In the past two weeks, a series of vicious bee and wasp attacks have killed three people and sent more than half a dozen to the hospital in anaphylactic shock. So far, the most dangerous attacks have occurred in Florida, California and Arizona; but NJ pest control experts are warning New Jersey residents to be wary of aggressive bee and wasp activity while cleaning gutters, picking up lawn debris, stacking wood piles, sealing decks and performing other fall chores.

One Arizona man died and two were hospitalized when they were attacked by bees while remodeling a home. In California, swarming bees killed a man and his wife when the man sprayed pesticide on a hive in the chimney of his home. Another California man was hospitalized after being attacked and stung nearly 600 times when he inadvertently walked near a hive. In Southern California, bees attacked a man in a wheelchair at a storage yard, sending him and his three rescuers to the hospital in anaphylactic shock.

Anaphylactic shock is a serious reaction to bee or wasp venom that causes severe swelling of the mouth, tongue and throat, restricting air flow and severely inhibiting breathing, sometimes fatally. New Jersey pest control professionals warn that bees and wasps, particularly yellow jackets, become increasingly aggressive from late summer through fall. Most stinging insects attack when their hives are threatened, but yellow jackets are highly aggressive and will attack without provocation. When bees and wasps attack, they release pheromones that attract and excite their hive mates. A frenzied swarm of thousands of angry bees can form in minutes, stinging their victim hundreds of times. If you encounter a bee or wasp hive while doing fall chores, don’t put yourself or your family at risk. Call a NJ pest control expert for safe elimination of the hive.