The Nesting Habits of Stinging Insects
In the Northeast, there are quite a few stinging insects that are prevalent in the summer and early fall. The carpenter bee, bumble bee, paper wasp, and nesting yellow-jackets are all problems for homeowners in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island. For the most part, these insects are problems for homeowners because of their tendency to aggressively protect their nests by stinging anyone that threatens them, but some can cause structural damage as well. In order to avoid coming in contact with stinging insects, it’s important to understand their nesting habits.
Bumblebees are large, approximately 3/4 of an inch, and are hairy, usually black and yellow. They are primarily ground nesters, finding old mouse burrows, holes in the ground, in tussock grass and areas under rocks and near tree roots. Occasionally bumble bees will nest in debris, including broken down cars, any furniture left outside, or any other protected sites. Bumble bees may even find their way into the insulation in your home, where they build their Grainger Pest Control nests. Because they form colonies, a nest can hold up to 50 individuals, and most nests are restricted to use for a single season. Bumble bees can sting, and although they aren’t especially aggressive, they will sting if they feel their nest is in danger. Mostly, bumble bees are beneficial insects, pollinating plants and flowers. But if they build a nest in your walls, they can become quite a serious problem, especially if they swarm into your home.
Carpenter bees are very large, 3/4 to 1 inch long, comparable in size to the bumble bee, although slightly larger. The females are almost entirely black, with a shiny, metallic sheen, and the males are all black, except for a yellow face. The carpenter bee is very destructive in its nesting habits. It will burrow into wood to lay its eggs, and this becomes its nest. The eggs hatch inside the little wood tunnels that have been burrowed by the adult female carpenter bees, and the larvae live inside the wood until they are big enough to leave the nest. This is very damaging to homes, Organic Pest Control For Garden Vegetables as more and more carpenter bees will burrow tunnels into wood around the original nests, eventually causing structural problems for the building. Woodpeckers are also attracted to the noisy larvae that are living inside the wood, which can invite even more damage to the wood. Carpenter bees are not especially picky about where they choose to burrow- as long as it is made of wood, carpenter bees will burrow. The female carpenter bees are the only ones equipped with stingers, so although their sting can be a threat, they are more of a problem because of their damaging capabilities.
Paper wasps are shiny, thin and usually dark-brown with yellow markings. They have very long antennae and legs and a very noticeable differentiation between the front and back portions of the body. Their nests tend to be …