Category Archives: Stinging Insects

The Yellow Jacket – a Social and Predatory Wasp

What to Know About Hornet Attacks
What to Know About Yellow Jackets

Commonly confused for bees, hornets, and paper wasps, yellow jackets are easily distinguishable from other pests with careful observation. The NJ pest control experts at Stern want to help you identify these aggressive pests, which are capable of repeatedly stinging. 

Is it a Wasp or a Bee?

Most yellow jackets are ½-inch long, though queens can be larger. Some species are black and yellow, some yellow and blackish-red, and a few black and white. Unlike bees, they do NOT have fuzzy bodies or hairy hind legs and do NOT carry pollen, however they’re important predators of other pest insects. They live in colonies and can be best identified by fast, side-to-side movement prior to landing. Female wasps can sting repeatedly with barbed, lance-like stingers, injecting venom that can cause an allergic reaction to susceptible individuals and those repeatedly stung. 

Where are They Hiding?

Yellow jackets can build nests nearly anywhere: The ground, inside trees and bushes, stumps, and manmade structures (homes, cars). Nests are constructed from wood fibers chewed to a pulp. Colonies die annually, except overwintering queens bearing young, which hideout under leaves and bark, in stumps, and the ground. Each queen can expand a colony to 4,000-5,000 female workers and a nest of 10,000-15,000 cells of new males and queens. 

Don’t let history repeat itself. Rid your yard of wasps with the help of the NJ pest control pros at Stern Environmental today.

The Do’s and Don’ts of What to Do When In Vicinity of a Wasp

How to Deal With Living With Wasps as Neighbors
How to Deal With Living With Wasps as Neighbors

Surrounded by wasps in your yard? Don’t panic. There are ways to safeguard yourself and reduce the severity of a wasp attack. Learn the do’s and don’ts of dealing with wasps from the NJ pest control experts at Stern Environmental. 

What to Do If You’re Approached/Attacked by Wasps

– When approached by a wasp, keep calm and move slowly away.

– If you have to escape, leave in a straight line, be as quiet as possible, and try not to wave your arms.

– Do the best you can to protect your head and face. These areas are a frequent target of wasps.

What NOT to Do

When attacked by wasps, NEVER:

– Swat wasps or swing your arms, which makes wasps more aggressive.

– “Play dead” (wasps will just keep stinging).

– Use water for shelter (wasps will simply attack when you reemerge).

Ways to Reduce the Likelihood of Wasp Attack

– Keep your yard neat and clean.

– Keep food and drinks carefully contained/covered, especially sugary drinks.

– Wash your hands (and your kids’) free of sugars before going outside.

– Check for wasp activity before gardening, especially around fruit and sweet-smelling flowers, where wasps frequent. 

– Wear closed-toed shoes.

– Avoid wearing bright clothes and strong scents.

– Never approach or attempt to remove a wasp nest yourself.

Don’t get carried away. Deal with wasps quickly, avoiding large infestations and dangerous situations. Contact the NJ pest control pros at Stern Environmental today.

What to Know About Our NJ Spring Yellow Jackets

What to Know About Our NJ Spring Yellow Jackets
What to Know About Our NJ Spring Yellow Jackets

Spring has sprung, and with it pests are pouring forth. Among the most dreaded: Yellow jackets. These troublesome wasps are feared by homeowners, who look to NJ pest control pros for help dealing with these aggressive pests, which are capable of stinging repeatedly.

Be on the Lookout for Spring Yellow Jacket Nests

You’ll find the paper-mache-like nests of these wasps in the ground and around homes and other structures, such as animal burrows, attics, crawlspaces, and other wall voids and enclosed cavities. Constructed of a mix of wasp saliva and chewed, weathered wood, the layers of yellow jacket nests are camouflaged with surroundings and often unrecognized as the hazard they present.

Avoid Attracting these Pests

Yellow jackets feed on meat from garbage and animal carcasses, as well as sugars from fruit, sweetened beverages, and beer, bringing them into frequent contact with humans. These sugars support new developing queens in late summer, the only members of the colony that survive the winter.

Control the Pests

Never plug wasp nests in an outside wall. This can force wasps into living areas. The best method of treatment is registered insecticide dust. This is spread directly at the opening of the nest, where wasps pick up and transport the dust to others, destroying the colony.

Get yellow jackets to buzz off. Ensure a safe home with the help of the NJ pest control professionals at Stern Environmental today.

What to Know about Hornets and Their Life Cycle

What to Know About Hornet Attacks
What to Know About Hornets

One outdoor pest many people have experience with is the hornet. An old saying about “stirring up a hornet’s nest” is the last thing you want to do.

About Hornets

There are around 20 species of hornets found worldwide. That’s a lot of buzzing going on around the world. They’ve made their presence known in Asia, Africa, Europe, and here at home in North America.

Head of Household

There’s no debate when it comes to the “leader of the pack.” That would be the queen. She is the domineering force and responsible for reproducing.

Other females have tasks such as providing protection for the colony, taking care of the young, construction, and food gathering.

The male has only one specific job and that is to mate with the reigning queen; then he dies.

Hornet Life Cycle

Winter usually finds young queens along with their eggs in protected areas to weather the season. During the spring, the queens begin the process of nest building, followed by directing their workers to take over the chores.

She will continue to reproduce to ensure more workers as well as breed a new generation of drones (males) and queens.

NJ pest control services are a good way to prevent hornets from setting up household in your yard and home. When hornets are making a pest of themselves, it’s best to contact the NJ pest control specialists at Stern Environmental.

Attack Pheromones Stimulate Mass Hornet Attacks – What to Know

What to Know About Hornet Attacks
What to Know About Hornet Attacks

When the weather is beautiful, it can be a real pleasure to be outdoors. Whether you’re working in the garden, mowing the lawn, or just relaxing with a cool beverage on the patio. The problem is, there may be stealth-like flying insects hovering nearby.

Hornets and Pheromones

Hornets aren’t an insect you want to make angry as they become aggressive when threatened. This can lead to a stinging fray that can leave you worse for wear. When faced with a hornet population, you need the help of a NJ pest control service.

While a single sting may not be an issue repeated stings can be, especially for those with allergic reactions. When a hornet feels in jeopardy, it isn’t just the one that will be on the defense.

Hornets are social. This means just one can incite action among the entire nest by releasing an attack pheromone. If the hornet is killed, it can still release the pheromone. If the scent of the pheromone comes into contact with your clothes or skin, this can cause an attack. When this happens, it can lead to repeated stings to you and anyone or anything else, like pets, that may be nearby.

For help with hornets and their nests, the NJ pest control experts at Stern Environmental have the knowledge and equipment to deal with the situation safely. Schedule an appointment and we’ll take care of the rest.