Bee Pest Control in Minnesota
Wasps and bees are beneficial insects, although they are generally considered to be pests because of their ability to sting. Wasps, in particular, can become a problem in autumn when they may disrupt many outdoor activities. People often mistakenly call all stinging insects “bees”. 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 these insects because different methods may be necessary to control them if they become a nuisance.
4 types of bees
- Fuzzy, golden brown
- Markings call attention to its barbed stinger
- Stingers can be used only once and result in the death of the bee
- Highly social colonies
- Nests are perennial constructs of wax containing honey
- Worker bees recognize their queen and hive by her pheromone
- Prevent unwanted nesting by screening and caulking cavities and gaps before a colony establishes.
- Don’t spray the bees or nest entrances with a pyrethoid because it upsets them.
- Don’t kill nesting bees until there’s a complete plan to remove the comb.
- Spray a residual insecticide once the nest is removed completely and the area is cleaned.
- Robust bodies with distinctly fuzzy hair
- Usually marked yellow and black
- Often confused with carpenter bee
- Stinger isn’t barbed, so it can be used multiple times.
- Venom is no more potent than honey bee, but multiple stings increase the total amount
- Nest in relatively small colonies because of their small size.
- Nests located in sheltered areas, such as abandoned animal tunnels
- Nests are abandoned at the end of the year
- Foraging bees go out of their way to avoid humans
- Will defend nest from harm vigorously
- Live trapping for relocation or blocking the nest entrance isn’t recommended.
- Work at night, if at all possible, wearing protective gear.
- Dust is the preferred extermination methods.
- Large, robust body
- Often mistaken for bumble bees
- Abdomen is skinny black, rather than fuzzy like the bumble bee
- During mating season, males are attracted to anything that moves-equipment, people, animals
- Males have no stingers, so they’re annoying but harmless
- Females can sting but must be provoked
- Not truly a solitary bee but more solitary than social
- Attracted to nest by the smell of decaying wood
- Nests are made by tunneling into wood with single entrance and perfectly circular hole.
- Egg chambers are reused each year by the resident female
- Locate tunnels during the day; mark and return at night.
- Treat the tunnel and nest with dust; the outside of the nest site with pyrethoid spray to make it unattractive for reuse by other bees.
- After two to three days, seal the hole with steel wool and caulk.
- Treat the wood with a borate before the nest year to discourage nesting.
- Sealing and painting wood only makes it somewhat less attractive.
- Carpenter bees will chew through expansion foam and foam insulation boards.
- Slightly larger than a honey bee
- Extremely docile and must be provoked to sting
- Often confused with yellowjackets, which will sting with little provocation
- Rarely visible outside of the four to six week mating and nesting periods
- Solitary-they live one per hole
- Raise young individually in tunnels constructed in the soil
- Prefer dry soil and barren lawn patches
- Don’t damage lawn or landscapes
- Aren’t hypersensitive to noise or activity around their nest
- Chemical control isn’t recommended.
- Regularly water (1in./week if there’s no rain) at the beginning of the nesting season to make the soil less attractive.
- Practice good turf management to avoid barren and thin places, and use mulch to deter nesting.
Concealed wasp nests
The most challenging nests to control are those that are concealed in voids behind walls or in attics. Often, the only evidence of the nest is wasps flying back and forth through a crack or hole in the home.
Aerosol insecticides usually do not work very well against hidden nests. The best method is to apply a small amount of insecticidal dust (dusts are less commonly available in stores than aerosols; be sure any dust you plan to use is labeled for use in homes). You may need to drill small (about 1/8 inch) holes to deliver the insecticide into the nest area. If the product you are using does not have a built-in applicator, you can use a plastic container with a tube tip or spout, such as an empty liquid detergent bottle, to “puff” the product into the void.
When treating wasp nests hidden in building voids, use one of the following insecticide dusts:
- boric acid (will be slow acting)
If you would rather hire someone experienced to exterminate a wasp nest, talk to a reliable Minnesota Pest Control service.