Steer Clear Of Stinging Insects This Summer

The National Pest Management Association advises protecting against summer stingers

FAIRFAX, Va. (August 25, 2016) – People walking, dining and socializing outdoors aren’t the only ones currently abuzz. With fall around the corner and summer at its height, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) explains more stingers, like yellowjackets and wasps, are outside foraging for food.

“Insect stings are painful, and depending on the severity of an attack or a person’s sensitivity, they can be dangerous. They typically send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “It’s crucial to avoid interaction and handling active nests. Colonies can sting en masse when feeling threatened, so it’s best to leave this job to a pest professional.”

To enjoy a sting-free summer, NPMA recommends the following tips:

  • Seal cracks and crevices: Seal all visible cracks and crevices to keep stingers from moving indoors, and regularly inspect around house’s perimeter for nests.
  • Keep food covered: During a picnic or cookout, cover all food when outside and be sure to keep tight fitting lids on trash bins.
  • Drink out of clear containers: Stinging insects can sneak into cans unnoticed, so it’s important to be able to see that a liquid is pest-free when drinking it.
  • Avoid excessive use of fragrances: If spending long periods of time outdoors, skip the perfume or cologne, as yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sweet-smelling fragrances. When possible, choose unscented shampoos, soaps, lotions and sunscreen.
  • Adjust wardrobe: Avoid wearing dark colors and floral prints, patterns that can attract stinging insects. Wear closed-toe shoes, especially in grassy areas where hornets and other pests often nest.
  • Remain calm, cool and collected: Do not swat at stingers or flail in a panic—these movements may actually provoke an attack. Instead, remain calm and slowly walk away from the area. The insect should fly away without causing any harm.

For more advice on stinging insects, or to find a licensed pest control professional, visit

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit