removing unwanted, dangerous stinging insects from your property. Established in 1977, we are a trusted pest control company in the Tucson area and have a deep commitment to our customers and to providing high-quality pest control. Please contact us for help with stinging insects that have found their way to your property. We will provide the treatment and regular pest control services necessary to take back your property from stinging insects. For more information about stinging insect control, please reach out today!

How can I prevent stinging insects in the future?

The following tips will help you avoid problems with stinging insects on your Tucson property.

  • Reduce the amount of flowering vegetation that is next to your home's exterior walls, windows, and doors.
  • Cut back tree branches away from your home's roof and exterior walls. 
  • Repair holes in exterior walls, foundation, and gaps around windows and doors; this will help to stop stinging insects from wandering into your home. 
  • When eating outside, keep serving dishes covered and immediately clean up after eating.
  • Keep lids on trash cans and recycling bins to keep trash from attracting hungry stinging insects to your property.
  • Eliminate nesting areas by removing woodpiles, brush piles, and overgrown vegetation, and filling in ground holes.

Regular pest control will help to control stinging insects and the insect prey that is attracting them to your property. For year-round pest control in Tucson, call today!

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