Stinging Insects in Southwest Florida

Stinging insects are a constant nuisance, whether you’re going to a local park or simply doing yard work in your backyard. Stings from bees, wasps, and hornets can be painful and, for some people, life-threatening due to an allergic reaction. Complicating the matter is the truly positive impact that many stinging insects have on the Florida ecosystem (despite stoking terror), as they play a part in pollination and insect control.

Hoskins Pest Control is here to help with safely eliminating stinging insects. Our bee and wasp control is effective and environmentally conscious; we do what we can to relocate and remove rather than to simply kill. Our highly trained technicians serve multiple Southwest Florida counties, including Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and Lee. You don’t have to deal with stinging insects flying around your property or harming your family. Contact us online or call us for a free estimate today.

Of course, not all stinging insects are the same. How can you identify stinging insects in Southwest Florida? We’ve got the guide for you below.

Types of Stinging Insects in Florida

Stinging insects in Florida can be divided into three categories: bees, wasps, and hornets. All three fall under the order of Hymenoptera, and though they share notable similarities—such as flight, stinging ability, and a shared life cycle—the species of stinging insects do vary. Florida has hundreds of species of stinging insects. Here’s how to identify some of the more common ones.


There are more than 300 types of bees in Florida, but they all share key characteristics. Bees found in Florida are small, with workers measuring at about half an inch or less in length, and their main job is to pollinate plants and flowers. As a result, bees have hairy bodies that help in the process. Bees drink nectar and are generally harmless because they have a one-use stinger and die after using it.

Coming in a variety of black and yellow markings, common Florida bees include:

  • Honey bee
  • Carpenter bee
  • Sweat bee
  • Bumblebee


Wasps comprise a variety of stinging insects, most of which fall under the family of Vespidae. They are characterized by their aggressive nature, ability to sting multiple times, and a slender, pinched waist that separates their body (or thorax) from their abdomen.

Multiple types of Florida wasps exist, including:

  • Bald-faced hornet
  • Yellowjacket
  • Paper wasp
  • Cicada killers

Most wasps are at least as large as the average worker bee—yellowjackets are half an inch long, and bald-faced hornets can grow up to an inch in length. The largest species of wasps in Florida, cicada killers, can grow up to 2 inches in length. Wasps eat various foods, including smaller insects as well as sweets and proteins like meat.


Although technically a type of wasp, hornets are considered distinct and are classified under the genus Vespa. Hornets are visually distinctive from wasps from their larger, rounder midsection and stockier build. In addition, hornets are generally larger than most species of wasp, though like wasps, hornets can be aggressive and sting multiple times.

In Florida, there is only one true hornet: the European hornet. Other types of stinging insects that are colloquially referred to as hornets, such as the bald-faced hornet, are actually wasps. Some larger queen European hornets are misidentified as the Asian giant hornet (or “Murder Hornet”), but there is currently no substantive Asian giant hornet population in the United States.

Don’t Get Stung. Call Hoskins Pest Control.

It hurts to be stung by a bee, wasp, or hornet. Most adults simply suffer localized pain, redness, and swelling where stung. However, stinging insects can pose more serious threats to particularly young and old individuals as well as to those with allergies to bee or wasp stings. Allergic reactions can be severe and potentially life-threatening—so if you have a known allergic reaction to a stinging insect and suspect you’ve been stung, please contact a medical professional immediately.

Regardless, it’s no fun to have stinging insects flying around your property. Thankfully, Hoskins Pest Control is here to assist you with the best Florida wasp and bee control around. Call us or get your free quote today!

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