Wasp and Bee Stings
What You Should Know
Although many different types of insects in Canada are able to inflict a poisonous bite or sting (meaning they are venomous), the insects most likely to cause medical problems are bees (including the domestic honey bee, its Africanized “killer bee” race, and the bumble bee), wasps (including paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets), and ants (including the fire ant). These insects are all in the Hymenoptera order, and thus stings from them are occasionally called Hymenoptera stings.
Because many of these species live in colonies, if one stings you, you may be stung by many. Although most stings cause only minor medical problems, some stings may cause serious medical problems and even death.
Wasp and Bee Nests
Yellowjackets, baldfaced hornets, and paper wasps make nests from a papery pulp comprised of chewed-up wood fibers mixed with saliva. Yellowjacket and baldfaced hornet nests consist of a series of rounded combs stacked in tiers. These combs are covered by an envelope consisting of several layers of pulp. Paper wasps construct only one comb without any protective envelope. These insects are sometimes known as umbrella wasps because of the shape of their nest.
Paper wasps build nests under any horizontal surface and are commonly found on limbs, overhangs, eaves of buildings, beams and supports in attics, garages, barns, sheds, and other similar places.
Honey bees make a series of vertical honey combs made of wax. Their colonies are mostly in manufactured hives but they do occasionally nest in cavities in large trees, voids in building walls, or other protected areas.
Life Cycle of Wasps and Bees
Wasps have annual colonies that last for only one year. The colony dies in the fall with only the newly produced queens surviving the winter. The new queens leave their nests during late summer and mate with males. The queens then seek out overwintering sites, such as under loose bark, in rotted logs, under siding or tile, and in other small crevices and spaces, where they become dormant. These queens become active the following spring when temperatures warm. They search for favorable nesting sites to construct new nests. They do not reuse old nests.
Honey bees are perennial insects with colonies that survive more than one year. Honey bees form a cluster when hive temperatures approach 57° F. As the temperature drops, the cluster of bees becomes more compact. Bees inside this mass consume honey and generate heat so that those in the cluster do not freeze. As long as honey is available in the cluster, a strong colony can withstand temperatures down to -30° F. or lower for extended periods.
Fumigate and Exlusion
GT Pest Control specializes in services for the eradication and control of all types of Bees and Wasps utilizing an Integrated Pest Management approach.
We will inspect your home or business and property for colonies and depending on what the situation is, we will use the best method for the problem at hand. We have several techniques to manage these problems. GT Pest Control will fumigate with a pesticide then seal all possible entrances into your home or structure of your home or business.
For the Do-It-Yourselfers.
There are several variables when dealing with Bees. To ensure your safety please call GT Pest Control before removing any nests yourself. We will give you the advice you need to take care of the problem. For example, Bee’s are easier to manage in cooler temperatures. So it might be wise to wait for a cool day if it is spring or fall.
Bee’s can be agitated by loud noises, so using noisy machinery might get you stung.