Africanized “Killer” Bees
Africanized “killer” bees looks so much like a regular honeybee that the only way to tell the two apart is by measuring their bodies. Africanized bees have different wing measurements than honeybees.
These bees defend their colony and attack when threatened. Africanized bees have small colonies, so they can build nests in unique places. They have been known to live in tires, crates, boxes, and empty cars. Their venom is no more dangerous than regular honeybees-they just tend to attack in greater numbers, which causes more danger to humans.
Because of the aggressive nature of these pests and the enormity of their nests, a pest control professional or beekeeper must address an infestation. If you are chased by Africanized honeybees, run in a zig zag pattern and seek shelter in a house or car.
The baldfaced hornet is a large, black and white insect. Their oval-shaped nests are often quite large and are usually found attached to limbs of trees.
Baldfaced Hornets construct nests that are of the same paper-like material as that of other wasps (yellowjackets). However, these nests differ a great deal from other wasp nests in being enclosed in a thick “paper” envelope. There is a single opening at the lower end of the nest whichis always guarded by a few hornets. Nests are abandoned at the end of the season.
Hornets are beneficial; they prey upon flies and caterpillars. Unfortunately they can be a potential health hazard to people allergic to their stings.
Hornet nests in trees, lawns, or buildings away from the normal activity of people should not be considered dangerous-and should not be removed. Removing a nest is not easy and is always dangerous. Here are some suggestions: work at night (when the temperature is low and it is fully dark); use a red light to see (hornets cannot see red light very well); use material known as (or similar to) “wasp freeze”; and, do not use gasoline.
Bumble bees are beneficial insects because they pollinate crops and plants.
The occupant of a disturbed bumble bee nest will buzz in a loud volume. They defend their nests aggressively.
Bumble bees often nest in the ground, but can be found above ground around patio areas or decks. They will sometimes build their ness in soffits of attics.
As part of their aggressive defense of their nests, bumble bees will chase nest invaders for a considerable distance. The bumble bee sting is one of the most painful. Unlike honey bees, bumble bees can sting more than once.
Bumble bees can be prevented through inspection of potential nesting areas and removal of potential harborage materials. Because bumble bees will sting when threatened, homeowners are advised not to address the infestation themselves.
Carpenter bees look like typical bumblebees but often lack yellow stripes. They are solitary bees.
Carpenter bees bore through soft woods to lay eggs and protect their larvae as they develop.
Unlike bumble bees, carpenter bees are solitary insects. Female carpenter bees will chew a tunnel into a piece of wood to build a nest gallery. The bits of wood she chews and deposits outside the nest are called frass. The male carpenter bee guards the outside of the nest. He does not have a stinger, but his constant buzzing causes concern for some.
Carpenter bees do not pose a public health threat, but they can damage wood through their nest building.
Carpenter bees prefer bare wood, so painting and staining wood can sometimes deter them. However, they will sometimes attack stained or painted wood, so contact a pest control professional for assistance.
Circada Killer Wasps
Cicada Killers are a large wasp with a rusty red head and thorax, russet colored wings, and a black and yellow striped abdomen. A length of 1-1/2 inches is not uncommon.
Cicada killers are solitary wasps. This means that each female has her own burrow. The burrows are dug in well drained sites. They prefer sandy or bare soils, but will also construct burrows in areas where the grass is kept very short. They can be a real problem in playgrounds and parks where sand has been installed for sports or around playground equipment. They are also a problem around sand traps, tees, and greens on golf courses.
The female wasps are equipped with a stinger and if seriously provoked can produce a painful sting. The females are territorial and will investigate any thing or anyone coming near their nest burrow. Males cannot sting but very aggressive and protective.
Cicada Killer Wasps are solitary wasps, but can occur in such numbers that they disturb lawns with their burrows. They also will sting if molested. They are considered a minor pest. Their value in the food chain arguably outweighs their “bad side.”