Stinging Insects

Stinging insects are a common problem in Chicago but the risks depend on the species. Common stinging insects include bees, wasps, and hornets. All of them belong to the Hymenoptera order which surprisingly includes ants too. It is best to get rid of them once they invade your property. However, it should be noted that stinging insects are beneficial pollinators. Therefore, it is a good idea to leave them alone when you find them in the wilderness. They likely aren’t going to bother you unless they approach your home. Before you can address and fix the problem, you’ll need to find out which stinging insect has invaded your property.

In Chicago, our clients are going to encounter paper wasps, bald-faced hornets, carpenter bees, honeybees, and more. Below, you’ll find out how to identify the species.

Figuring Out Which Species It Is

You have to analyze the stinging insect’s appearance and the appearance of the nest. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have an easier time identifying the species on your property.

Paper Wasps

Chicago residents may find a paper wasp nest on their property. If you do, stay away from it. As long as you do that, you shouldn’t get stung. They’re not as aggressive as bald-faced hornets or yellowjackets. Still, you don’t want to reach your hand toward their nest.


Paper wasp nests are smaller than others. They will feature a honeycomb pattern. The nest will be small, round, and gray. You’ll find them on eaves and overhangs.

Paper Wasp Appearance

The appearance of the paper wasp depends on the species. European paper wasps have black and yellow stripes. Their antennas are orange. They look a lot like yellowjackets but they’re larger. You’ll also encounter Northern Paper Wasps. They have brown bodies with a few dark orange spots. Their abdomen will be covered by white or yellow stripes.


Yellowjackets are more aggressive than most stinging insects and they get more aggressive in late summer and fall. As the colony grows, they become more aggressive.


Yellowjackets build large nests that house thousands of stinging insects at once. Their nests are usually covered by a black or gray material that closely resembles paper. The nest will be found around your attic or porch.

Yellowjacket Appearance

Yellowjackets have abdomens and heads that are covered by yellow and black stripes. Their antennas are black and they’re flyer very fast.

Bald-Faced Hornets

Yellowjackets and bald-faced hornets are two of the most aggressive stinging insects. Again, these pests are going to get more aggressive as their colony grows. In general, the colony will have more members in late Summer and early fall.


These nests build large nests that resemble teardrops. Their nests are usually found around trees, tall grass, and building sides.

Bald-Faced Hornet Appearance

Bald-faced hornets have smooth bodies that are white and black. Their remaining body parts are large.


Honeybees are not nearly as aggressive as other stinging insects. They’ll sting people from time to time, but they’re generally gentle. Some are bred to ensure that they do not sting anyone.


Honeybees build extensive nests using wax. Their nests are generally placed on hollow trees, walls, and rocks. They have a honeycomb-like pattern. Remember that honeybees store honey so they can use the same nest for several years.

Honeybee Appearance

Honeybees have brown fuzzy bodies. They’re orange or yellow.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees are one of the least aggressive stinging insects. Their nests can be approached without worries.


Carpenter bees bore holes in wood surfaces, including siding, decks, and fascia. Their nests are small 3/8” holes. They use the nest to raise young carpenter bees.

Carpenter Bee Appearance

Carpenter bees look like a bumblebee but they’re slightly larger. The species in Chicago has a fuzzy thorax that is black and yellow. Its black abdomen is hairless. Male carpenter bees can be identified by the small yellow spot on their face.

How Dangerous Are Chicago’s Stinging Insects?

Most people understand that stinging insects pose a danger to humans and pets. Nevertheless, there are many misconceptions. Although they’re aggressive, male stinging insects cannot sting. However, some are aggressive because they’ll defend the nest. Also, remember that the colony is going to become more aggressive as it gets bigger. Try to stay away from stinging insect nests because you might get stung. You’ll also encounter underground nests. Unfortunately, they’re much harder to avoid because you won’t see them until it is too late.

Some stinging insects, including yellowjackets, sting multiple times. In some cases, they’ll cause anaphylactic shock.

Reasons For Stinging Insects

Stinging insects are always looking for places to build nests. Your property likely has suitable spots so they’ll come.

Eradicating The Stinging Insects

Don’t delay taking steps to fix the problem properly. You may contemplate treating the nest using do-it-yourself sprays. Although these products can kill stinging insects, there are major risks involved. As soon as you spray the nest, the pests are going to come out and try to attack you. If you’re not lucky, you might get stung several times. Waiting until the sun goes down will help, but it won’t eliminate the risks. Therefore, we recommend hiring a professional exterminator. Our technicians can tackle the problem while protecting everyone involved.

The Safest Stinging Insect Treatments

Although you need to fix the problem swiftly, you can’t take any risks. Doing so could lead to serious problems in the future. Avoid such problems by working with a qualified exterminator in Chicago. Our experienced exterminators are ready to help. We will treat the problem using products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Work with us and you can sleep soundly knowing you’ll be protected during each phase of the process.

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of our stinging insect services depends on several factors, including the species and severity. We’ll also need to consider the size of the nest and the size of the infestation. You’ll receive a bid price before we begin.

When Can You Get Started?

We’re ready and eager to begin helping you. Contact our local office and we’ll get back to you within 24 to 48 hours. We’ll help you arrange an appointment over the phone.

Preventing Stinging Insect Problems

Remember that stinging insects are looking for places to build nests. Therefore, you need to ensure that they’re not attracted to your home. Treat all wood around your property to keep them away. You can also sign up for our home service program. When you do this, we’re going to visit your home three times each year. If we have to treat the home, your annual fee will cover the cost of treatment.

If you have any other pest control issues please check out other services.

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Stinging Insects