Common Types Of Stinging Insects in Colorado

If you live in Colorado, you should know that there are many different varieties of stinging insects. There are a variety of different bees, hornets, wasps and yellow jackets that sting, but they all have different triggers to make them do so. You will want to know the difference while you are out and about this summer enjoying yourself, whether it be hiking, picnicking, swimming, sports, barbecues or just simply relaxing.

paper wasps building nest outside of boulder home

The two that you should be most aware of are the yellow jacket and the European paper wasp. The biggest difference will be the location of their nest. Wasp nests are round and have a honeycomb pattern with exposed cells and are found under eaves and soffits. Yellow jacket paper-like nests are usually gray with a single opening and they are found in attics, under porches where they are tucked away in or under something.

Both the wasp and the yellow jacket are dangerous! They do not lose their stinger in their victim, so they are able to rapidly sting multiple times and they can be very aggressive. They are also very social and oftentimes they will work together to attack if they feel their nest or queen is being threatened. Sometimes they can attack without provocation, even the solitary wasps will sting if their nest is disturbed. Many people can develop allergic reactions when stung and need to visit the emergency department of hospitals if there is excessive swelling and breathing is compromised.

Western yellow jackets love to swarm food, such as sweets and meats at picnics and bbq’s but also swarm around trash. They are very aggressive in Colorado and are responsible for 90% of all “bee stings”. Their nests can house up to 200 wasps, they look like bees due to the yellow/black stripe color but they are hard and glossy looking and do not have fur like bees.

The European paper wasp looks a lot like the yellow jacket. They have a more slender body with a distinct pinched area between thorax and abdomen. The paper wasps have legs that tend to hang behind while they are in flight. They are social like the yellow jacket but are not drawn to food and not as aggressive. Usually, they only sting if their nest is disturbed. Their nests are complex and built new every year by the female queen in a different location. She will lay one egg in each cell, up to 200 per nest. They are scavengers that feed on other insects, and occasionally ripe fruit and honeydew produced by aphids.

Whether it be yellow jackets or European paper wasps or other stinging insects, they should be kept away from busy backyards that are havens for homeowners and their families and friends. Especially if there are children around, you don’t want anyone to accidentally disturb a nest or a European paper wasp or be attacked by aggressive yellow jackets. Now is the time to prevent stings by contacting and experienced pest control company that has you and the environment as it’s top priorities.

Getting rid of and preventing stinging insects can be difficult and dangerous. Investigate your yard to see if any nests are dangerously close to areas of human or pet activities. Check inside grills before use, cover food at picnics and bbq’s, keep trash tightly sealed and do not pile wood or other items near your home.

If you have a few or many stinging insects and want peace of mind that your family is protected from stings, give us a call at Enviropest in Colorado. We will perform a detailed inspection, remove nests and apply preventative treatments. A yellow jacket trap may be put up to capture any stray foragers. We will use the least amount of product possible to resolve your stinging pest problems with the best possible solution. Most times we can use natural products and baits, but also follow strict EPA guidelines when using other products.

 Give us a call today to learn more about our residential pest control solutions.

enviropest customer from berthoud co


‟The people at Enviropest are responsive to our needs and keep working the problem until it is fixed. We used to have a big mouse problem, but not any more!”
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Berthoud, CO
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