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.
Hornets are the largest of the social wasps, and are similar in appearance to their close relatives yellow jackets. Many homeowners use the terms hornet, wasp and yellow jacket interchangeably even though there are distinct differences to each. Today, we will be discussing the hazard of hornets and the places to avoid hornet stings.
For many of us, a hornet sting is merely painful, while for others it is a matter of life and death. The Center for Disease Control reports that the health effects of stinging or biting insects such as a hornet can range from mild discomfort or pain to a lethal reaction for those allergic to the insect’s venom. Anaphylactic shock is the body’s severe allergic reaction to a sting and requires immediate emergency care.
So where should children and homeowners be aware of nests? Like other social wasps, hornets build communal nests by chewing wood to make a papery pulp. Each nest has one queen, who lays eggs and is attended by workers. Most of us know to avoid the typical looking wasp or hornet nest, but do you know where to look as what red flags should alert you to a hornet nests? While each species may have a favorite type of nesting spot, in general, nesting places can be anywhere and include:
- Inside hollow trees, or in walls, attic, etc. (the entrance is usually a very small hole).
- Nests that hang from branches or overhangs such as eaves of a building.
- In shrubs, bushes, hedges, or on tree limbs.
- In rubber tires, crates, boxes, abandoned vehicles, etc.
- Under shrubs, logs, piles of rocks and other protected sites.
- Inside rodent burrows or other holes in the ground.
Hornet aggressively guard their nesting sites when threatened. This is particularly true for hornets nesting close to human habitation, as their stings are more dangerous than those of bees. If you think you have a hornet nest on your property, do not try to remove it yourself. Trust in the experience of Pest-End Exterminators to remove the nest and make your yard safe again.
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.
Bees are truly miraculous creatures. Without them our world would be a very different place. Bees, specifically honey bees, are incredible pollinators – without which we would not have fruits, veggies or the beauty of the world’s flowers. An estimated 80 percent of food in grocery stores is available on the shelves, thanks to bee-pollinated crops. However, honey bees are a far cry from other stinging bees like the bald faced hornet.
Identifying the Bald Faced Hornet and the Nest
Bald faced hornets are closely related to yellow jackets. The hornet, measuring 3/4 of an inch long, gets its name from white facial markings also seen along its legs, thorax and abdomen. Found in most of the continental United States, the bald faced hornet builds its nests in trees, bushes and on buildings. A bald faced hornet’s nest is made from chewed wood fibers combined with saliva and dries into a gray papery shell shaped like a football with one hole in the bottom.
Dangers of the Bald Faced Hornet
Bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will attack anyone or anything that invades their space. This makes bald-faced hornet removal somewhat difficult. We advise not attempting to spray or remove without professional help. While their bites are no worse than those of any other wasp or hornet, they attack anyone who disturbs the nest or who comes within 3 feet of it. If you notice a nest located close (within 10 feet) of an entrance to a building, under an eave that is close to the ground or in shrubbery next to a lawn that is mowed, contact Pest-End Exterminators to safety and quickly remove it. Individuals with known sensitivities to wasp and bee stings should have any nests close to their homes removed as soon as possible.
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.