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Buzzin’ and Stingin’

on May 8, 2012

While trying to decide on what to write this blog on, I was thinking about what type of pest we’ve had several calls about lately. Of course, it’s always a wide variety, but I have been getting more and more calls recently on stinging insects (bees, wasps, hornets, etc). Why is it that we’re seeing so many of them lately? The temperatures are back in the normal range since our unseasonably warm temperatures earlier this year.  But these record high temperatures in March brought the creatures out in force after a winter that lacked the kinds of below-freezing temperatures to reduce the number of overwintering adults. Below are some different types of stinging insects and their characteristics:

Paper wasps are 0.7 to 1.0 inch (1.8 to 2.5 cm)-long wasps that gather fibers from dead wood and plant stems, which they mix with saliva, and use to construct water-resistant nests made of gray or brown papery material. These wasps are aggressive and will defend their nest if provoked. They deliver a painful sting. Their nests do not cause structural damage to buildings.

Carpenter bees are large bees distributed worldwide. Their name comes from the fact that nearly all species build their nests in burrows in dead wood, bamboo, or structural timbers. Damage from a single nest is minor; however, structural damage to wood that has been used for nesting for several years may be considerable. Female carpenter bees only sting when disturbed; however, their sting can be painful. Males cannot sting as they do not have a stinger.

Ground nesting bees vary by species, and range from ¼ to ½ inch in length. Occasionally, a large aggregation of nests may intimidate passersby and cause cosmetic damage to lawns.  These bees will not usually sting unless threatened. They can often be observed at close range foraging on a flower or building a nest.  If control is required, it is best to contact a professional.

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The problem with trying to use preventative measure to keep bees/wasps away from your home, is that many times they will build their nests in the same spot every year. Typically this would be under the eaves of your home, or someplace their nest will be kept safe and try. With our treatment, we remove all visable nests and treat the entire home with chemical, to prevent further nesting on the home.

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