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Missouri’s Stinging Insects

Being able to identify these pests will help in their extermination. Many people in Missouri each year are sent to the emergency room with allergies to stinging and biting pests. Most stinging insects are more active in the summer and fall when they are out looking for food sources to get them through the winter ahead.


Bald-Faced Hornet

Bald-faced hornets are a large species of stinging insect which we frequently see in MID-MO in the summer and early fall. While they are called “hornets,” these stinging pests are technically members of the wasp family, just like Yellow Jackets and Paper Wasps. Similarly, to other wasps, bald-faced hornets have long, thin bodies that are black, as well as their own unique, off-white pattern covering most of their faces (that’s what gives bald-faced hornets their name!) Whatever you do, do not disturb a bald-faced hornet’s nest! Bald-faced hornets are very protective of their hives. Animals or humans can be attacked by a large number of aggressive wasps. Unlike some other stinging insects which can only sting once, bald-faced hornets can sting multiple times because their stingers are not barbed. Due to the risk of painful hornet stings and allergic reactions, it’s important to let a pest control professional get rid of your Bald-Faced Hornet nest.   Call Sho-Me Pest for professional exterminating hornets.


Bumble Bee

These large, black, and yellow, furry insects can often be seen bouncing around the yard collecting pollen and nectar.  Like most other stinging wasps and bees, bumblebees sting to defend themselves and their nest. Bumblebees, unlike honey bees, can sting multiple times, but they are much less likely to sting than hornets, yellow jackets or honeybees. The bumblebee workers and queens are the only members of the nest that will sting.  In people, the most frequent reaction to a sting is short lived, but painful.  Contact your pest control expert for advice and assistance to help control bumblebees and other stinging insects on your property.


Cicada Killer

The eastern cicada-killer wasp may be the scariest-looking wasp in Missouri. But it is not aggressive to people and is virtually harmless, unless handled roughly or bothered.  It is an exceptionally large species, with rusty clear wings and the black and yellow markings common of wasps.  Female cicada killer wasps have large stingers, and their sting can be very painful, but they rarely sting humans. Unlike other stinging insects, these wasps don't even have nest-protecting instincts.


Honey Bee

The common domesticated honey bee, unlike the feared “killer bee”, are a non-aggressive bee commonly found around mid-Missouri. These black and yellow bees will only sting when threatened and lose their barbed stingers and die when they sting. They are beneficial in the pollination of flowers and the production of honey and are one of the few insects that are able to remain active during the winter. While most adult insects die during the winter, honey bees can metabolize their honey to prevent freezing to death!


Paper Wasp

The easiest way to identify paper wasps is probably by their nests, which look like round, upside-down paper combs. The nests are attached to a horizontal surface by a single stalk and can grow as the colony reproduces.  Paper Wasp nests can often be found along eaves, window frames, porch ceilings, rafters, etc.  The Paper Wasp is a slender, narrow-bodied insect with long legs. They are reddish orange to dark-brown or black in color and have yellow markings on their abdomen. Paper wasps will sting when they feel threatened and, in some people, may cause an allergic reaction.  Contact a pest control professional to help control wasps.  Sho-Me Pest will be glad to assist with wasp control at your property.


Red Paper Wasp

Red paper wasps tend to be more aggressive than other species of paper wasps, and the females of the species are the ones that sting. These wasps live in colonies, and there can be hundreds of individuals living in a single nest at one time. The wasps build their nests by breaking down plant and wood fibers to form a papery substance. That substance is shaped and, when dry, forms a honeycomb-celled structure the wasps then inhabit. They also can live in hollow portions of trees or beneath eaves and under the siding or soffits of your home.  Don’t try to knock down a nest by yourself, call a pest control management expert to rid your home of unwanted pests.  Sho-Me Pest’s team of professional pest control experts will help you get rid of any pest problem that you have at your residential or commercial property.


Yellow Jacket

Yellow jackets are an aggressive species of stinging insect that are found throughout Missouri. Great care should be taken around nesting areas and they should not be disturbed. Yellow jackets are a beneficial species that are responsible for pollination and for helping to keep down nuisance insect populations.  They commonly build their nests in the ground but, if given the chance, they may place a nest inside of a building behind walls or in attics spaces.  Yellow jackets are a common problem at large outdoor events where there is a lot of food and open beverage containers or trash dumpsters.  Call a qualified exterminator if you are having issues with yellow jackets.


Mud Dauber

Mud daubers are a type of solitary stinging insect that are found living throughout Missouri. They get their name because of the unique nests they create out of mud.  Nests are constructed out of mud and can be found under eaves, porch ceilings, inside garages, sheds, barns, etc. They are generally seen as nuisance pests and are not a particularly aggressive species of stinging insect.  

Sho-Me Pest Control services St. Robert, Waynesville, Lebanon, Rolla, St. James, Dixon, Richland, Newburg, Crocker, Stoutland, Laquey, Plato, Houston, Licking, Salem, Ft. Leonard Wood, Falcon, Roby and all surrounding areas.  Call Sho-Me Pest for Residential or Commercial Pest Control.