Being stung by a bee, wasp or hornet is a painful experience in and of itself, but it can be life threatening for those who are allergic. It is possible to reduce these risks by taking precautions when outdoors and ensuring that wasp nests or beehives are properly managed. Knowing how to get rid of bees, wasps or hornets is critical to avoid the risk of stings. If you are ever unsure of what to do, we recommend calling a pest control professional.
Wasps & Hornets
The most dangerous species of stinging insects are vespid wasps, which include paper wasps, yellowjackets and hornets.
Paper wasps have long legs, which is a good way to tell them apart from yellowjackets, who have shorter legs.
Yellowjackets have black antennae and shorter legs (relative to the paper wasp).
Hornets are the largest social wasps we deal with. Bald faced hornets have white markings on their head and thorax, and European hornets are brownish with orange markings.
Wasp and Hornet Nests
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.
Yellowjackets build nests that are surrounded by a papery covering, and are commonly found within wall voids or cavities in the ground. When disturbed, yellowjackets are quite aggressive, and can attack in large numbers.
Bald faced hornets build nests that are covered in a papery shell. European hornets build their nests in natural cavities like tree stumps or in spaces within buildings (walls, attics, etc).
Hornet and Wasp Control
The best way to get rid of wasps and hornets is to eliminate their nest. To locate the nest, watch the flight path of returning insects. Common sites for a nest include under the roof eaves, behind shutters, in sheds, in attics or in wall voids. Removing nests is a delicate and dangerous task that requires proper tools and procedures, so we recommend contacting a professional exterminator rather than attempting to do it yourself.
Carpenter bees look just like bumble bees except their abdomens are shiny and smooth. Carpenter bees are frequently seen in the spring around unpainted buildings and boards. They are solitary bees, so they do not live in colonies and will rarely sting humans. Learn more about Carpenter Bees on Aerex.
Bumble bees physically resemble carpenter bees, except they have hairy abdomens. Bumble bees do not make tunnels in wood, but rather nest underground or in cavities, such as in abandoned mouse burrows. In general, bumble bees are seldom problematic, except in situations where the nests are established in a location that conflicts with people or pets.
Honey bees can be various shades of yellow, black, brown or orange, and their bodies are covered in light-colored hair. Unlike the wasp, honey bee colonies can survive throughout the winter and are not subject to colony re-establishment each year. When the colony gets too large for hive space or new queens are produced, honey bees will swarm to form new colonies. Honey bees are not particularly aggressive, except when the nest is disturbed. It’s important to note that it’s illegal to kill honey bees, so when dealing with a honey bee infestation, a beekeeper must be called in to remove the nest.
Aerex Has the Solution
Aerex technicians understand the habits of each bee, wasp, and hornet species and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators.
At Aerex we pride ourselves on fast, responsive service every day. All appointments are scheduled at times that are convenient for you. Call us for a free consultation at 847-255-8888.
Did you know
Smarter than you’d think: Even though the brains of bees are the size of a sesame seed (about 20,000 times smaller than the human brain), they can count to four and recognize individual human faces. All this with never sleeping!