>>  back to Pest I.D. main page  <<


Wasps, Hornets & Bees

“Wasps, Hornets & Bees…”The adult wasp, hornet and bee are in most respects beneficial insects. When they make their nests close or within homes or other human occupied structures, a hazardous situation arises. Wings consist of two pairs, with the hind wings smaller then the forewings. Wasps, hornets and bees have chewing mouth parts. The females of the species possess a stinger. Only honey bees have barbed stingers which can only be used once, other bees and wasps have barb-less stingers which enable them to sting repeatedly. Bees are characterized by their hairy appearance, each hair being branched (feather-like). The few hairs on the bodies of wasps and hornets are not branched but single hairs.

“Yellow Jacket Wasp…” The yellow jacket preys on other insects. Their colonies can consist of up to 3000 wasps. Nests have many layers (combs) surrounded by paper (wood fibres). Nests can be located below ground or suspended from eaves, roof rafters and tree.
“Bald-Faced Hornets…” The bald-faced hornet is actually a paper wasp. They build large grey-blue soccer ball sized paper nests. Nests are usually suspended from tree branches, on or within structures. These wasps can become aggressive if disturbed.
“Mud Daubers…” The mud dauber is solitary. They construct mud nests which they attach to ceilings and walls. Nests can be built inside on roof rafters. An egg is laid in the mud tomb with food for the hatching larva. These wasps are seldom bothersome.
“Bees…” The adult honey bees are the most social of the group. They build nests in sheltered locations; attics, wall voids and hollows in trees. Due to their pollinating and honey making benefits honey bees should not be expelled unless they create a human hazard.

Nests are gradually built in the summer months and colonies are established by late summer early fall. This is usually the time they create a problem. There are a variety of safe and environmentally friendly methods to rid you of these pests. The type of intervention depends on the wasp, hornet or bee and the nest location. Nests may be in ground, above the ground on a tree branch or on/within your dwelling. These different nests require different approaches and extreme caution must be taken to ensure safety.

See Summer Service Program in Residental Services.