How to Identify and Get Rid of Bees and Wasps
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How to Get Rid of Bees and Wasps
The buzzing sound of a bee or wasp nearby can cause panic. Even though we know many of them play an important role in pollination, we still don’t want to be near them. Their stings hurt and, for some people, create a dangerous allergic reaction. If you can respect their space and stay away, that’s always a good option. But if they are moving into your yard or even home, it’s best to call a professional pest control service to help you safely get rid of the problem.
How to Identify Bees and Wasps
There are hundreds of bee and wasp species in the world, but there are only a few of the most common ones that may set up nests on your property and causes problems for you and your family.
Honey bees are an extremely important part of our ecosystem because of their role in crop pollination. They can be found all over the United States, are about a half inch long and are golden-yellow with brown markings. They live in large colonies that can total up to 30,000 bees or more. Honey bees make their nests in roofs, chimneys or hollow trees. They aren’t typically aggressive and only sting if they feel threatened.
Bumble bees are fuzzy with black and yellow stripes and hairy, yellow abdomens. They can grow up to an inch in size and like to build nests in the ground, but you may also find their nests in patio and deck areas. They’re stings are painful and they can sting you more than once. They will aggressively defend their nest and chase you for a good distance to drive you or any invader away.
Carpenter bees are yellow and black and can grow up to an inch in size. They look a lot like bumble bees but the big difference is carpenter bees have smooth, shiny abdomens. Carpenter bees are solitary insects and don’t live in colonies or nests. Male carpenter bees don’t have a stinger; the females do, but rarely use it. They bore round, smooth holes in decayed or weathered wood to lay eggs. If left untreated, carpenter bees can cause significant damage to homes and businesses.
Yellow jackets grow to about a half inch or more, have black and yellow stripes along their body and two sets of wings. They can be found all over the United States, but the biggest concentration of yellow jackets is in the Southeast. They live in colonies and build nests in trees, bushes and the eaves of homes. They are territorial and can become extremely aggressive if they feel their nest is threatened. Their stings are painful and can cause allergic reactions.
Paper wasps can grow up to an inch in length and are yellow and black with orange-tipped antennae. They can be found all over the U.S., live in small colonies and build their hanging nests from porch ceilings and on twigs and branches in residential areas. They can sting you more than once, but they aren’t typically aggressive unless they feel threatened.
Mud Dauber Wasps
Mud dauber wasps can grow up to an inch long, are long and slender and can be black and yellow or black and metallic blue in color. They live alone in nests made of mud and can be found across the U.S. They build nests in open garages, sheds, barns, walls, attics, porch ceilings, and under eaves. They aren’t aggressive and rarely sting.
Bald-faced hornets can be up to three-quarters of an inch long and have smooth bodies that are black and white. They build nests off the ground in shrubs, trees or on overhangs and live in colonies that can have up to 400 hornets. Bald-faced hornets are common in all 50 states, can sting you repeatedly and are most aggressive in the fall when their food supply gets low.
The European hornet is also known as the giant hornet. It can grow up to an inch and a half long, are brown with yellow stripes, have two pair of wings and a long body. They are found in 31 states on the East Coast through the upper Midwest and are most common in late summer. They build nests in attics, porches and hollow trees. European hornets can sting multiple times and can cause the skin to itch, hurt or swell.
Preventing Bee and Wasp Infestations
It’s highly recommended that you not try to remove a bee or wasp nest by yourself or try to get rid of an infestation on your own. Bee and wasp removal is best left to a professional pest control service. Once they set up a nest, they can be hard to get rid of, but there are some things you can do to prevent bees and wasps from calling your house home.
- Take a good look around your property. Look for potential places where bees or wasps could get in and seal all the cracks and crevices.
- Pay attention to wood. Whether it’s wood posts on your home or trees in your yard, look for small, smooth holes that can be a sign of carpenter bees. You’ll want to seal them off to keep bees from re-entering.
- Give the outside a manicure. Keep your trees and shrubs trimmed and well-shaped, don’t let them get overgrown.
- Pick up fruit. If you have fruit-bearing trees or plants, make sure you keep the fruit picked up off the ground. Most bees and wasps are attracted to sweet-tasting foods.
- Change your outdoor lights. Using yellow bulbs in your exterior light fixtures will help cut down on the possibility of European hornet infestations.
- Plant flowers away from doors. Any kind of flowering plant is attractive to honey bees, so you will want to plant them away from doors and windows to keep the bees from getting inside.
- Mix up your own repellent. Research shows that mixing clove, geranium and lemongrass essential oils will keep wasps away. You can mix the three oils with dish soap and water in a spray bottle and squirt it on ledges, eaves and porch roofs to keep wasps from building nests.
Pollinating bees and wasps are clearly very important to our environment and our food supply, but it’s still important to keep them away from your home and business as much as possible. There are plenty of sprays and traps on the market designed to eliminate bees and wasps, but it’s not advised to tackle nests on your own. Bee and wasp stings can be painful and, depending on your body’s reaction, dangerous.
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Getting Rid of Bees and Wasps in Your House
Treatment Methods for Bees and Wasps
The safest and most effective way to rid your property of bees and wasps is with a professional pest control service. At Ehrlich, our technicians are expertly trained in identifying the insect and knowing the best treatment to eliminate them.
Step 1: Free Inspection
One of our technicians will arrive at your home at a time convenient for you and thoroughly inspect your property for free. We understand the life cycle of bees and wasps and know how and where to safely look for signs of a bee or wasp infestation.
Step 2: Customized Plan
After inspection, we will identify what type of stinging insect you have on your property and give you our best recommendations for how to deal with and eliminate them. We will give you a price quote for our services and answer all your questions.
Step 3: Protection and Prevention
We will immediately get to work with all the tools we have to treat your issue with solutions that are safe for your family and pets.
Some of our treatment methods include:
- We will safely destroy the nest and remove it from your property.
- We can identify and treat for carpenter bees, and seal off the holes they have drilled in your wood to keep them from coming back.
- Ehrlich technicians will continue to treat the problem until your bee or wasp issue is eliminated.
Professional Bee and Wasp Treatment
Our professional pest control experts are always equipped with protective gear to keep them from getting stung. Before we begin nest elimination and removal, we will ensure no one is near the area. Your safety is our top priority.
We have a variety of treatment applications we can use. We will determine what type of bee or wasp you have and whether an aerosol, dust or liquid is the best option for colony elimination. If possible, our technicians will also take care of removing and properly disposing of the nest to keep a new colony from taking over.
At Ehrlich, we follow all state and local laws concerning bee hive removal. Some bees, like honey bees, are protected and their hives will need to be relocated by a professional beekeeper. We will ensure that happens properly.
Ehrlich’s Bee and Wasp Services
Whatever pest control issue you may have, Ehrlich is here to help. Our pest control specialists are highly trained, licensed and certified professionals who use the latest technology, treatment and tools to eliminate your current problems and prevent future infestations. We have been protecting homes and businesses from pests since 1928 – we’d be honored to protect yours too.