We could talk for days about the different types of bees, wasps and hornets, and all there is to know about them, but chances are there are just a few that plague your property. How do you know which ones are flying around your home, inside or outdoors? What’s the big deal with having them around? What do you do if you have them? Those are the questions we want to answer here for you.
How do you know which ones are flying around your home, inside or outdoors?
The common bees are bumble, carpenter and honey bees. They are typically stout and rounded, and while the colors vary slightly, they are usually yellow/tan and dark brown/black. Sometimes you will notice a hairy texture on bees if they are close enough (though you may hope they never are!).
Hornets have a longer, hairless body. They are thinner, and typically are darker brown with yellow or red markings of some kind. Depending on the type of hornet, the subtle markings may appear white.
Wasps are almost a cross between bees and hornets in appearance. They are longer than bees, a bit larger than most and are usually black/dark brown and yellow in color.
What’s the big deal with having them around?
The truth is each of these pests do serve a purpose in nature no matter how much of an issue they may cause around the home.
Bees pollinate. They are the reason we have things like honey. As with most things, with the good comes the not so good. They may nest in places you wish they wouldn’t. Bees prefer natural cavities for nesting, but if you spend time outside around the house there’s a good chance you can disturb their nest. Bees tend to sting when threatened, but beyond that certain types of bees will eat through wood – like your deck. These tendencies can cause real damage to your home.
Hornets can also pollinate, and control arachnid (spiders) populations. But, they are more aggressive than bees. They will actively sting – multiple times – and also chew through wood pretty quickly. You’re more likely to find a hornet nest in/on your home than a bee nest as they like to nest in cavities within your attic, gutters, etc. if not in nature.
Again, wasps are a combination of the bee and hornet. They play a role in protecting gardens and farm crops by capturing/consuming insects like flies and beetle larvae. However, they will sting, more than once, if they feel threatened. Some people have a reaction to their venom, which can make them a real concern. When it comes to nesting, they are intelligent insects. They may have larger, intricate nests, which can become easier to spot on your property.
What do you do if you have them?
What you do not want to do if you find a bee, hornet, or especially a larger wasp nest is start swatting it down without taking any precautions. All three of these insects will quickly become aggressive once they feel threatened.
If you are noticing an abundance of these pests, see if you can identify the location of their nest. If it is on your property somewhere, it will be easier for you to take care. Also note whether or not they are consistently attracted to one specific place on your property i.e. the deck, certain plants.
With a long-term solution in mind, your best bet is to call a local exterminator. They are best-equipped to remove any nest(s) on your property, and treat the property to prevent an infestation. Because these pests can both harm you, and cause damage to your property,
And keep in mind – this is the season we start seeing more and more of them. Don’t wait to call a professional. These insects are best dealt with right away for your sake and theirs.
~ Bill Hoffman, CEO of Hoffman’s Exterminating