With over 4,000 bee species and 18,000 wasp species native to the United States, it is no surprise that some of them might turn up inside your home or out in your yard. These insects are excellent pollinators, and they can play a significant role in helping your garden prosper. Even so, some are considered more aggressive than others and can pose a risk to your family’s well-being or your home’s structural integrity.
When you spot a beehive or wasp nest anywhere near or inside your house, it is typical to be alarmed. But, how do you identify which types are safe to have around? Here is where a basic knowledge of stinging insects proves to be essential. To help you understand and recognize different bees and wasps, we have listed below the most common types you will most likely find in your abode.
Bumblebees are the easiest to identify, and they are the most well-known. The cartoon depictions of bees we saw as children represent these adorable creatures. They are fuzzy tiny insects that are predominantly black but have yellow, orange, or white stripes. While bumblebees constitute only one type of bee, they are still the most common. There are around 50 species of bumblebees present in the United States, and they pollinate nearly 30% of popular crops in the country. Bumblebees are non-aggressive and will not sting unless provoked or bothered in their nests, commonly found on the ground.
Honey bees appear similar to bumblebees, with their seemingly black and yellow stripes. However, they are less rounded, furry, and noticeably smaller than their close cousins. European settlers introduced them to the United States, which means they are non-native. Still, they have thrived, and they pollinate another 30% of essential edible plants in the country. Honey bees are more likely to sting humans, but they avoid doing so since they die after losing their stinger. Honey bees are commonly found in tree branches. They are also more likely to build a waxy hive indoors, taking advantage of wall cavities and hollow areas in your house’s structure.
Contrary to what their name implies, carpenter bees do not eat wood, although they do drill into them. They do not live in colonies or hives, but it is easy to spot them. Carpenter bees create columns or “galleries” to live in and lay their eggs, leaving a perfectly round hole in wooden wallboards or furniture in your home. There are seven species of these insects in the United States. Only the females have stingers, but – like bumblebees – they do not sting unless handled or disturbed. When you see a carpenter bee hovering around your home, these are mainly males protecting the females and their eggs nearby. They also have a yellow, hairy upper abdomen, but their lower torsos are primarily shiny and pure black.
Lastly, but not to be underestimated, are yellow jackets. These insects are the most concerning since they live in colonies of thousands, and they swarm when attacking. They are very protective of their nests, usually in small holes on the ground or in stone walls. Approaching a colony up to a few feet away is enough to provoke these aggressive creatures. In late summer or early autumn, yellow jackets are more likely to hover around the food sources, making them a more significant threat. If you see these insects with bright yellow stripes, thin waists, and shiny bodies, it is best to call a professional removal service immediately.
Wasps are notorious for being more aggressive and having more painful stings than bees. That is especially true for paper wasps. These stinging insects got their name from paper-like nests usually found hanging from tree branches, door frames, or ceilings. They have thin and smooth bodies that are predominantly brown with yellow stripes, but they can also have orange, red, or black spots. Paper wasps are highly attracted to strong scents, and they will immediately sting once you get too close to them or their nests.
Despite the abundance of bees and wasps in the United States, these stinging creatures are undergoing a drastic population reduction. In many areas, 90% of colonies are being wiped out. As much as they can threaten our health, home, and safety, it is critical to ensure ethical ways to remove bees and wasps from our surroundings. It will help keep the balance in our ecosystem and ensure the survival of several plant and crop species.
All Bees Removal safely removes and relocates bees and wasps. They have licensed beekeepers with professional and technical knowledge on how to transfer stinging insects from your home to proper habitats where they could thrive without harming humans or other domesticated animals. If you spot aggressive or problematic bee or wasp hives and nests in your home, call them at 954-547-9951, and they will provide the expert service you need.