We’ve heard from some Waterville Valley hikers that stinging insects are very active at the base of Fletchers Cascades and at the top of the Snows Mountain Trail.
I don’t know whether they are wasps, hornets or yellow jackets. To be honest, I don’t even know if there’s a difference among them, other than they sting! I read online that these stingers become extra feisty in late summer and early fall when their colonies forage for food to sustain their queens during the winter months.
Here’s what Pest World has to say about dealing with stinging insects:
Avoid excessive use of fragrances
Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sweet-smelling fragrances. If spending long periods of time outdoors, avoid excessive use of perfume or cologne. When possible, also choose unscented shampoos, soaps, lotions and sunscreen.
Adjust your wardrobe
Avoid wearing dark colors and floral prints, since these patterns are known to attract stinging insects. It’s also important to wear closed-toe shoes, especially in grassy areas as bumblebees and some hornets often nest there.
Remain calm, cool and collected
If a stinging insect is flying nearby, many people’s first reaction is to either swat the insect away or flail their arms in panic. However, these movements may actually provoke an attack. Do not swat the pest, but rather remain calm, slowly walk from the area and it should fly away without causing any harm. If you do get stung, carefully remove the stinger and seek medical attention, as reactions can be severe in some cases.