Spring is here which means that our winged friends or foe will be flying about, enjoying the sunshine. While these insects can be annoying and even scary for some people, they are actually helpful. For example, butterflies are pollinators and dragonflies help to control other insect populations, like mosquitos. While these two insects are completely harmless, not all are and some can pack a pretty powerful sting.
Bees and wasps are a huge challenge for businesses and homeowners. But, each one has their own contribution to the ecosystem.
These small yellow and black striped insects can cause a ruckus in and around your home. The most common type of bees people usually tend to see in and around their homes are bumble bees and honey bees.
Bumble Bees: This type of bee is generally found underground or under patios and decks. However, they also like to set up nests in attics too. Usually, they can be seen flying from flower to flower within a garden. They are hairy and plump and have a yellow-orangish banding. They are key pollinators and its important to relocate them verses killing them.
Fact: There are more than 40 species of bumble bees in the U.S. and in Canada.
Honey Bees: This type of bee is usually found in a commercial hive which is typically a hollowed-out tree, barns, small caves or a wooden box on cropland or orchards. They are also found in places that are not generally disturbed like unused cards, hollowed out walls or empty crates. They are very small and have fuzzy bodies and their stripes alternate from yellow to brown to black. Just like bumble bees, they are key pollinators and important to the ecosystem. To remove them, contact a professional beekeeper, not an exterminator.
Fact: Honey bees were first introduced to North America in the 1600’s and spread throughout the continent and into South America from there.
People as a whole are usually frightened by wasps because they are much larger than bees and their sting can be far more painful. Just like bees however, they are important to the ecosystem because they help to eliminate pests that can destroy homes and gardens.
Mud Dauber Wasp: Mud dauber nests are very different than other wasp nests because they are compiled of mud. Mud daubers are slender and have a tube-shaped waist. They are usually blue or black in color. They have a big impact on smaller pests in and around your garden. For removal, people usually find that dousing their nest with a waterhose is more than enough to get rid of them.
Fact: These wasps can sting, but they rarely sting people.
Red Paper Wasp: This type of wasp builds a nest that looks like a small opened umbrella. It’s resourceful as it shields the nest from wet weather. Most often, it’s found in overhangs or under tree branches. They are similar to the way a mud dauber looks, except they are red all over.
Fact: They rarely sting, unless they are defending themselves. However, they are territorial over their nests and will attack with their stingers, if they feel threatened.
Yellow Jacket: This type of wasp will usually build their nest underground or in hollowed-out walls. Some do like to build in low-hanging branches or in bushes. They are hairless with black and yellow markings. Yellow jackets are very defensive and will swarm their predator in a matter of minutes.
Fact: One yellow jacket nest can contain thousands of wasps.
Since each type of bee and wasp have their contribution to the ecosystem, it’s important to call in a professional that can remove them. Killing them harms our ecosystem and our way of life.