Bees, Wasps, and Hornets
Magic Exterminating has provided services for stinging insects since its inception in the 1960s. There are many different stinging insect species that are considered pests. Some of the most common are wasps, hornets (a type of wasp), and yellowjackets (another type of wasp). Honey bees, often confused with the aforementioned pests, show little aggression, are mostly beneficial to the local ecosystem, and Magic prefers relocation to extermination.
Wasps and hornets stings are a serious threat to public health. Individuals may have an allergic reaction to these venomous stinging insects and as many as 100 individuals die every year in the U.S. Our reaction is to swat at them when they are nearby, this in turn causes them to release an alarm pheromone which then brings other colony members to its defense. Eliminating the wasp or hornets' nest should be performed by a trained professional. Magic knows where to look for their nest and quickly eliminate them.
Types of bees, wasps, and hornets found in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and Nassau County Long Island:
- Paper Wasp - these stinging insects construct nests of a paper-like material containing finely chewed wood fragments and salivary secretions. They find these materials from trees, fence posts, wooden rails on deck, and wood outdoor furniture. We may see them chewing on these materials from time to time in the summer. They typically build an umbrella-shaped nest in protected areas, such as under roof tiles, soffits, ledges, windows, behind shutters, under and around patio furniture. Sometimes they may be found inside deck umbrellas and barbeques.
- Bald-faced Hornet- They can and will construct large basketball size paper nest attached to trees or your home that seem to appear overnight. Hornet nests will contain hundreds of individuals ready to protect the nest. Guards sit on top of the nest watching for intruders. Nest are often located out of reach, which then requires a ladder and specialized "bee suit" to protect the pest control operator.
- Yellowjackets- These are the most dangerous of the stinging insects. Nestmates will respond very quickly and defend the nest at all cost. Unlike honeybees, then have no barbs on their stinger and therefore can and will sting multiple times in defense of the nest. Nests are more difficult to find since most of the time the nest may be in a wall voids or in the ground behind shrubs. The yellowjacket has been known to also nest in landscape timbers, crawlspaces, attics, and stone walls.
- Honey Bees- Usually considered "good or beneficial insects" honey bees can form very large nests or hives. Sometimes they make their hives in wall voids. Magic doesn't want to kill honey bees, so we provide access to a Beekeeper who will try to remove the hive along with the queen bee. This in many cases includes opening walls to remove the honey comb nest/hive. If you find them high in a tree, just leave them be. They are only aggressive if you disturb them.
- Digger Bees and Digger Wasps- They may appear in large numbers hovering over a grassy or sandy area. They dig individual holes in the ground to lay their eggs. On lawns, they may create multiple holes and hover over areas where children play. They are mostly not aggressive, but children and many adults don't know that and will swat at them. Yes, they can sting and yes humans may get an allergic reaction from the sting that can be dangerous.
- Cicada Killers- These wasps are large and have the largest stingers. They damage lawns when they make the holes in the ground to lay their eggs. Many times, you will spot them carrying a paralyzed Cicada back to the nest. Yes, they can sting and yes human may get an allergic reaction from the sting that can be dangerous.
Mid to late summer time humans like to be outdoor enjoying a picnic or barbeque. Foraging wasps and hornets are attracted to the foods and drinks we leave out on the tables. Yellowjackets become very aggressive in trying to find these food sources for their colony. Some helpful hints are as follows:
- Sanitation. Make sure to keep trash cans with tight-fitting lids and used them, bagging and throwing away filled bags immediately. Clean any surfaces where spills occurred.
- Food and beverages should be covered until ingested. Be careful and inspect the items prior to placing then to your mouth, you don't want to have a yellowjacket in or around you face at any time. Don't swat them!
- If you have apple or fruit trees on your property, remove any fruits that fall on the ground.
- Avoidance. Don't swat them! If they get in the home or car, open a window and see if they leave on their own.
- Repellents. Avoid scented soaps, shampoos, deodorants, perfumes, or cologne since these will attract them.
- Traps. There are various commercial traps which are typically just a plastic jug which you can add some fruit juice and hang on a branch or place on a table.
Just keep them very far away from where you and your guest will be eating, drinking and enjoying the outdoors. These traps may help a little, but they will not eliminate a nest.
Magic Exterminating's Bee's, Wasp and Hornet Treatment Approach:
- Honey bees - will guide the profession to their nest site by observing their flight pattern. When found, a Bee Keeper is called in and he will use protective equipment including a bee suit with a veil and gloves. He will extract the workers along with the queen bee. Once he as her, the others will follow. He will them keep them in his own Hive Box or find someone who will take them.
- Finding the nest- Stinging insects will guide the professional to their nest site by observing their flight pattern. It will look like an airport where the individuals will fly a straight line into and out of the nest. Once found, preparations will take place. Protective equipment will include a bee suit with a veil and gloves, along with a duster, aerosol, or sprayer. This is best determined by the technician at the site.
- Dust Application - A dust application is usually used, dust should be used in such a way that it is never exposed to humans or their companion animals. Dust should always be use only inside the nest or wall void where the nest is suspected. Dust will give you a long residual.
- Aerosol- can be aimed for far away, but care should be taken to prevent staining a surface.
- Liquid or spraying- This method may provide less of a chance at staining, but may have to be repeated if a non-residual is applied.
- Ladders- Magic have the personnel to reach those hard to reach areas such as soffits and fascia board or second story windows.
- In cases where drilling is required to eliminate the wasp or hornet nest, Magic fills in the openings, but this may have to take place several days later to make sure the nest has been eliminated.
- When treating for yellowjackets in a wall void, it may be expected to "see" individual yellowjackets inside along window sills for as much as one month after the initial treatment. Wasps and yellowjackets are just like butterflies in that they have a complete metamorphosis life cycle. Many members emerge from the cell (like butterfly cocoons) as young adults, they see light such as lamps, recess ceiling lights and such as sun light and head toward them. Once inside a home they head for windows thinking it is the way out. Do not spray them - just use a tissue or fly swatter to kill them. Just don't miss! The queen and the nest are already dead, just the remaining ones in their cells that haven't emerged need to come out.
- Lawn Application for Digging Bees and Wasp- Magic may find it necessary to directly apply a product into each individual hole/nest site or apply products over a large area. There are very specific state rules and regulation that have to be followed prior to the application.
- Foragging or pollinating- All of these stinging insects will be found on shrubs and plants when they are flowering. They are attacted to the necter for food. May home owners see this and think there is a nest in the shrub or bushes, calling the pest control company in a panic. In most cases, the stinging insects are just pollinating the flowers. Magic does NOT spray the plants to keep the stinging insects away. The best thing to do is NOT to plant shrubs, bushes, or flowers along walkways or areas were you will sit or walk. So consult a landscaper where it would be best to position plants, shrubs, bushes, and flowers as to NOT attact stinging insects.
Common Carpenter Bee Questions and Answers
I see this big bee flying around me in my yard or around my house, what is it?
During springtime in New York City and Long Island, it is most likely the carpenter bee. These are very large bees with smooth and shiny abdomens. The male carpenter bee is territorial and buzzes around the area where the females are laying their egg in wood cavities. They love to buzz in your face and scare you.
Are they dangerous? Will they sting me or my family? We are highly allergic.
Although the males are very aggressive and buzz right in front of you, they DO NOT have a stinger. Only the females have stingers and they spend most of their time in the wooden cavities excavating and laying eggs. Unless the female is handled or provoked in some way, they will not sting, so there is very little threat to your family.
Where are carpenter bee nests located?
The carpenter bees on or around your home excavate into the fascia board and soffits near the roof line of your home, or into the railing and wooden deck structures. They do not eat the wood, only excavate it leaving small piles of wood shaving behind. On homes, it is sometimes easy to find the holes which are perfectly round the size of their heads or ? inch (1.5cm) in diameter. Frass, or poop on siding give away their locations. The galleries are made when the female chews through mostly soft, weathered, unpainted, woods like redwood, cedar, cypress, or pine.
Do I need to get rid of carpenter bees?
Yes, you do need to get rid of them if they are on your home. Carpenter bees cause serious damage to fascia boards, soffits, and wooden decking. Remediation begins by directly treating each hole with a pesticide such as an aerosol or dust. Once the adults come out and die, the holes may be sealed with wood putty or a sealant to prevent reuse. Sometimes painting or staining will deter or prevent re-infestations.
Magic Exterminating services residential, commercial, industrial, food processing, and food establishment locations throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Western Nassau County areas. Magic has the experienced personnel to solve a bee, wasp and hornet infestation in your home, work place, etc. Contact Magic Exterminating for a free onsite estimate.