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Bees/Wasps

Wasp and Bee Control

Wasp control and bee control are essential for the safety of your family, friends and neighbors. You can depend on Miller Pest Control to control these annoying and potentially dangerous insects. We have over thirty years of experience in wasp control and bee control. Each of our trained professionals has a minimum of 100 hours of classroom training, and also receives ongoing education. This insect control instruction includes the latest on wasp and bee infestation management. Why is wasp and bee control so important? While most stinging and biting pests don’t present a significant risk to many people, their attacks can be very painful. In addition, a number of bug bites and stings can be dangerous to babies and young children, the elderly and people with severe allergic reactions to insect venoms.

Bees and Wasps

Although they are generally considered to be pests because of their ability to sting, Wasps and bees are generally speaking beneficial insects. Wasps become a problem in autumn when they disrupt many outdoor activities. While both social wasps and bees live in colonies ruled by queens and maintained by workers, they look and behave differently. It is important to distinguish between bees, wasps and hornets because different methods will be necessary to control them if they become a nuisance. If you are unsure of whether you have bees, wasps or hornets call Miller Pest Control for an in home estimate today.

Appearance of Wasps

Wasps have a slender body with a narrow waist, slender, cylindrical legs, and appear smoothed-skinned and shiny. Yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets, and paper wasps are the most common types of wasps encountered by people

Appearance of Bees

Bees are robust-bodied and very hairy compared with wasps. Their hind legs are flattened for collecting and transporting pollen. Bees are important pollinators. Honey bees are responsible for more than 80% of the pollination required by most fruits and vegetable seed plants as well as many shrubs and flowers that are grown in our landscapes.

Bees and Wasps Food Preferences

Wasps are predators, feeding insects to their young. They prey on many insects, including caterpillars, flies, crickets, and other pests. During late summer and fall, as queens stop laying eggs and their nests decline, wasps change their food gathering priorities and are more interested in collecting sweets and other carbohydrates. Some wasps may become aggressive scavengers around human food and may be common around outdoor activities where food or drinks are served. Bees feed only on nectar and pollen from flowers. Honey bees sometimes visit trash cans and soft-drink containers to feed on sugary foods.

Bees, Wasps and Yellow Jacket Nesting Sites

Yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets, and paper wasps make nests from a papery pulp comprised of chewed-up wood fibers mixed with saliva. Yellow jacket and bald-faced hornet nests consist of a series of rounded combs stacked in tiers. These combs are covered by an envelope consisting of several layers of pulp. Paper wasps construct only one comb without any protective envelope. Yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets, and paper wasps nest in quiet, out of the way places. Unfortunately, in urban areas this may conflict with people and their interests. Yellow jackets commonly build nests below ground in old rodent burrows or other cavities. They can also build nests in trees, shrubs, under eaves, and inside attics or wall voids. Bald-faced hornets commonly build nests in the open in trees as well as under eaves and along the sides of buildings. Paper wasps build nests under any flat surface and are commonly found on limbs, overhangs, in eaves of buildings, beams and supports in attics, garages, barns, sheds, and other similar places. Honey bees make a series of vertical honey combs made of wax. Their colonies are mostly in manufactured hives but they do occasionally nest in cavities in large trees, voids in building walls, or other protected areas. Bumble bees use old mice burrows, cavities in buildings, and other locations to make their nests. Like honey bees, bumble bees make cells of wax.  These sites should be investigated by the trained professionals at Miller Pest Control. Call today.

Life Cycle of Wasps and Bees

Wasps and bumble bees have annual colonies that last for only one year. The colony dies in the fall with only the newly produced queens surviving the winter. The new queens leave their nests during late summer and mate with males. The queens then seek out overwintering sites, such as under loose bark, in rotted logs, under siding or tile, and in other small crevices and spaces, where they become dormant. These queens become active the following spring when temperatures warm. They search for favorable nesting sites to construct new nests. They do not reuse old nests. Honey bees are perennial insects with colonies that survive more than one year. Honey bees form a cluster when hive temperatures approach 57° F. As the temperature drops, the cluster of bees becomes more compact. Bees inside this mass consume honey and generate heat so that those in the cluster do not freeze. As long as honey is available in the cluster, a strong colony can withstand temperatures down to -30° F. or lower for extended periods.

Wasp and Bee Stings Wasps and bees sting to defend themselves or their colony. Stinging injects venom made of protein that causes pain and other reactions. Wasps and bumble bees can sting more than once because they are able to pull out their stinger without injury to themselves. If you are stung by a wasp or a bumble bee, the stinger is not left in your skin. When adults, children or pets frequent an area where bumble bees have made their nests, the beneficial bumble bee can become a pest.  A disturbed nest can become an angry nest!  Dogs are often on the receiving end of angry bees.  A dog’s curiosity can get it into trouble with stinging insects.  While investigating the activity of a nest, dogs usually get stung on their face since their snout and noses are easy targets for the bees. Honey bees have barbs on their stinger which remain hooked in the skin. The stinger, which is connected to the digestive system of the bee, is torn out of the abdomen as the bee attempts to fly away. As a result, the bee soon dies. If you are stung by a honey bee, scratch out the stinger (with its attached venom gland) with your fingernail as soon as possible. Do not try to pull out the stinger with your fingers. Doing so only forces more venom into your skin, causing greater irritation. Most people have only local reactions to wasp and bee stings, although a few may experience more serious allergic reactions. Local, non allergic reactions range from burning, itching, redness, and tenderness to massive swelling and itching that may last up to a week. These local reactions can be treated with ice, vinegar, honey, meat tenderizer, or commercial topical ointment to relieve the itching. An allergic reaction may include hives or rash, swelling away from the sting site, headache, minor respiratory symptoms, and stomach upset. These allergic reactions are not life-threatening and can be readily treated with an antihistamine. Very rarely, a person may suffer a life-threatening, systemic allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting, which can cause anaphylactic shock (fainting, difficulty breathing, swelling, and blockage in the throat) within minutes of being stung. These systemic symptoms are cause for immediate medical attention. People with known systemic allergic reactions to bee or wasp stings should consult with their physician to obtain an Epi-PenTM or Ana-Guard Sting KitTM to carry with them at all times. The venoms of bees and wasps are different, so having a severe reaction to a wasp sting does not mean a person will have the same reaction to a bee sting. If you have Bees and Wasps and a family member of neighbor is allergic please call Miller Pest Control today. We will make sure you and your family and friend remain safe all year long.

Control of Bee and Wasp Nests

The first step in wasp or bee control is to correctly identify the insect and locate its nesting site. Miller Pest Control provides professional wasp or bee control service. Bee Removal requires a delicate touch, especially when the honey bees need to be removed from within your residential or commercial property. Do not attempt this on your own call Miller Pest Control to handle your Bee removal. It can also be very tricky since most of the time all you will see is a dozen or so honey bees going in and out of a hole on your property. What most people don’t expect and are surprised to find is that right behind that opening are thousands if not tens of thousands of bees helping build and protect the colony. Once the cavity is opened and we expose the honeycomb, for most customers it is shocking to find that there can be 50, 60, even over 100+ lbs of honeycomb waiting to be removed if the hive has been there for a while.

Learn to Avoid a Bumble Bee Problem:

  • Clean up your yard of unwanted mulch or other such organic debris.
  • When working in flower beds, gardens, etc., or when cleaning up other such areas around the home, be cautious when dealing with any flat boards, stone, bricks, etc. These places are the most likely sites for a nest.
  • Carefully remove flat items that could provide a nesting site for bees: boards, plywood, other loose building materials, tarps or other junk.  Flat rocks, stones or bricks should be removed unless they are part of a pathway or other decoration.  Check these items to make sure that they are packed down to make good contact with the ground.
  • If you find a nest, it is best to leave it alone and let the drones and workers die off during the winter.  Use this option only when you are positive that children, pets or workers in the area are not at risk of being stung by the bees. If this is not the case call Miller Pest Control to professionally remove the nest for you.

Remember, foraging bees are extremely beneficial and want nothing to do with people or pets; encounters with bees in and around their nest can be harmful to people and pets.