As the weather starts to get warmer, the bees and wasps increase in number. Knowing the difference between bees, wasps and hornets can help you understand how to deal with them and when to call the professionals.
Bees are the friendliest of the three. Bees are fatter and shorter in length than wasps and hornets and are fuzzy or hairy. Bees, such as honey bees and bumble bees, can only sting once and only sting if they feel directly threatened. Their stingers get embedded in the soft tissue of whoever they sting and are then pulled from their bodies. If a bee stings you it will die, so don't worry about it coming back for more.
The nesting habits vary for these three types of bees. Carpenter bees chew tunnels into wood, which includes any wooden parts of your home. If you notice holes about a quarter to a half-inch in diameter in the wooden parts of your home, you may have carpenter bees. Honey bees can nest in wall voids, but usually create nests in trees. Bumble bees nest underground and can become a nuisance when they nest in your yard.
Wasps and hornets are a bit more problematic, specifically those of the Vespid variety including hornets, paper wasps and yellow jackets. All of these types are very aggressive and are able to sting multiple times. These three varieties look similar in that they have elongated bodies, long wings that fold down their back instead of out to the side, longer legs (instead of fat short legs like bees) and shiny, hairless bodies.
Wasps and hornets will defend their nest if they feel you are getting too close, so be aware of where they nest, especially in the spring when you start moving grills, boats, and yard furniture, or if you venture into your shed for the first time.
Paper wasps, which are dark in color and have an extremely thin and long middle section, make paper nests that resemble upside down umbrellas in overhangs or eaves. Watch for these around your house and call an exterminator as soon as you find one.
Hornet nests are the most recognizable as they form the iconic tree-hanging nests. Unfortunately they can also live in your attic or in eaves like paper wasps. If you notice small, muddy-grey colored tubes appearing anywhere on your home, that is the beginning of a nest and needs to be dealt with immediately, before it grows.
Yellow Jackets usually build their nests underground, so watch for signs of them when you are mowing the grass, weed whacking, or when your children play outside. Yellow Jackets like their nests in inclosed spaces, so this can also include wall voids in your home or shed.
Catching these nests early can eliminate the need for extreme removal measures later on, so keep an eye out in these early months of spring to keep your home and family safe and contact us for your stinging pest removal needs.