About Stinging Insects
Bees, wasps and hornets are an important component to the West Texas environment. Unlike other pests such as mosquitoes and bed bugs, these flying insects sting only when their home is threatened or they feel provoked.
Bees have a diverse number of species in the Lubbock area and include:
- Bumble bees
- Carpenter bees
- Mason bees and more
Bees tend to be a half inch to three inches long with long antennae. Color varies by species.
Wasps & Hornets
Wasps resemble large flying ants with visible stingers and almond shaped eyes. Unlike bees, who eat nectar and pollinate flowers, they are carnivores that feed on other insects. A slender body, wings and bright yellow or orange coloring warn us of their dangerous sting. Yellow jackets, paper wasps and mud daubers are common here. Baldfaced hornets are the largest and most aggressive of all stinging insects. Their painful stings can require medical attention.
Behavior & Risks
Most wasps, bees and hornets are social insects that build large hives and nests in gutter openings, on buildings, under roofs and on trees. A group of bees and wasps is known as a colony, and is supported by a queen. Honeybee colonies can have as many as 15,000 workers while wasp and hornet populations are much smaller, but can grow into the hundreds.
When a colony is near a home, business or outdoor play area, these flying insects can become a nuisance and their large numbers can be a danger to children and pets.
Bees and wasps don’t carry disease and aren’t parasites. Instead, their sting can lead to life-threatening allergic reactions and even death. Africanized Killer Bees do live in West Texas and are extremely aggressive. They can sting multiple times, swarming victims that come in their path.
Identifying a Problem
Keeping a home and backyard tidy sometimes isn’t enough to prevent a sting. Most homeowners call Bug Tech when a nest or hive is spotted, unable to remove the source of the nuisance.
If you or someone you know has experienced multiple stings or a swarm, our team can also identify the type and source of the colony.
Prevention and Treatment
Honeybees are becoming protected by Texas and federal law. Bug Tech can still treat honeybees, but because they are pollinators, we are required to take extra precautions and follow guidelines.
We always strive for removal of honeybees and work with local beekeepers for safe relocation. Even though honeybees are important to our crops and ecosystems, they can still be dangerous. Our team wears approved beekeeper suits when handling colonies for removal.
Wasps tend to build their nests in places such as porches, patios, and underneath roof lines – they pose more of a threat due to the fact that their nests are in closer proximity to humans and tend to be more aggressive in nature. For these reasons, Bug Tech’s policy is to knock down the nest and kill eggs, larvae, workers and queens.
After removal of a hive/nest, Bug Tech will apply insecticide at the base and around the nest. This prevents any wasps or bees that attempt to rebuild a colony.