Hornets, Wasps, and Bees, Oh My! How to Tell the Difference

bee removal

It’s easy to hear buzzing and automatically reach for the phone and seek out pest control services. But before you exterminate some potentially harmless honeybees, it’s important that you’re able to tell the difference between the dangerous buzzers and the friendly ones.

When we say dangerous buzzers, we mean hornets and wasps. To many people, these little stingers are the purest evil mankind will ever face. While those people aren’t wrong, they do sometimes lump bees and wasps into the same category. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s how to know whether you need bee removal services or an exterminator.

Wasps and bees might belong to the same order of insects — Hymenoptera to be precise — but their physical bodies actually differ quite a bit. Unlike bees, wasps are usually hairless and smooth-looking. In addition, wasps are generally all one color or have black and yellow striations. Not only that, but wasps have vastly different eating patterns and hives. Unlike their pollinating relatives, wasps are entirely carnivorous. And a hive that is shaped like an umbrella and houses open, hexagonal cells usually means you’re likely looking at a wasp nest. These nests are usually out in the open or high up in trees. In this case, you’ll definitely need an exterminator.

Hornets are more closely related to wasps than your common honeybee or bumblebee, but their coloration is more often mistaken for a bee’s. Termites might damage an estimated 600,000 U.S. homes every year, but hornets are more than capable of inflicting their fair share of damage. Hornets going in and out of a small hole in the ground are typically yellowjackets, which are particularly aggressive. Those underground nests can hold a few thousand of the little terrors. In addition, a nest that has smooth walls and is shaped like a football will usually be home to hornets. If you want to be rid of these pests, make sure you call an exterminator.

Unlike their nasty relatives, bees are relatively harmless. Bumblebees are easy to pick out because of their sheer size, and they usually won’t bother you unless they’re being bothered first. The same is true for honeybees, but they require more careful handling than the large, fuzzy bumblebee. Bee removal services should take care not to harm honeybees, as they’re essential to countless ecosystems. They usually make their nests within hollow trees or in walls, so if you notice a lot of activity near a particular wall of your home, it’s a good idea to call residential pest control services to further evaluate the situation.

Above all else, it’s important to remember that bee removal is much different than wasp or hornet extermination. Rather than being killed, honeybees should be moved to a safe area. You may even want to contact your local beekeeping community!

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