Don’t Ignore the Buzz This Summer

With more and more commercial properties incorporating outdoor lifestyle elements into the design of retail outlets, office buildings, industrial plants, hospitality and healthcare facilities, the chance of employees and customers encountering stinging insects is growing, especially in the warm summer months.
The health effects of stinging insects ranges from mild discomfort or pain to a lethal reaction for those individuals allergic to the insect’s venom. Anaphylactic shock is the body’s severe allergic reaction to a bite or sting and requires immediate emergency care.
With more than 500,000 people having to visit the emergency room annually in the United States due to a stinging insect encounter, it is important for commercial property managers to mitigate the risk.
Lessening the risk starts with training staff, especially those whose duties require them be outdoors – facility maintenance personnel, groundskeepers, loading dock workers – on a regular basis, about their risk of exposure to stinging insects, how they can prevent and protect themselves and customers from stings and bites, and what they should do if they or a patron is stung.



Stinging insects, including wasps, hornets, and fire ants in Southern California, are most active in the summer when they forage for food.



What are the stinging insect “hot spots” in a commercial facility? Aggressive social wasps including yellow jackets and hornets do not reside solely in hives attached to trees or building overhangs. Yellow jackets construct their nests in the ground, as do European hornets, and when groundskeepers or maintenance personnel are working in the area they risk disturbing a nest.



Our field team offers the following recommendations to prevent your staff or customers from having an unpleasant encounter with stinging insects:


  • Conduct a visual inspection of your property – looking up and down – for stinging insect activity or nesting locations.
  • Be alert for wasps or hornets going in and out of holes or spaces in the ground close to areas where work is done or customers are present (i.e. outdoor dining areas, building exit/entrances, garden areas, etc.).
  • Stinging insects are less likely to get agitated in the morning so, if possible, perform work duties at that time.
  • Keep work and public areas that customers frequent clean of leftover food; sugary, sweet food is a major attractant for social wasps such as yellow jackets.
  • Have employees wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and gloves when working outdoors.
  • If workers have a history of allergic reactions to insect bites or stings they should consider carrying an EpiPen and wear an identification bracelet.
  • If a nest is located on your property, call a pest management professional to deal with it – do not attempt to remove the nest yourself.


Need a second set of eyes to spot potential stinging insect threats on your property? Call our operations expert and we can be your partner in pest prevention.
Stinging Insects: Bees, Hornets & Mosquitos