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.
Now that we are in the “dog days” of summer, there really is nothing better than getting outside and enjoying a barbecue or fire pit with friends and family. These early evenings after work can be such a relaxing time. What you don’t want is a pest or a group of pests ruining your outdoor fun. One such pest that is common around this time of year are the yellow jackets. Let’s take a closer look at these stinging pests and what you can do to avoid having them wreak havoc on your outdoor entertaining.
Yellow jackets are in the wasp family and can be identified by their alternating black and yellow body segments and small size. They are often confused with bees, even though their bodies lack the same amount of hair, rounded abdomen, and the expanded hind leg used for carrying pollen of the bee. These social wasps live in colonies that may contain thousands of insects at a time. Maybe you have seen them in your yard or especially around your deck where food, drinks and other items attract the pests.
Since yellow jackets are among the most aggressive of the wasp family, they are a common source for stings. These pests are ground nesters that can be disturbed by walking through the yard or other lawn activities such as mowing, gardening or just playing around. They usually tend to be carnivores, feasting on caterpillars and other insects but when those foods become scarce they turn to your meals on the patio or leftovers in your garbage. They can easily become provoked if they feel their nest or food source is in danger. This is why it is so important to identify the wasp and call for an exterminator immediately. Pest-End Exterminators has been successful treating and excluding wasps, hornet and carpenter bees for years. Call us if you need assistance.
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.
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.