Bees, wasps and hornets – Aanteater Pest Control and Wildlife Removal Services
Bees, wasps and hornets are more than just a nuisance pest; they can cause an unnecessary amount of stress and potential harm to those that come into contact with them. Aanteater Pest Control and Wildlife Removal Services, a specialist in removal and control of bees, wasps and hornets, will work with you to get rid of your pest problem for good. The most important first step to controlling any insect problem is accurately identifying the pest. Our skilled technicians can help you do this right over the phone, 1-888-390-PEST (7378) and we’ll be more than happy to help. This article will help you understand the various species of bees and wasps commonly found in Southern Ontario. Once the species has been identified, our course of treatment begins and this varies depending on not only the type of nest but also where it is located on your property.
How do I know if I have a bee, wasp or hornet problem and how will it be treated?
The most obvious sign you have a bee, wasp or hornet problem is finding a nest. These nests can be made virtually anywhere, making them somewhat difficult to find at times. Common places you might find a bee, wasp or hornet nest are in the ground, on the side of your home, or in trees and shrubs. Nests can even be found inside your home and the bees, wasps and hornets can make their way in through cracks and openings in your wall – so make sure to check there too. Our technicians work with a variety of chemical (yet environmentally safe) agents that are sprayed directly into nests to get rid of your infestation for good.
What’s the difference between a bee and a wasp?
Identification isn’t that difficult. Bees are the ones with hairier bodies and wasps are much smoother in appearance. Their habits also differ greatly. Bees tend to feed on pollen and wasps like to feed on insects that are rich in protein such as spiders. Wasps can also appear more aggressive in nature and are often the pests you’ll find buzzing around your food and drinks in the warmer months.
Are all bees and wasps capable of stinging?
The short answer is yes, most bees and wasps are capable of stinging, however, most rarely do unless they feel threatened or provoked in some way. Species such as European hornets, paper wasps and yellow jackets are quite aggressive and are more likely to sting than other species.
It’s important to note that while being stung by a bee, wasp or hornet is painful for most people, it may be life threatening to those with hypersensitivities or allergies.
What happens to bees and wasps in the winter?
Most species of bees, wasps and hornets die off in the colder, winter months and that’s part of the reason why Aanteater Pest Control and Wildlife Removal Services stops treatments by mid- September. Honeybees are the only species where the entire colony can survive through the winter. In other species only the queens are capable of survival.
What should I do if I think I have a bee or wasp infestation?
The operators at Aanteater can help you accurately identify the pest – an important first step of the process. They can also recommend the appropriate action. 1-888-390-PEST (7378).
Wasps, bees and hornets found in southern Ontario
The social wasp tends to live in colonies, which are necessary for their survival. Each colony ranges in size and may grow to over a thousand.
European hornet, bald-faced hornets and yellow jackets
You might be asking yourself, “What’s the difference between a wasp and a hornet?” Hornets are generally more aggressive in nature and larger. Hornets also always build their nests up off the ground while some wasps may build nests above or below ground.
Yellow jackets can be quite aggressive if they think their nest is in danger. Their nests are usually inside hollow spaces like in attics or the spaces inside walls. Occasionally they build nests underground. You might also find them buzzing around your food when you’re outside having dinner. Their typical mating season begins in the spring, when the queens emerge from dormancy and lays eggs. The queen builds the first parts of the paper nest and provides food until her offspring are capable of doing so. The entire colony will grow in one summer and then die each fall with only fertilized females surviving the winter. They will become next years queens. Males die after mating, and the queens will survive one full year.
Bald faced hornets are actually a misnamed species of wasp. They are slightly more aggressive than yellowjackets. They live in a round paper-like nest. Their nests usually hang up in a tree or may be buried in a bush. Bald faced hornets fly very quickly and often sting multiple times.
The European hornet is the only true hornet in North America. They nest in hollows in trees, but also can be found in attics or other types of cavities. Their nests are made of paper and wood pulp. While not very common in southern Ontario, these flying nuisances can become a huge problem, as they may be very aggressive. European Hornets are much larger than other wasp and bee species and they fly very fast. They can be identified through their brownish colour will dull orange stripes on their body. The European hornet, much like other types of hornets and yellow jackets, are drawn to sweet liquids including fruit juice and honeydew and also feed on insects.
Although paper wasps are social they usually build smaller nests, with a mature nest rarely having more than 50 individuals. They can usually be found hovering around decks, behind shutters, in attics, and under the eaves and entryways of buildings. Their nests are made up of a paper Mache material and are composed of a single comb. These wasps become an issue when they start to mate in springtime once the colony has fully matured.
Bees in southern Ontario
The types of bees found throughout southern Ontario include: solitary bees, carpenter bees, social bees, bumble bees and honey bees.
These bees are called solitary because they do not live in colonies. You may see lots of these bees around your house but there will be no central colony. Solitary bees are typically non-aggressive and make their nests in the ground or in wooden structures. You’ll spot these bees buzzing around your yard in the spring. As the weather warms their numbers will grow.
The most common of the solitary bees is the carpenter bee which can usually be spotted hanging around exposed drywood, decks, wood siding, windowsills and more. The carpenter bee looks similar to a bumble bee but is typically darker in colour. This species of bee tends to burrow itself in wood and can cause serious structural damage if ignored.
Ground bees are solitary and very beneficial insects as they are important pollinators. They do not cause damage and almost never sting. If you find them coming in and out of holes in the ground its best just to leave them be.
The bumblebee is a large commonly recognized social species. Its round and hairy body is easy to distinguish from other types of bees, wasps and hornets. The hair on their body actually helps them hold onto pollen. They are black with multiple yellow bands on their body and can be found living in and around the ground, under rocks, thick grass and other types of cavities. While the bumblebee is usually non-aggressive, if the nest is disturbed for any reason, the workers will defend the nest.
Honey bees are social bees that live in large colonies. The caste system is extremely important for the honeybee, and each colony has workers and drones and one queen. Drone (male) bees are only for mating while worker bees maintain the colony. The honeybee is not very aggressive.
Much like the solitary bee, the solitary wasp doesn’t live in a colony or abide by any caste system in order to survive. You’ll usually find them living in the ground or in mud nests.
Mud dauber wasps
The most common species of solitary wasp in southern Ontario is the mud dauber. As the name implies, the mud dauber wasp can be found nesting in mud. These wasps are usually quite thin in appearance and look mostly black in colour. As with most solitary species of bees and wasps, these pests won’t attack unless provoked.
Mud dauber nest