(NewsUSA) - Ahhh ? the sounds of summer. This season brings such welcome sounds, like ice cream truck chimes and laughter from children playing games. However, the buzzing sound of stinging insects is perhaps one of the most unwelcome seasonal sounds. For some, this noise evokes fear about being stung, but bees, wasps, yellowjackets and hornets can cause more than just pain. Stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the hospital annually.
In order to protect against summer's stinging insects, inspect your yard for signs of hives or nests. Pay attention to common nesting spots, including overhangs, eaves and the underside of porches and decks. If you see signs of an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional who can safely remove hives. Even if you are not allergic to insect stings, remember that anyone can be at risk if a colony becomes defensive and attacks.
The National Pest Management Association offers this overview of the stinging insects most likely to be encountered this summer:
Bumble Bees: Yellow and black with a fuzzy appearance. These are beneficial insects because they pollinate flowers; however, if provoked, they will sting. Nests are made of pollen clumps, usually in the ground or dense grass clumps.
Hornets: There are many species of hornets, though you are most likely to encounter Baldfaced (black with a white face) or European hornets (brown with yellow stripes). Both build nests of paper cartons and are generally found on trees and building overhangs, sometimes in hollow walls of houses and attics.
Paper wasps: These brownish insects have yellow or reddish markings and get their name from the paper-like material they use to construct nests. While paper wasps are generally not aggressive, if their nest is touched, there's a high probability you will get stung.
Yellowjackets: Like bees, they are yellow and black. Their nests may be near the ground, such as on plant roots, logs or timber, or aerial, attached to bushes, houses and sheds. These insects, unlike most others, can sting repeatedly and inject venom, making them some of the most dangerous stingers.
To find a professional who can help protect against stinging insects, visit www.pestworld.org.