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When a home or yard becomes infested with insect or arachnid pests that can inflict medically significant bites or stings that can be deadly, their removal from a property is of the utmost importance as a public health measure. It is common for wasps, like yellow jackets and hornets, to nest within a yard, or in rare cases, within a home. When a nest is found, a pest control professional should be contacted for its removal in order to protect yourself and others living with and near you. Biting flies, such as horse flies and deer flies, are abundant in the northeast, and as many residents are aware, these airborne insects can inflict nasty bites that may see skin and flesh torn from a wound. Although biting flies prefer to suck blood from animals, particularly livestock and horses, human blood meals suffice for the insects as well. Like many flies, horse flies carry pathogens that they can transmit to humans via their bites. Human food sources can also become contaminated with disease-causing bacteria when exposed to a fly’s six filthy legs. Fly infestations can normally be eradicated by sanitizing a home and yard, but some infestation cases involve hidden sources that attract biting flies onto a property. The invasive Euroepan fire ant in the northeast is a highly venomous pest of residential and commercial lawns, and the ants are not hesitant to swarm onto people’s bodies before inflicting numerous stings, which can, and has, landed people in the hospital.

Solitary stinging insects in the northeast, like mud daubers and cicada killers, are not terribly aggressive, but nests located within high-traffic areas of a home or lawn can put residents at risk of sustaining stings. Mowing the lawn or operating weed-clippers may agitate the insects. Both mud daubers and cicada killers require separate lawn insecticides that are carried by most pest control companies. Social insects that often nest on residential lawns or on structures include baldfaced hornets, yellow jackets and European hornets. These insects are far more aggressive than solitary stinging insects, but nests can be rendered inactive by pest control professionals. In most cases, pest control professionals apply insecticide to them at night when yellow jackets and hornets are at rest. Another social insects, European fire ants, are eradicated by applying a specialized insecticide directly over mound after a bout of rainfall. Unfortunately, there does not exist any reliable method of eradicating biting flies from a property, but removing trash, rotting food, feces or animal carcasses from a lawn usually suffices to end an infestation.

Have you ever sustained a bite from a horsefly?