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The Worst Stinging Insects in North Carolina

There are over 500 species of stinging insects in North Carolina, and while most of them carry out the ecologically essential task of pollination, there are some that definitely pose a more severe threat to humans than others. We decided to draw on some of our knowledge to try and determine which bees (and other stinging insects) cause the most trouble for North Carolina residents to try and determine which was the “worst” bee in North Carolina. So with that said, let’s dive in!

Worst Sting

Bald faced hornet

There are a few contenders for this award because there are a number of different stinging insects that not only sting but do so aggressively and painfully. There’s the infamous yellowjacket, but despite their painful stings, they are not as aggressive as some other species and have the added benefit of being hunters of irritating pests like flies, crickets, and other crop pests. We also gave some thought to paper wasps and European hornets, but while these two are definitely not the kind of insect you want to mess around with, we determined that they don’t quite pose the same sort of threat as our “winner”. 

The Winner: Bald-faced hornet 

These wasps (despite their name, they are actually not technically hornets) are large in size and even larger in the viciousness of their bites. They not only apply painful stings but are able to sting multiple times. As if that isn’t bad enough, they also swarm, which means if you anger a bald-faced hornet nest, you’re in jeopardy of being attacked by a swarm of angry wasps that won’t stop stinging. That makes them the “winner” of the worst stinging insect in North Carolina.

Worst Structural Damage

Carpenter bee on flower

We have to be honest: this one didn’t really have any competition, so you may have already guessed our answer here. So let’s not beat around the bush…

The Winner: Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees, while no competition for termites in the wood-destruction category are the rare stinging insect that can also be the cause of serious structural damage. Carpenter bees also aren’t the most voracious of wood-damagers; in fact, the damage they do can take years to even become apparent at all. All the same, carpenter bees can slowly bus surely make a structural mess of wooden structures, particularly in places like older barns and decks.

Worst Lawn Damage

Cicada Killer on tree

Once again, we are looking at a one-insect race when it comes to the stinging insect that causes lawn damage. While bumblebees do nest in the ground, they do not dig holes themselves, and instead, find areas that have been dug out by other critters. That leaves us with the only true option for worst lawn damage. And the winner is…

The Winner: Cicada Killers

Cicada killers are an unusual type of wasp because they burrow into the ground. While this is usually not a huge problem, according to the University of Kentucky cicada killers can on rare occasions be a threat to pets, and can also displace enough soil in their burrowing to cause destabilization to something like a brick patio. They can also disrupt the root systems of plants, so if you have a garden cicada killers can become even more of an issue.

Getting Rid of Stinging Insects

Now that you know a bit about the very worst stinging insects that North Carolina has to offer, it’s time to take action. City Wide Exterminating can help get rid of any stinging insect problem that is causing trouble in your home or on your property using the best and safest methods and treatments. If a stinging insect problem is driving you nuts, just get in touch!

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