Main Insect/Pest Information Page > Bees/Wasps
Knowing the species, its habits, and potential dangers is crucial before exploring treatment options. In some cases nothing need be done, in others “beware”, they sting, they hurt, and they are dangerous.
Two notes of importance:
• Honey Bees – they are protected and when possible should be removed and relocated safely by a certified bee keeper. They should not be treated as a “pest” by a pest management firm.
• The standard home owner remedies of flammable fluids on a nest or the old Louisville Slugger methodology are discouraged.
These wasps build mud tubes a few inches long on the siding of your home. The female places a paralyzed spider inside upon which she lays an egg. The egg hatches, the young feeds on the spider and the cycle goes on. A stick is the tool of choice.
Digger Wasps, Cicada Killers, and Ground Bees
They are all similar, they prefer sandy soil where they dig holes, sometimes lots and lots of holes. They also place a paralyzed insect (grub, cicada, etc.) in the burrow, lays an egg which upon hatching feeds on the food supply at hand.
These are relatively large species, and appear quite aggressive but need to be strongly provoked before stinging.
Typically appearing under eaves, porches, decks, behind shutters, inside light fixtures, barbeque grills and play sets.
The nest is made from a paper like material and is quite fragile. Knocking it down with a hose (water stream from a hose that is) is a practical solution.
They can sting, and it hurts!
These are the bees that cut a ½ inch circular hole under your deck railing or fascia boards (under your gutters). They have found a location that they like and will return year after year. It is this repeated drilling of holes for multiple years that result in damage (in particular, the fascia boards).
Although quite large and seemingly aggressive, they typically do not sting.
Hornets and Yellow Jackets
The tell tale sign of a colony is that grey paper like nest, the size of a football attached to you house or building or hanging from a tree. A secondary indication is a stream of bees flying in and out of a small hole just about anywhere. It is also common to disrupt a nest while mowing the lawn.
If you learn nothing else, learn this! Whether these are yellow jackets, European hornets, or bald faced hornets, they get disturbed easily and because of their number, you risk getting stung repeatedly. They can be “extremely” dangerous and should definitely be handled by a professional.
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