Tips to Help Avoid Being Stung:
Wasps and hornets are most aggressive in late summer and early fall when food is scarce and the weather is dry.
When headed out on the trail, avoid wearing perfumes, lotions, or other products with a floral or fruity scent that may attract stinging insects. Try to take short snack breaks instead of a long lunch break to avoid attracting insects to the smell of sweet foods.
If you see a stinging insect flying around while hiking, remain calm. In most cases, the insects are just looking for food and will eventually leave you alone. Avoid swatting at the insects, as they may perceive that as a threat and become defensive and aggressive.
Leave the area immediately if you encounter a wasp or hornet nest or bee hive. These insects defend their homes aggressively, stinging you if you get too close. You can usually hear the buzzing from above-ground nests before you see it. However, below-ground nests are more difficult to notice ahead of time. If you discover a nest unexpectedly, quickly leave the area and distance yourself at least 300 – 600 feet away. The insects will stop chasing you once you’re far enough away so they can continue to stay near and defend their nest.
Be sure to let other hikers know about any nests you come across. You can report new nests on LRCT properties by contacting us at email@example.com.