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Stinging Insects

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Understanding Common Stinging Insects

Exterminators have created a category of pests referred to as stinging insects. A handful of annoying pests fit into this category. For instance, some of the most common stinging insects include bees, hornets, wasps, and yellowjackets. The majority of stinging insects are part of the Hymenoptera order. Most homeowners will be eager to eliminate these pests as quickly as possible, but they’re helpful to the environment because they pollinate plants. If they’re not destroying your property or stinging your loved ones, it is best to leave them alone.

Although some stinging insects are dangerous, some aren’t. You need to find out how aggressive they are before exterminating them. In San Francisco, some of the most common stinging insects are yellowjackets, honeybees, and carpenter bees. Below, you’ll learn more about stinging insects and eliminating them.

Which Stinging Insect Is On My Property?

How can you know which stinging insect has entered your property? Unless you’re a pest control professional, you’ll likely need to hire a professional. Alternatively, you can judge the pest based on its appearance and its nest.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps aren’t too aggressive, but they will sting you. In general, they won’t attack you unless you get too close to their nest. Never reach toward a paper wasp nests because you may get stung.


Paper wasp nests are round and gray. They’re smaller than some of the nests created by other stinging insects. Paper wasp nests have an intricate honeycomb pattern that makes them easy to identify. Paper wasps often build their nests under overhangs and eaves. They can also be built on fences.

What Paper Wasps Look Like

The appearance of the Paper Wasp depends on the species. San Francisco is home to several species, but European Paper Wasps and Northern Paper Wasps are the two most common. Northern Paper Wasps are brown with some deep orange spots, and their abdomens are covered with white and yellow stripes. European paper wasps have orange antennas and black and yellow stripes.


Yellowjackets are more aggressive than some of the other stinging insects you’ll find in San Francisco. In addition to this, they become more aggressive in late summer and early fall because the colony gets much bigger around this time. Since yellowjackets are one of the most aggressive stinging insects, staying away from them is vital


Although some yellowjacket species can build underground nests, most species build nests above ground. When they do, they’ll wrap their nests with a black of gray material that resembles paper. The nest may house thousands of stinging insects. You’ll find their nests in attics, dense bushes, and under porches. Don’t approach their nest because you could get stung multiple times. Since they can sting multiple times, this stinging insect is likely one of the most dangerous in San Francisco.

What Yellowjackets Look Like

Yellowjackets look like other stinging insects, but they have yellow and black stripes. Their antennas are black as well. When flying, this stinging insect will tuck its legs again its body.

Bald-Faced Hornets

Bald-faced hornets pose a major risk to humans because they sting often. These hornets become angrier and more aggressive when the nest gets bigger. In general, this happens in late summer and early fall.


Bald-faced hornets build large nests that will house thousands of stinging insects. Many people agree that their nests resemble teardrops that have been inverted. Although they can build them elsewhere, bald-faced hornets prefer building nests around trees and bushes. They can also place them on building sides.

What Bald-Faced Hornets Look Like

Bald-faced hornets have smooth bodies that are white and black. Their primary body parts are larger. Plus, they’re scary because they have a visible stinger.


If you have to experience a stinging insect infestation, you’d want it to be honeybees because they’re not overly aggressive. You can usually approach a honeybee nest without getting attack or stung. People bred honeybees to collect their honey. These honeybees are tame, so they won’t sting.


Honeybee nests are very intricate and complex. They’re made of wax with honeycomb-shaped pits. Although they prefer building nests in rock faces and hollow trees, they can build them in wall cavities too. Most stinging insects only use the nest for one year, but honeybees can use the same nest for two or three years consecutively.

What Honeybees Look Like

Honeybees are fuzzy. They have fuzz on their bodies, heads, and backs. They have an orange or yellow hue.

Carpenter Bees

Although carpenter bees can create certain problems, they’re not aggressive. They’re one of the least aggressive stinging insects in San Francisco.


Carpenter bees do not build conventional stinging insect nests. You may encounter a carpenter bee nest without realizing it. Their nests are small holes that have been bored into a wooden object. They can build 3/8” holes in wood decks, siding, and fascia with most nests being built in Spring. They do not eat wood, but they will destroy the wood object.

What Carpenter Bees Look Like

Carpenter bees are often mistaken for bumblebees due to their appearances being similar. However, most carpenter bee species have a few differences. The species commonly found in San Francisco had a fuzzy thorax, but the rest of its body is hairless. They’re black and yellow. Male members of this species have a small yellow spot on their facial region.

Health Risks Associated With Stinging Insects

Stinging insects sting so many people believe that all of them are dangerous, but this isn’t the case. When it comes down to it, some stinging insects are harmless. Still, some are aggressive and dangerous. With that being said, San Francisco residents need to learn more about the stinging insect species on their property before acting. Although male stinging insects cannot sting, females do and there are always female stinging insects near a nest. As the insect’s colony grows, it will get more aggressive, so you should stay away from large stinging insect nests.

Learn about the species before trying to eliminate it. Either way, it is generally not a good idea to tackle the issue alone. Unless you’re allergic to bee stings, more stings are not too dangerous.

What Causes Stinging Insect Infestations?

Although stinging insects may approach your home for other reasons, they’re generally there to build nests. They’ve found that your property has suitable nesting conditions. They’ve tried building nests in your wood siding or fascia.

Methods For Removing Stinging Insects

Once you’ve found a stinging insect on your property, fixing the problem rapidly is key. Stinging insects build nests rapidly and you want to prevent them from doing so. With that being said, you should stop what you’re doing and call a professional exterminator. We’re here to help and we’ll fix the problem quicker than anyone. Although you could solve this problem without professional assistance, doing so is not safe or easy. When you spray the nest, the wasps are going to get angry and they’ll try to sting you. Depending on the species, you might get stung multiple times. You can wait until it gets dark, but this may not stop them.

How Safe Are Your Stinging Insect Solutions?

We would never use dangerous chemicals to eliminate the stinging insects on your property. Instead, our company is going to use safe, reliable solutions to fix the problem quickly. Our exterminators know how to keep you safe during the procedure. We use EPA-registered products to keep our clients safe while also protecting their loved ones and pets. These products have been tested rigorously so we know they’re safe around people, plants, and pets.

The Price For Our Stinging Insect Exterminations

How much can you expect to pay for our stinging insect removal services? Ultimately, the price will depend on several factors, including the size of your property and the size of the nest. We’ll also consider the location of the nest and the type of stinging insect we need to eliminate.

When Can I Expect You?

We know that you’re ready to go and want to get rid of these pests rapidly. We’re here to help. Schedule an appointment with us today and we’ll contact you back in 24 to 48 hours.

Stopping Stinging Insects From Invading Your Property

It is often best to prevent stinging insects from entering your property. If you can do this, you will save money and avoid a headache. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to stop all stinging insects. Instead, you’ll want to sign up for our home service program. With this program, you’ll pay a low fee each year and we’ll visit your home three times annually. If we find pests during the visit, we’ll treat your property and you’ll pay for nothing. The annual fee will cover our services.

If you have any other pest control issues please check out other services.

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