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    [content] => <p>Almost everyone has experienced a bee sting or bug bite at some point in life, and it&rsquo;s never fun. To help you better identify (and avoid) stinging insects, we&rsquo;ve put together this round-up of the most common stinger here in North Carolina!</p>

<h3><br>Treating insect stings&nbsp;</h3>

<p><br>For most stinging insects, the most general reactions include swelling, redness, and itching. To treat a sting, carefully remove the stinger if needed, wash the sting with soap and water, apply a cold pack to reduce swelling, and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce pain or an antihistamine to reduce the chance of an allergic reaction. If any of the following symptoms develop, see a medical professional immediately: &nbsp;&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Trouble breathing or a tight feeling in the throat<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Severe reddening or swelling of the skin<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Nausea or vomiting&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; A rapid heartbeat&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Dizziness&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Loss of consciousness</p>

<h3>Stinging Insects Round-Up</h3>

<h4>Bumble Bees</h4>

<p><img alt="Bumble bee flying toward flower" height="366" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/www.maxpixel.net-Insect-F-Bumble-Bee-Bumble-Bee-Bumblebee-2361336.jpg" width="550"></p>

<p>Up first is the most well-known stingers, the bumblebee! Bumblebees are generally peaceful and will only sting if they&rsquo;re feeling threatened or if their hive is distributed. So, if one is flying around you (maybe smelling your perfume), try to leave it be and not swat it away. Did you know only female bees have stingers? Their smooth stingers allow them to string multiple times. Another fun fact is that bees are technically <a href="/blog/post/venomous-and-poisonous-what-s-the-difference">venomous</a>, and the venom within their stinger is actually what causes your body to react.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Fun fact: Only female Bumblebees can sting</p>

<h4>Bald-faced Hornets&nbsp;</h4>

<p>Up next is the Bald-faced Hornet, which is closely related to the Yellow Jacket (and is not technically considered a hornet). They are black in color with a white-patterned face and long, thin, wasp-like bodies, between 1/2 and 5/8th of an inch long. Bald-faced Hornets are much more aggressive than bumblebees, so if you see an infestation, be sure to <a href="/home-pest-control">call a professional</a> to remove them properly. You&rsquo;ll know you have an infestation if you see a nest, which are &ldquo;<a href="https://asknature.org/strategy/nests-made-of-paper/">paper carton</a>&rdquo; style nests, typically found at 3 or more feet off the ground in trees, shrubs, houses, sheds, or other structures.</p>

<p>&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Fun fact: Bald-faced Hornets colonies can contain between 100-400 members at their peak&nbsp;</p>

<h4><br>European Hornets &nbsp;</h4>

<p><img alt="European Hornet hanging from leaf" height="366" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/european-hornet-3612231_640.jpg" width="550"></p>

<p>Another &ldquo;hornet&rdquo; common to North Carolina is the European Hornet, which is the only true hornet species found in the US. They are brown in color and large in size, &frac34; and 1 &frac12; inch in length. Like Bald-faced Hornets, they are very aggressive. Their nests are typically located in a cavity, such as a hollow tree, wall void, or in between rocks, so definitely don&rsquo;t go sticking your hands in places they don&rsquo;t belong. Instead of harvesting nectar from flowers, European Hornets prey on other insects including grasshoppers, flies, Yellow Jackets, and honeybees. This helps control the population.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Fun fact: European Hornets were introduced from Europe to the United States in the 1800s&nbsp;</p>

<h4><br>Mud Daubers</h4>

<p><img alt="Mud Dauber on leaf" height="360" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/wasp-1589895_640-1.jpg" width="550"></p>

<p>A Mud Dauber is a very unique-looking wasp, with a &ldquo;thread-waisted&rdquo; body, between their thorax and abdomen that causes them to look like they have been &ldquo;stretched&rdquo; out. They get their name from their nests that are made from mud and other natural materials. Certain types of Mud Daubers make long, tube-like nests resembling an organ pipe. Another fun fact is that, unlike most stinging insects, they are actually a solitary species, meaning they do not live in colonies or support a queen. Mud Daubers also do not defend their nests and will rarely sting.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Fun fact: One type of Mud Daubers is the Organ Pipe Mud Dauber that makes nests that resemble organ pipes&nbsp;</p>

<h4><br>Paper Wasps</h4>

<p><img alt="Paper Wasp in nest" height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/insect-5634051_640.jpg" width="550"></p>

<p>Paper Wasps have a typical wasp-like appearance with a pinched waist and long thin legs that can be seen dangling below their body as they fly. Their bodies are black or brown in color and can have orange or yellow markings with gray wings, though other species of Paper Wasps can be different colors. Their name comes from the paper-like material with which they make their nests. They&rsquo;re also called the umbrella wasp for the shape of their nests. They are semi-social insects, and typically live in small colonies with a queen, but don&rsquo;t follow the &ldquo;worker bee&rdquo; system like Bumble Bees. They eat nectar and other insects including caterpillars and flies.</p>

<p>In the fall, future queens will seek places to spend the winter and may find their way indoors, so<a href="/home-pest-control"> make sure your house doesn't have any entry points</a>. In the spring, they&rsquo;ll emerge and build their umbrella-shaped nests, usually on branches of trees and shrubs, in porch ceilings, windows and door frames, attic rafters, and more safe places. Paper wasps are generally not aggressive but will sting if their nest is threatened.&nbsp;</p>

<p><br>●&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Fun Fact: Paper Wasps are semi-social, meaning they live in smaller colonies than other bees</p>

<h4>Yellow Jackets</h4>

<p><img alt="Close-up of yellow jacket" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/nature-wing-photography-wildlife-insect-macro-700267-pxhere.com.jpg" width="550"></p>

<p>Another well-known stinging insect is the Yellow Jacket. Their face is a combination of black and yellow colors, and their body has a well-defined yellow and black striped pattern. At first glance, they might look like bumblebees, but Yellow Jackets are skinnier with a segmented body with a thin waist. They will do some pollination of flowers, but they&rsquo;re mainly known as being a predatory species and they prey on other insects, such as caterpillars, grubs, and flies, meaning they help control other pests in your gardens and lawns. They also love sweets and proteins, which will attract them to your summer BBQs. They&rsquo;re most active in the late summer/early fall time. The colony queen will pick either an underground or aerial site to build her nest; common areas being bushes, trees, or eaves of homes. Fun fact: A colony can have up to 4,000 worker bees! Yellow Jackets tend to be territorial, so if you intrude on the entrance of their nest, they can become aggressive. Always seek professional help before trying to investigate a Yellow Jack nest.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Fun fact: A colony of Yellow Jackets can have up to 4,000 worker bees &nbsp;</p>

<h4>Carpenter Bees</h4>

<p><img alt="Carpenter bee resting on wood" height="366" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/carpenter-bee-5059892_640.jpg" width="550"></p>

<p>Up next is the black and yellow Carpenter Bee, which often gets mistaken for the Bumble Bee. You can tell the difference by the Carpenter Bee&rsquo;s shiny, hairless abdomen, as opposed to the furry-looking Bumble. They get their name because they drill and tunnel into the wood which they use for their homes. The best sign of a Carpenter Bee infestation is round, smooth holes in wood. Carpenters prefer bare wood so painting and staining outdoor wood can help deter them. These bees are solitary and do not build traditional nests with colonies, but instead build individual nests in the wood of trees, door frames, eaves, or sides of buildings. Carpenters can cause significant structural damage on houses and buildings if felt untreated and can even attract woodpeckers that will do even more damage. Male Carpenters don&rsquo;t sting, but they can be territorial and will hover around you. Females can sting, but only when provoked. So, if you spot Carpenter Bees, chances are your house is in more danger than you are.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Fun fact: Carpenter bees are solitary and build individual nests &nbsp;</p>

<h4>Cicada Killer</h4>

<p><img alt="Cicada killer on a leaf" height="363" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/MaxPixel.net-Bee-Insect-Sphecius-Speciosus-Wasp-Cicada-Killer-5400940.jpg" width="550"></p>

<p>Finally, to round out this list we have the <a href="https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/cicada-killer-wasp">Cicada Killer Wasp</a>! The Cicada Killer is the biggest wasp we have here in NC. They have a black abdomen with three yellow bands and a rust or brown-colored head. As the name suggests, they do hunt and eat cicadas. The females paralyze cicadas with her stinger and bring them back to her nest for her male offspring. They are solitary and the females build nest burrows in the ground, which can be up to 40 inches deep and include many different chambers. If you see dug-up dirt in vegetable gardens, flower beds, or on a brick patio, this could be a sign of a Cicada Killer tunneling in the ground. Like carpenter bees, the males cannot string. Generally, Cicada Killers are not territorial or aggressive, so you can walk by them, and they won&rsquo;t take notice.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Fun fact: Cicada Killer tunnels can range from 30-70 inches long and 12-15 inches below the surface, with up to 15 &ldquo;chambers&rdquo; where she lays her eggs</p>

<h3>Stinging Prevention Tips</h3>

<p>Now that we&rsquo;ve learned all about the stringing insects you might come across, here are some tips to make your property less attractive to these bees and wasps.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Always: Check areas around the exterior of your house/property and caulk up any entry points that are found.<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Always: Make sure that all chimneys have tight-fitting covers on them.&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; Always: Make sure that trash cans have tight-fitting lids on them to prevent stinging insects from foraging for food into them.<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; For Carpenter bees: Stain or paint wood surfaces to deter them from drilling holes.<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; For Yellow Jackets: Don&rsquo;t leave sugary foods outside.<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; For Carpenter Bees &amp; European Hornets: Remove old trees and stumps and fill in holes that could be nesting spots.&nbsp;<br>● &nbsp; &nbsp; For Bumble Bees: Avoid wearing floral prints or perfumes when spending time outside.<br>&nbsp;<br>To learn more about stinging insects, <a href="/pest-library/profile/stinging-insects">visit us here</a> and check out our Home Shield packages to control bees, wasps, and other stinging insects so you and your family can feel safe and secure!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>Source: <a href="https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/">https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/</a>&nbsp;</p>
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Almost everyone has experienced a bee sting or bug bite at some point in life, and it’s never fun. To help you better identify (and avoid) stinging insects, we’ve put together this round-up of the…

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    [content] => <p>It&rsquo;s summertime in North Carolina. You know what that means&hellip; road trips to the Outer Banks, or your favorite swimming hole, fishing, tubing, rafting, and of course&hellip; <a href="/pest-library/profile/flies">fruit flies</a>. Yuck. While you&rsquo;re focusing on having fun this summer, fruit flies will be trying to find food to lay their eggs. Here&rsquo;s how you can prevent fruit flies in your house and property this summer!&nbsp;</p>

<h3>What are fruit flies?&nbsp;</h3>

<p><img alt="" height="384" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/fruit-fly-219392_640.jpg" width="544"></p>

<p>Fruit flies are tiny with black and gray bodies and translucent wings. They most commonly have red eyes, but some species can have brownish or black eyes. Fruit flies attempt to build their numbers during the spring and summer until they reach their peak during the fall harvest season.&nbsp;</p>

<h3>What do fruit flies eat?</h3>

<p><img alt="Fruit flies on a piece of fruit " height="357" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/PIXNIO-31741-550x357.jpg" width="550"></p>

<p>These flies feed on and lay their eggs on ripe, decaying, or fermenting food meaning it&rsquo;s essential to make sure they can&rsquo;t get to food, garbage, sticky drinks, or other debris.&nbsp;</p>

<h3>What attracts fruit flies?</h3>

<p>As their name suggests, fruit flies are attracted to ripened fruit and vegetables, but also alcohol, sugary drinks, and <a href="https://www.terro.com/articles/fruit-fly-questions-answered">cleaning supplies</a> such as damp mops, moist cleaning rags and sponges, and buckets of wastewater. They only need a small amount of moist film of fermenting material to thrive and multiply. Here are some areas and objects that are likely to attract fruit flies:&nbsp;</p>

<ul>

<li>Indoor or outdoor garbage cans without locking lids</li>

<li>Open beverage containers</li>

<li>Fruit/food out on the kitchen table/counter</li>

<li>Dirty or clogged drains</li>

<li>Moist organic materials like open compost piles or animal feces&nbsp;</li>

</ul>

<h3>Fruit flies spread disease</h3>

<p>Though a fly here or there can seem harmless, flies can spread more than 100 pathogens and parasites to humans. While buzzing around your food and garbage, they pick up bacteria and parasites on their bodies and legs and transfer them to your kitchen counters, surfaces and directly on the food you eat. So, how can we prevent fruit flies?&nbsp;</p>

<h3><br>How to prevent fruit flies at home</h3>

<p>If you&rsquo;re noticing fruit flies around your property, here are some steps you should start taking right away. Not seeing any? Prevention is key!&nbsp;</p>

<ul>

<li>Eliminate potential water sources by fixing leaky outdoor pipes or fixtures and make sure that gutters are clean and are working properly to direct water away from the outside of your home.</li>

<li>Empty trash cans frequently and secure outdoor garbage cans with tight-fitting lids. If you have a dumpster, do not fill to overflowing and do not pile up crates, boxes or other trash outside of it.</li>

<li>Clean your kitchen drain/garbage disposal with boiling water and wipe down the inside of trash cans often.</li>

<li>Change sponges and dishcloths regularly.</li>

<li>If you have fruit trees or a vegetable garden, harvest fruits and vegetables often and remove any that have fallen to the ground.</li>

<li>Do not let pet feces accumulate outside (<a href="https://pestcontrol.a-1pc.com/buster">sorry, Buster</a>).</li>

<li>Replace or repair screens covering doors and windows and seal any holes or openings on the exterior of your home.</li>

</ul>

<h3>More tips and home remedies to prevent fruit flies</h3>

<p>Keeping your house clean is the best way overall to prevent fruit flies. Here are some more steps you can take if you&rsquo;re looking for eco-friendly solutions.&nbsp;</p>

<ul>

<li>Don't store fruits and vegetables on your countertops. It&rsquo;s always best to keep fruit and vegetables in the fridge, but if you have to keep them out, wash them well and cover them with a cloth as soon as you get home from the store.</li>

<li>Make an <a href="https://www.thespruce.com/get-rid-of-fruit-flies-1388144">apple cider vinegar trap.</a></li>

<li>Love <a href="https://www.familyhandyman.com/article/make-sure-you-never-have-fruit-flies-again/">essential oils</a>? Fruit flies hate basil, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, and clove. Use a diffuser to deter them.&nbsp;</li>

</ul>

<p>So, before you leave for your big vacation this summer, don&rsquo;t leave dishes in the sink and the trash out! Keeping tidy around the house and doing frequent wipe downs and outdoor inspections will help keep flies away. If you're still having problems after following these tips, give us a call. Our Home Shield plans will help keep out flies plus a lot more.</p>
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It’s summertime in North Carolina. You know what that means… road trips to the Outer Banks, or your favorite swimming hole, fishing, tubing, rafting, and of course… fruit flies. Yuck. While…

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