In our last blog we examined prevention techniques for bee stings this outdoor season. We reviewed common bee behavior such as slipping into soda cans unnoticed or dining on your outdoor picnic. One important piece of information that can prevent bee stings is knowing where bees tend to nest. The locations vary according to the type of bee, whether it is a wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket. Let’s take a deeper look at where bees nest so you can be alert to their presence.
- Ground Nesting Bees – Not all bees live in hanging hives. In fact, according to the Department of Entomology at Cornell University, 70% of all the 20,000 species of bees nest under ground. In North America, most of these ground bees become active in early spring. Nests of these bees are easy to identify above ground because of the conical piles of dirt with a large hole in the middle that serves as the entrance to the bee burrows. Miner bees and yellow jackets are common ground nesting bees. Unfortunately, while miner bees are docile, yellow jackets are extremely aggressive.
- Hanging Nests – Hornets and wasps tend to have hanging nests that can be found under eaves, overhangs, or hanging high from a tree branch. Hornet nests are made from saliva and wood pulp, and usually grow as large as the colony. Some have been known to be the size of a basketball if allowed to grow. Wasps nests tend to be smaller and look like an umbrella. Neither type of bee should be removed without professional help.
- On Fences or Brick – Many honey bees and/or mason bees like to clump together and colonize in fireplace brick or along fences. These bees are critical parts of our ecosystem and are usually docile. Leave these bees alone to pollinate and add to the ecosystem.
Do you have a bees nest around your property? Have our team of professionals take a look and devise a solution for your bee issue. Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.
No one ever intentionally tries to get stung by a bee, wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket. Nonetheless the Centers for Disease Control estimates that thousands of people are stung by insects each year, and as many as 90–100 people in the United States die as a result of allergic reactions. To understand how to avoid getting stung this season, it is important to understand bee behavior and habitats. A little information can go a long way on how to avoid bee stings.
Sting Prevention Tips:
- Be careful when drinking sweet beverages outside, such as soda, beer, or any sugary drinks. Bees tend to find their way into a can or partially covered beverage only to surprise a person drinking later. Open cups may be your best option because you can see if a bee is in them. If you can not use open-top cups, then inspect straws and cans carefully before drinking.
- Keep all food covered at BBQs or outdoor gatherings.
- Keep all garbage cans tightly covered.
- Clean up outdoor food messes promptly. This includes: fallen fruit, grease from the grill, spilled drinks, chips, and all meats.
- Dress for bees. Some bees like to build their nests in the ground and, if stepped on, can attack. It is a good idea to wear footwear at all times outdoors. In addition, avoid wearing brightly colored clothes or clothes that have a floral print. Don’t look like a flower!
- When driving, keep your windows rolled up so bees can not enter and cause an accident.
- Be careful when mowing the lawn or trimming vegetation. These types of activities might agitate insects in a beehive or wasp nest.
- Bees are attracted to strong smells so avoid fragrances, including hair spray, scented soaps, lotions, and oils.
- If a bee does come near you do not swat at it but rather stay still or blow on it. This can encourage it to move on while not startling it.
- Do a regular inspection of areas around your home where a hanging nest of bees could develop, such as around sheds, soffits, gutters, and decks.
- Have hives and nests near your home removed by a professional like our team here at Pest-End Exterminators!
If you have questions about bees or have found a bees nest around your property call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.
If you love to entertain outdoors this time of year you know that no one likes an uninvited guest, especially the stinging kind such as wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets. As with many things in life, the best way to prevent getting stung is a good defense. Let’s take a quick look at these three stinging insect behaviors and nesting locations so you can avoid a painful sting this spring and summer.
- Appearance – While there are many different varieties of wasps, the most common wasps appear to have black with yellow stripes on a slender body.
- Nesting Areas – Wasps tend to have an umbrella-shaped nest found in areas that are shielded from wet weather, such as building overhangs and ceilings of little-used structures. In a natural setting, they tend to nest under tree branches and rock outcroppings.
- Behaviors – When wasps are away from their nest, they enjoy feeding on nectar and other insects. They rarely sting, unless they feel their nest is under attack, and then they will launch themselves at the attacker. If you find one of their nests, call in professional help that can remove the nest safely and prevent you and your family from being stung.
- Appearance – As with wasps, there are several types of hornets, including bald-faced hornets and European hornets, but the most common are white and black with prominent white markings on their head.
- Nesting Areas – Bald-faced hornets tend to build paper nests at least three or more feet above the ground, usually in trees, shrubs, on overhangs, utility poles, houses, sheds, or other structures. Many homeowners find them in the upper corners of garages, outdoor sheds, or covered patio areas. These nests can be as large as 14 inches in diameter and more than 24 inches in length. The size of the colony can range anywhere from 100 to 400 colony members.
- Behaviors – Unlike other types of stinging insects, hornets tend to be extremely aggressive. They will sting even if unprovoked. Since their stingers are smooth rather than barbed, they have the ability to sting over and over again. We caution staying away from nesting areas once they are identified and calling in professionals to help in the removal process.
- Appearance – Yellow jackets generally are black and yellow, and have no hair.
- Nesting – Unlike other stinging insects, yellow jackets tend to make their nest underground in old rodent tunnels, or in low-lying bushes or branches. They especially like access trash piles, garbage cans, and outdoor grills.
- Behaviors – Yellow jackets can live in colonies that can surpass thousands of members. These insects are extremely aggressive and will swarm an individual if they sense danger.
Visit our blog next week as we discuss steps you can take to make your backyard a little less friendly to stinging insects, and prevent you, your family, and/or guests from getting stung at your next outdoor party. Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.
Last week we discussed the danger of provoking the most aggressive form of wasp – the yellow jacket. This week we are taking a closer look at other pest in the wasp family – the paper wasp. No one wants to find potential stinging insects in their yard or attached to their home so read on to find out what you can do about preventing stings.
Paper wasps are named for the paper-like substance that they construct their nests. Their nests are very distinctively in the shape of an umbrella and can be found across the country in varying climates. Paper wasps hang their comb nests from branches of trees or shrubs, porch ceilings, the tops of window and doorframes, and other areas up high. To identify this particular type of wasp look for a brownish color with yellow markings and occasionally reddish markings. They have 6 legs, two of which are longer and also have antennae. While this type of wasp probably will not dive bomb you as other wasps have been known to do, it will react if threatened.
Just like other wasps, paper wasps are semi-social and will live in smaller colonies than yellow jackets. As we mentioned they are not as aggressive as other types of wasps but they have been known to sting if they are disturbed or provoked. These stings are rather painful and can cause some people to have a reaction, or worse yet, go into anaphylactic shock. If you notice paper wasps nest has been built in your yard or on your home call us for immediate action at Pest-End Exterminators.
No one wants to get stung by a wasp or a hornet, but during the summer months when these bees are busy making their nests, they can become aggressive and will defend their home if they feel that it is in danger. That danger could come in the form of a lawn mower getting too close, a child’s ball hitting an eave or overhang where they are located or even just walking too close to an area where a nest is located. It is best to be aware of what these nests look like so you can avoid the area and call professional help to solve the problem – before someone gets stung. Here are some descriptions that can help you identify what species of bee you are dealing with. Call Pest-End Exterminators and do not attempt to remove these bees by yourself.
- Paper wasps – Paper wasps build open and exposed nests that resemble an upside down umbrella. These nests can get quite large late in the season, and adult wasps will readily sting if they sense danger approaching. Some wasps build new nests on top of old nests, giving the false impression that they are reusing a nest.
- Yellow Jackets – Build nests that are surrounded by a papery covering, and are commonly found within wall voids or cavities in the ground. When disturbed, yellow jackets are quite aggressive, and can attack in large numbers. Yellow jackets are typically most aggressive in late summer and this leads to an increase in yellow jacket stings.
- Bald faced hornets – Build nests that are covered in a papery shell and European hornets build their nests in natural cavities like tree stumps, or in cavities within buildings.
Bees are amazing little creatures and an integral part of our ecosystem. This fascination with bees however, does not mean that homeowners enjoy a bee sting. Unfortunately, it is all too common during the spring, summer and even fall months that people enjoying the outdoors are stung by bees, wasps or hornets. Pest-End Extermination can help you solve you bee problem especially if you have a nest or swarm of bees that frequent your property. In the meantime however, there are also some steps that you can take to avoid getting stung all on your own.
- Take Care with Food – Bees like other living organisms are attracted to food around them. Therefore if you are having a dinner on your patio or hosting a BBQ, use care when serving food outdoors. Use protective netting over plates of food and be especially carefully with cans of soda or beer. Bees have a tendency to crawl inside while you are not looking and will sting if they feel threatened during your next sip.
- Dress Wisely – Don’t wear brightly colored clothing, particularly floral patterns. Bees tend to be attracted to these colors and may even think you are a flower! Wear pants and long sleeves if you plan to be out for long stretches of time around an area that bees frequent. Wear shoes even in the grass because bees tend to nest and land in grassy patches – that includes your lawn!
- Avoid Fragrances – If you know you will outdoors avoid shampoos, perfumes hair spray, scented soaps, lotions,and even strong smelling deodorants. Bees tend to investigate sweet scents and could feel threatened once they get close enough.
- Slow Movements – If there are bees around you move slow and do not swat at them. This may further provoke them into protecting their area.
If you have a bee problem call the professionals at Pest-End Extermination to come up wth a safe and fast solution for your property.
While wasp stings may be fairly common during the warm summer months, the sting itself is anything but common, it can be downright painful! Wasp stings can pack a punch especially for those who are allergic. Wasps, like bees and hornets, are equipped with a stinger as a means of self-defense. A wasp’s stinger contains venom that is transmitted to humans during a sting. While a bee can only sting once because its stinger becomes stuck in the skin of its victim, a wasp can sting more than once during an attack. Wasp stingers remain intact. This is especially concerning for the small percent of the population allergic to wasp stings.
People who are allergic make up about 10% of the population. The group of people who have adverse reactions to wasp stings and insect bites show symptoms that include: swelling, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. The most severe allergic reactions to wasp stings are referred to as “anaphylaxis.” Anaphylaxis occurs when your body goes into shock in response to the wasp venom. Most people who go into shock after a wasp sting do so very quickly. It’s important to seek immediate emergency care to treat anaphylaxis.
Even people who are not allergic to the venom in a wasp sting, the sting is extremely painful and can cause a local reaction to the venom. For non-allergic people, the wasp sting will most likely include a sharp pain or burning at the sting site. Redness, swelling, and itching can occur as well. Add to this a red, hot welt that will be seen at the sting sight. In short, wasps stings can be both dangerous and painful.
What should you do if you notice you have wasps frequenting your yard?
Wasps are generally not aggressive unless their nests are threatened. Unfortunately wasps may feel threatened if they make their nest near your deck, garage, eaves or other outdoor areas. If you notice a nest take action before it becomes a problem and the nest grows. Pest-End Exterminators can identify the area that is the problem, decide on an extermination method, exclude the wasps, and sanitize the area. Call us immediately before you find out the hard way just how painful a wasp sting can be.
Many clients ask us about treatment for bees in and around their property. Inevitably, we are asked about honey bees. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these under-appreciated workers pollinate 80 percent of our flowering crops, which constitute one-third of everything we eat. Losing them could affect not only dietary staples such as apples, broccoli, strawberries, nuts, asparagus, blueberries and cucumbers, but may threaten our beef and dairy industries if alfalfa is not available for feed. Honey bees are extremely important to our ecosystem. We are interested in helping save these types of bees while at the same time keeping you and your family safe from bees such as wasps and hornets. Let’s explore more about these harmful bees.
- Wasps are distinguishable from bees by their pointed lower abdomens and the narrow “waist,” called a petiole, that separates the abdomen from the thorax.
- All wasps build nests. Whereas bees secrete a waxy substance to construct their nests.
- Wasps nests vary in size, shape and locations. They can be enclosed or open. Some are found under eaves or decks in around properties and commercial buildings.
- Wasps will seek locations that are left undisturbed to build their nests.
- They are never aggressive unless their nests are threatened. Once threatened, they attack with a painful sting.
- Wasp stings can be fatal since their sting produces a deadly anaphylactic reaction in some people who have allergies.
Hornets (Social Wasps)
- Hornets nests resemble a large, inverted tear-drop shaped ball that typically is attached to a tree, bush or side of a building.
- Some hornets are yellow and black and are confused with Yellow Jackets.
- Hornets have stings used to kill prey and defend hives.
- Hornet stings are more painful to humans than typical wasp stings because hornet venom contains a large amount (pkp,5%) of acetylcholine.
- The toxicity of hornet stings varies according to hornet species; some deliver just a typical insect sting, while others are among the most venomous known insects.
- The most obvious signs of a hornet problem are presence of adults and the observance of nests.
If your property has a wasp or hornet nest or you are noticing an increase in these types of bees around your home, call Pest-End Exterminators to identify the type of bee and and locate the nest/infestation.
At Pest-End we deal daily with insects and pests that threaten our gardens, our homes and lawn. For most people these pests are merely an annoyance but for others it can mean a potentially fatal event. One grouping of insects that are especially frightening for approximately two million people in the United States are the wasps, hornets and yellowjackets.. For people who are allergic, a sting can mean a life or death situation caused by anaphylactic shock. According to Boston Children’s Hospital about 100 Americans die every year from stings. Three percent of children who are stung will experience allergic reactions. These severe cases can make going outdoors a frightening experience even up until the first frost every fall. Here is a little background on wasp, hornet and yellowjacket stings and allergic reactions to help you understand the importance of protecting your home and possessions from these pests.
Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction
While most of us enjoy the warm weather of spring summer and fall, others must be vigilant of of the harmful sting they may give. Half of all people who die from anaphylaxis did not know that they had an allergy. So, with that in mind, here are some symptoms to watch for:
- face/throat swelling
- trouble breathing
- cramping in the stomach area
What to do if you are unaware of an allergy:
- Ice the sting location using a towel or ice pad.
- Elevate the area to reduce swelling
- Use an antihistamine to relieve swelling and itching
What to do if you know you have an allergy:
- Immediately use an Epi-Pen (epinephrine shot) if you carry them with you (always carry two).
- Call 911 Immediately
- Go to the hospital even if the shot seems to be reducing the symptoms.
How to Reduce your Risk of bees stings:
- Talk to your doctor about immunotherapy (allergy shots) and if they are right for you.
- Avoid clothing that can give access to bees – longer pants, open toed shoes, shorts sleeves.
- Avoid leaving soda cans or food out in the open near you.
- Avoid sweet smelling perfumes or deodorant.
- Don’t swat at bees.
- Have your yard treated hives and nests removed by a professional team like Pest-End or Pro-Tech.
If you have ever been stung by a wasp you know how painful it can be. Wasps are unique in that even if a victim is not allergic to the wasps venom can still be life threatening. Social wasps which include yellow jackets, paper wasps and hornets are the most common type and tend to live in habitats near humans. Since living with wasps in the environment is inevitable, it is important to understand the behavior and dangers that accompany a wasp nest.
Wasp Nests – Wasps establish colonies annually and make nests from masticated wood pulp. Their nests are usually found in rodents hollows most likely inside the houses or in playgrounds. Wasps start building a brand new nest in the spring. This happens when the overwintered queens emerge from hibernation. Wasps never reuse an old nest from a previous year. If your home tends to attract a nest annually, it may just be that the location is a good one for them to build their nest. Wasps love old roofs with many entrances, gaps in tiles, and hollow playground equipment.
Wasp stings – Wasps are not usually aggressive unless their nest is in danger. Unfortunately coming upon a nest by accident or disturbing a nest can happen anywhere around your home. Wasp venom can be life threatening to certain susceptible individuals who are allergic. But if stung enough times, even people who are not allergic can be overwhelmed by wasp venom. 30 stings or more can be deadly and the affect of wasp stings is accumulative i.e. the more stings you receive the worse your reaction will be.
Identifying and Eradicating Nests – If you suspect that you have a wasp nest but are not sure where it is, the first place to look is outside near roof lines, holes in the foundation or on playground equipment. If the nest is on your property or building, the wasps will be arriving and leaving via an entrance – exit point. You will see wasps arriving and leaving from a specific location every few seconds. If there are no signs on the building, the next obvious place would be garages, garden sheds, and outbuildings. Many people get stung severely trying to eradicate the problem on their own, Consult a pest professional who can advise you on a safe method.