It is important to know the difference between bees and wasps in order to treat them safely and accurately. Bees and wasps have many similarities in appearance and behavior. Both of them can be beneficial pollinators and many wasps are predators to other nuisance insects. Either one can become dangerous in and around the home. Stings can be very painful and many people have anaphylactic reactions which may require medical attention. It can be easy to confuse which pest you are seeing and treatment options can differ. Call Payless Pest Control to properly identify your problem and have our expert technicians safely remove or treat bees and wasps.
Bees vs. Wasps
Bees are robust-bodied and very hairy compared with wasps. Their hind legs are flattened for collecting and transporting pollen. Wasps have a slender body with a narrow waist, slender, cylindrical legs, and appear smoothed-skinned and shiny. Bees come in black, brownish yellow, and tan colors. On the contrary, many wasps come in bright black and yellow colors. When comparing the sting, the sting of the bees is barbed and is imbedded in the skin. On the other hand, the sting of a yellowjacket is barbless and is withdrawn once the venom is injected into the skin. Thus, allowing for multiple stings. If allergic and stung, WebMD suggests taking an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or a nonsedating one such as loratadine (Claritin) will help with itching and swelling.
Paper and yellowjackets wasps are most common in our area. They feed insects and other arthropods to their young, which develop in the nest. They are beneficial because they prey on many insects, including caterpillars, flies, crickets, and other pests. During late summer and fall, as queens stop laying eggs and their nests decline, wasps change their food gathering priorities and are more interested in collecting sweets and other carbohydrates. Some wasps may become aggressive scavengers around human food and may be common around outdoor activities where food or drinks are served. They are cousins to ants and exhibit these similar food-gathering behaviors.
Bees feed only on nectar (carbohydrates) and pollen (protein) from flowers. Honey bees sometimes visit trash cans and soft-drink containers to feed on sugary foods. While the colony of bees lasts for more than a year, the colony of the yellow jackets and paper wasps only survives annually.
When controlling honey bees, it is important to make every effort to save them. Bees are susceptible to many pesticides commonly used today. Payless Pest uses local beekeepers when the bees have not been contaminated by pesticides or other treatment efforts.
Tips to Control and Manage Stinging Insects
Sealing cracks may be a good option, but occasionally pushes them indoors. Although, most bees other than africanized bees are docile, yellowjackets become aggressive in defense of their nests and precautions should be taken near them. Paper wasps tend to be less aggressive, but with the threat of disturbance, they will sting painfully. Beehives and honeycomb should be removed from within walls and structures to avoid rancid honey causing damage, attracting other scavengers or pests. Wasp nests should also be removed and pesticidal treatments made so that the pheromones left behind do not attract and allow others back to the same area. Your technician will expertly identify, remove, and treat for wasps and their nests, providing protection from painful stings and nuisance.
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