Bee and wasp stings are extremely painful and can also be fatal to those suffering from allergies. However, the risk of being stung can be reduced considerably just by taking some precautions whenever one is out of doors, and making sure that any bees’ or wasps’ nests are dealt with in the right way.
Many people make the mistake of thinking bees and European wasps are annoying but not as harmful as flies. However, this cannot be further from the truth. In fact, bees and wasps can cause just as much contamination as flies and can also be carriers of many pathogens which carry harmful diseases. These insects also have a fondness for pastries and fruits, and can sometimes be found concealed in food. Dying by being stung in the throat by a bee or wasp is frighteningly common.
Bee and Wasp Species
The are hundreds of different varieties of bees, wasps and hornets all over the world. In Australia, only a few types are considered to be real pests, not all of which actually sting.
Certain species such as the honey bee are even considered very beneficial to the ecosystem. It is important to gain an understanding of the habits, appearance and life cycle of these insects in order to determine the most appropriate type of bee or wasp control for your situation.
How to Identify Wasps and Bees
The front part of European wasps is mostly black with yellow markings, and their backs are mostly yellow with black stripes and dots on the side of the abdomen. They tend to nest in cavities, ceilings, walls, trees, compost bins or even in the ground.
Bees are usually golden brown or dull yellow in colour and their bodies feature black stripes. They also have black legs. They are often found in trees, wall cavities, compost bins and other areas with cavities like abandoned suitcases.
How To Handle A Bee Or Wasp Infestation In Or Near The Home
Handling a bee or wasp problem on your property is highly dangerous and can result in disaster. Only a licenced professional pest technician with the appropriate personal protective equipment should attempt to deal with bees and wasps. We often receive calls from clients who have landed in the hospital after trying to treat bees or wasps on their own, and stress that this is not something we want to see others attempt.
If you suspect a bee or wasp infestation, exercise great caution when trying to verify the location of the hive or nest. If you do manage to find it, stay as far away as possible and make sure all children and pets are taken to safety.
Store all sources of food, particularly anything containing protein or sugar, indoors. These attract wasps and bees as they love feasting on such foods. Pet food might also contain such substances so take care to remove food bowls as well.
Treatment of Bees and Wasps
The most appropriate treatment depends on a number of factors including the type of species being dealt with. A dust application or liquid pesticide might be needed, depending on where the hive or nest is situated. The best time for chemical application is usually early in the morning or early in the evening, when the bees or wasps are least active.
Bee and Wasp Control
While wasps and bees generally only sting when provoked, they are still very dangerous to humans when their hives or nests are built near populated areas, as they can sometimes be unwittingly disturbed.
- Nests and hives should usually be destroyed in order to eliminate the dangers they pose. Never attempt to do this alone, however, as it is highly dangerous and could result in death if not handled correctly. Only a professional pest control technician should do it.
- Your pest control technician will spray the hive or nest with insecticide in order to kill the bees and wasps, following which the nest or hive will be burnt and then taken away.
- The best time to spray the insecticide is in the night, when the insects have gone back to the hive and are not active.
The summer months are when bees and wasps tend to be most active, and also when the most stings occur. Stings are extremely painful, and to the small fraction of the population with severe bee sting allergies, they can be fatal.
Wasps tend to be even more aggressive than bees, and their habit of repeated stinging makes them more dangerous. Wasps can withdraw their stingers from their victims unlike bees.
In summer, bees sometimes drink from the water bowls of pets. This can be prevented by positioning a shallow tray filled with water and floating corks on a level that’s above the pet bowl, and in the line of flight of the bees. The corks enable the bees to safely land, so they will tend to be more attracted to the tray than the water bowl. This helps your pet to avoid the risk of being stung by a bee in their bowl.
Be careful about leaving soft drink cans open, particularly in the summer, as sugar-laden liquids attract wasps and can result in someone’s throat or mouth getting stung, with devastating consequences which might even include respiratory obstruction.
If you spot a bee or wasp nest, do not approach it, as the insects are much more likely to behave aggressively when trying to defend their home.
Wasps frequently build mud shells in walls in the shade in the summer months. If you see this, let them complete their construction of this housing for larvae. Wait a few days until the wasp has left and then remove the shell from the wall with a scraping tool and dispose of it.
If you have any questions about pest control services for bees and wasps, give us a ring at 13 14 40 or get in touch using our contact form.