Identifying Stinging Insects

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Distinguishing between stinging insects can be difficult, because they are not all called "bees." When the warm weather arrives in Valatie, East Greenbush, Albany, Saratoga and across the Capital Region, more time will be spent outdoors enjoying activities like barbequing, gardening and relaxing by the pool. Unfortunately warm weather brings out stinging insects! Stinging insects are difficult and often dangerous to remove and control. Contact your local pest control company for service, but before you call, impress them with what type of stinging insect is pestering you!


  • Robust bodies with thick waists; hairy and winged workers and reproductives.
  • Noisy fliers; sting in defense of nests.
  • Nest in hives, trees or structures.
  • Collect pollen and nectar. Feed pollen to young and share food with adults.

Paper Wasps:

  • Long bodies with thin waists.
  • Search vegetation for prey and visit flowers for nectar.
  • Single comb nests are attached to structures and made from chewed paper.
  • Feed developing young in cells.

Solitary Wasps:

  • Thin or thick waists.
  • Visit flowers and vegetation.
  • Very docile.
  • Nest in mud or holes in ground.
  • Predators; provision nests with prey for young.


  • Large.
  • Not aggressive.
  • Predatory on cicadas, bees and flies.

Yellow Jackets:

  • Robust and colorful.
  • Rapid fliers; capable of multiple stings; aggressively defend socially large colonies.
  • Multi-layer nests mostly in ground with some aerial or structural.
  • Beneficial predators can scavenge and be pesky.

Now when you are spending time outside in and around the Capital Region, you can properly identify the flying insect buzzing on your property. Unfortunately, keeping wasps, bees, yellow jackets and other stinging insects away from your property is nearly impossible. With simple precautions you can potentially avoid painful encounters with these stinging insects. Thomas Pest Services, your bee control experts can help reduce you and your families risk. If you live in Clifton Park or elsewhere in the Capital Region and need assistance getting rid of wasps or other stinging insects, fill out our contact form today!

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