How to Safely Remove Bees and Wasps from Your Property?

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How to Safely Remove Bees and Wasps from Your Property?

Dealing with bees, wasps, hornets or yellow jackets on your property can be frustrating and even dangerous if you don’t know how to properly and safely remove them. Getting stung can be painful and for those with allergies, it can even turn life-threatening. That’s why it’s important to use caution when trying to get rid of stinging insects.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the safest, most effective ways to remove bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets from places they are not wanted around your home. We’ll also provide tips on preventative measures you can take to help deter these insects from returning.

Understanding Stinging Insects

Before we dive into removal methods, it’s helpful to understand some basics about bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets:

Bees – Bees are beneficial pollinators that usually only sting if they feel threatened. Honey bees live together in hives with thousands of other bees and produce honey. Bumble bees nest underground in small colonies.

Wasps – Wasps are more aggressive than bees and will sting with less provocation to defend their nest. Some common types of wasps include paper wasps, which build open comb nests out of wood pulp, and mud dauber wasps which build mud nest tubes.

Hornets – Hornets are a type of large wasp that build paper-like nests in trees and shrubs. They have a powerful, painful sting.

Yellow jackets – Yellow jackets typically nest underground in abandoned rodent burrows but sometimes will nest in building wall voids, sheds, attics or hollow trees. They can become very aggressive when defending a nest.

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Locating the Nest

Before removing stinging insects on your property, it’s important to locate and properly identify their nest first. This allows you to use the safest, most effective removal methods. Here’s how to find different nest locations:

Honey bee hives – Usually found in hollow trees, chimneys or unused spaces of structures like shed walls or attics. Listen for buzzing and look for bees flying in and out.

Bumble bee nests – Search for areas of raised soil with heavy traffic of bees flying low to the ground. Also check for holes in foundations, lawns or fields.

Paper wasp nests – Look under eaves, deck railings, light fixtures, branches and bushes. Paper nests are built from chewed wood pulp and have open comb cells.

Mud dauber nests – Scan under patio covers, inside sheds, under eaves and along ceilings. Mud nests look like organ pipe mud tubes stuck to a surface.

Hornet aerial nests – Hornets build large grey paper nests high up in trees and shrubs. The nest is round with a hole at the bottom where hornets enter and exit.

Yellow jacket ground nests – Search for areas of disturbed soil with heavy wasp traffic or listen for buzzing underground. Yellow jackets frequently nest in abandoned rodent burrows.

Safe Bee and Wasp Control Methods

Once you’ve located the nest, it’s time to remove it. Here are some safe, effective methods and products to get rid of different types of bees, wasps and hornets:

Remove honey bee hives – Call a local beekeeper to safely relocate the bees. This avoids extermination and benefits the eco-system.

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Get rid of bumble bees – Because bumble bee colonies die out each winter, you can simply wait for the colony to naturally leave the nest. Or carefully use insecticide dust in the entrance hole after dark.

Knock down paper wasp nests – A fast, safe way to get rid of paper wasps is locating and knocking down the nest with a long pole. Do this at night when the wasps are less active. Apply residual insecticide to deter new nest building.

Use insecticide dust on mud dauber nests – Once located, wait until nighttime then apply a dust made for stinging insect nests. The dust kills wasps inside the sealed tubes as they exit and enter again over several days.

Remove hornet nests – Hornet nests should always be treated with extreme caution and only removed by a professional. The aggressive insects attack in groups and have very painful stings. Special protective suits and equipment is needed.

Treat yellow jacket nest entrances – Scatter insecticide dust around nest holes in the ground to kill yellow jackets as they fly out. Heavy dusting over several weeks is needed to control large nests. Seal up holes once removed.

Other Removal Tips:

  • Remove nests at night when most of the insects are present but sluggish
  • Wear protective clothing like suits, hoods, gloves and goggles
  • Use caution on ladders when working high up
  • Don’t stand directly under nests, even if using long tools
  • After knockdown, remove debris so new insects won’t return
  • Be extremely careful around hornets and highly aggressive yellow jacket nests
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Preventing Future Infestations

To help prevent future problems with stinging pests:

  • Install exterior lighting away from doors and windows
  • Keep food waste and ripe fruit cleaned up outside
  • Fill holes in exterior walls with steel wool or caulk
  • Use insecticide dust residual sprays around foundations and roof eaves
  • Cover window wells and vent pipes with fine screens
  • Seal cracks around doors, windows and openings to attics/crawlspaces
  • Inspect property weekly and treat new nests promptly

By properly identifying nest locations, using careful removal methods and implementing prevention measures, you can safely and effectively eliminate bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets from areas around your home. But when dealing with highly aggressive insects, don’t hesitate to call a pest control professional for assistance. Getting stung repeatedly is extremely unpleasant and for those who are allergic, it can quickly become a life-or-death situation if not treated. Stay safe and take the proper precautions when trying to remove stinging pests yourself. I sincerely hope you find this “How to Safely Remove Bees and Wasps from Your Property?” article helpful.

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