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Now that we’re well into the Spring season, you may be noticing an influx of pests that were hiding out over the winter – mosquitoes, ants, termites, and BEES. While some bees you’ll encounter are harmless, others can seem threatening and leave behind painful stings and cause allergic reactions. Here’s a list of common bees in the South to be on the lookout during the Spring and Summer seasons, with bee control tips:
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Carpenter bees are large black and yellow bees, often mistaken for bumble bees. You’re likely to see them in the Spring hovering around the eaves of your house or under and around decks and porches. Carpenter bees can cause damage to structures by creating small, circular holes as entry points into nests with multiple tunnels, leaving behind trails of sawdust. Any area of exposed wood can be a target for carpenter bee nests. The good news: carpenter bees rarely sting unless bothered; males do not have a stinger but can become aggressive towards other bees, animals or people near their nest and females usually only sting when extremely agitated. You can also prevent carpenter bees from nesting by treating or painting any exposed wood. If you’re already seeing carpenter bee nests, each nest hole should be treated with a pesticide if bees are inside the nest. If no bees are in the nest, seal or paint entry holes. For best results, call a pest control company that specializes in bee control and removal.
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Cicada killer bees are large bees, black or rusty-colored with yellow markings, that resemble a larger version of a yellow jacket. Unlike a lot of other bee species, cicada killer bees do not live in colonies and prefer to nest underground in areas of bare ground. Female cicada killer bees dig burrows 1/2″ in diameter that can extend up to 10″ deep which can cause significant lawn damage. You’re likely to encounter cicada killer bees in the Summer – usually July and August – when they emerge from burrows.
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While relatively harmless bees, bumble bees – identified by their fuzzy, black and yellow-striped appearance and a buzzing sound while flying – can become aggressive and sting if their nest is threatened. They’re normally seen in flowering plants and typically don’t nest in structures.
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Yellow jackets are one of the most commonly encountered bees and also one of the most aggressive. Their stings can be extremely painful and cause severe allergic reactions for some. Yellow jackets are also know to sting repeatedly. Avoiding yellow jackets is the best method of sting prevention or remain still if you encounter them; swatting or sudden movements can cause them to attack.
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Paper wasps are large, aggressive wasps that cause painful bites and sometimes severe allergic reactions. They’re most likely to sting if their nest is threatened or disturbed. It’s recommended to contact an exterminating company for wasp nest removal.
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Hornets are brown and yellow striped with reddish colored wings, and sometime mistaken for cicada killer bees. They build above-ground nests, usually in trees, and are active in the Spring. It’s recommended that you contact a pest control company to remove a hornet nest, but they do not pose a serious threat to humans and will die or hibernate in the Fall.
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