Tag Archives: stinging pests

They Call Them “Velvet Ants” But They’re Really Wasps

Ant or Wasp?
Ant or Wasp?

Don’t let the name “Velvet Ants” fool you. While they may have some of the characteristics of an ant in color and size, in actuality, they belong to the Mutillidae (wasp) family.

About Velvet Ants

The female is especially ant-like due to her velvety exterior, which has a furry texture. Most are black or brown, like ants, and may be marked with red, orange, or yellow rings. While females are wingless, males do have wings and look more like wasps. Other species are known for their excruciating sting and some are capable of making a squeaking sound.

Studies on velvet ants show the insects are prone to attacking flies and beetles. Females spend much of their time hunting wasps and bees in their ground nests where she’ll lay eggs inside wasp or bee pupa. When the young wasps hatch, they feed on the pupa. Velvet ants produce young once a year.

Their stings are very painful and may cause a rash or an allergic reaction.

Velvet ants are difficult to control, especially if attempting to do it on your own. For the best results in NJ wasp abatement, you need a professional pest control service.

NJ wasp abatement is one of the services we handle at Stern Environmental Group. If you’re experiencing problems with velvet ants, let our experienced staff take care of the problem safely. Call us today to schedule a free home inspection.

Beware of Yellow Jacket Wasps This Summer

Check out the video clip in today’s Facebook post of the massive (6-ft. X 8-ft.) yellow jacket hive found in Florida. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what would happen if you stumbled on such a large hive of angry yellow jackets. A type of wasp, yellow jackets have straight stingers which means they can sting multiple times. A swarm of these extremely aggressive stinging insects can kill even if you are not allergic to their venom. Yellow jackets are responsible for most of the life-threatening bee and wasp attacks in the U.S.

Luckily for us, New Jersey winters are too chilly for wasps to overwinter which limits the size of their hives. With the exception of the queen, wasps die when cold weather hits. In the spring, the queen emerges from her underground lair to populate a new colony.

Unlike bees which typically feed on nectar, wasps are predatory carnivores that feed primarily on other insects, but will also eat carrion, fruit and plant nectar. The most aggressive stinging insect in the New York City and northern New Jersey areas, yellow jackets become increasingly aggressive as the summer moves into fall, often attacking without provocation.

If you find a yellow jacket hive on your property, don’t put yourself at risk. Call the bee and wasp control experts at Stern Environmental.

The Giant Hornet Requires A NY Or NJ Pest Control Professional

There are many different types of stinging pests that we must be aware of during the spring summer and early parts of the fall season.  Yellow jackets are aggressive, especially if you happen upon their typical hidden nest which is most often found by accident underground.  Paper wasp nests are easier to see as their nests are created under eaves, plants or tree branches that will give the paper-like nest protection.  Bumble bees and carpenter bees rarely sting humans as they are considered to be the most docile creatures.  Handle them incorrectly however and they will indeed be on the attack!

The European hornet, otherwise known as the “giant hornet” was first discovered in the United States in 1840 in New York.  The giant hornet is much larger than any other stinging pests measuring in at approximately 35 mm for the queen and 25 mm for the workers.

You will most often find the giant hornet nest located in some type of a cavity that is typically about 6 feet above the ground.  A tree hollow or wall void is the perfect nesting spot for these hornets.  Giant hornets forage both day and night and are attracted to the lights emitted by homes at night.  They consume caterpillars, flies, crickets, grasshoppers, and other yellow jacket species.

Giant hornet do sting and their nests contain from 300 to 1,000 workers so it is wise to contact a licensed NY or NJ pest control professional for removal of giant hornets that have invaded your home or trees.

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