The words “bees and wasps” often get put together in a phrase, as if they were the exact same type of insects. But, are they? Well, honey bees and wasps are in fact from the same insect order: Hymenoptera.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Hymenoptera order is quite broad, including more than 115,000 types of insect species. These include bees and wasps, as well as ants, sawflies, ichneumons (which includes different types of wasps), chalcids (which also contains types of wasps) and much more.
Although wasps and bees may be in the same scientific insect order, they are not the same when it comes to pest control.
At Turner Pest Control, we do not provide control services for honey bees, which have an essential role in the health of the ecosystem in Florida and throughout the country.
We do provide expert services to solve any issues you may have with wasps, other types of bees, and stinging insects on your property.
Wasps in Florida
According to the University of Florida, wasps found in our area include the following:
- Cicada killer: On the one hand, this is a solitary wasp, operating solo. Yet, colonies of these wasps will nest together, with each pregnant female digging her own hole. They place an egg in the hole, along with a cicada that they’ve paralyzed for their offsprings’ food. A similar species uses flies for that purpose. These wasps are black with pale yellow markings on their abdomen.
- Mud dauber wasp: These wasps are not social creatures, although they do build their nests (out of mud) near humans. Fortunately, this species isn’t very aggressive and doesn’t sting people very often. They feed paralyzed spiders to their young.
- Paper wasp: These wasps are aggressive and sting people, often when they’re cleaning out wasps nests or trimming shrubs. This variety includes wasps that are yellow with brown markings, as well as black ones with yellow or red marketings.
Bees in Florida
There are plenty of bee species in our state, many of which are beneficial. Local types of bees include:
- Honey bees: These bees are highly beneficial as pollinators, playing a key role in agriculture and our overall food supply. A honey bee will die after one sting.
- Bumble bees: They can also play an important role in agriculture, but their stings can be more severe.
- Carpenter bees: These can easily be confused with bumble bees. The larger variety nests in logs, stumps, and tree branches, while the smaller variety may dig tunnels in bush stems. They aren’t much of a stinging concern, but they can damage your home’s structural integrity.
- Africanized honey bee: This type of bee, unfortunately, can be quite aggressive, and can be dangerous to young people, those with disabilities, and elderly people—anyone, really, who can’t get away quickly. They like to nest near people, which can make matters worse, and they can be antagonized quite easily.
- Yellow jackets: Both the eastern and southern varieties can also get agitated all too easily, and they can repeatedly sting. These are the bees often found near trash cans and dumpsters, the tops of soda cans, and so forth. As a plus, they eat insects that can damage your landscaping.
You can read more about bees in our Ultimate Guide to Pest Control.
Wasp and Stinging Insect Removal Services
When you need to get rid of wasp nests near your Jacksonville home or are otherwise having problems with wasps, it’s best to call in the professionals. We offer free, no-obligation estimates on our pest control service, which includes wasp control.
Keeping Stinging Insects Away
If you don’t currently have a problem with bees or wasps, it can make sense to proactively keep them away. Fortunately, there are items commonly found in households or easily obtained that can help keep them away from your property. For example, they dislike the smell of dryer sheets—so you can place them strategically, perhaps around a deck where you plan to enjoy eating outdoors.
They also hate the odor of mothballs, so you can tie those up in some cheese cloth and put them near where you’ll be. Another smell they dislike: the pungent odor of cloves.
Any time you’ve eaten outside, or fed pets there, remove anything that might attract insects. Keep trash cans tightly lidded, wipe up soda spills and sugary crumbs, and so forth. Also take a walk around your house to see if there are gaps in siding or panelling that could make an ideal wasp nest.
Bees may be drawn to piles of decaying leaves or dry wood, so make sure that none of these materials are near your home. Store flower pots and empty buckets indoors and otherwise eliminate places that might attract bees. And, let’s face it. Bees are naturally attracted to flowers. They are in fact a key reason why we can enjoy having flower gardens! Just don’t plant them too close to your home.
To keep bees and wasps from entering your Jacksonville home, seal up any holes that you can find and weatherstrip cracks and crevices around your windows and doors.
Turner Pest Control: For When You Need Help
DIY methods to get rid of stinging insects is not always effective, and may even be dangerous, particularly if you or someone on your property is allergic to stings. For your safety, let the experienced pest control technicians at Turner Pest Control take care of the problem. We can request an appointment online now.