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 exposed, made from paper cells that are created with the paper wasp’s saliva. They will build under the overhang on a building, or in unused equipment or other untouched human debris that is just sitting about. Sometimes they will build a nest in trees or in shrubs. Paper wasps are not especially aggressive, and will only sting when their nest is disturbed. Even though they try to build their nests in protected places, often these nests appear in places where humans frequent, which can be bothersome for homeowners.
Nesting yellow-jackets are one of the most aggressive stinging insects. They are usually the size of house flies, and have distinct yellow and black markings with a few hairs growing from their abdomen. They construct a paper nest, quite similar to that of paper wasps, but usually somewhat smaller and more tan in color. They tend to nest in sandy and exposed areas, or in lawns, at the base of trees and shrubs, and sometimes even inside the wall voids of a home.. Because yellow jackets are such aggressive insects, they don’t need much of a reason to attack. They will sting over and over again, and this is the biggest concern for homeowners, and especially for people who have an allergy to the venom of stinging insects.
If you know where these insects tend to nest, it becomes easier to locate any stinging insect infestations you may have on your property. If you see any stinging insect activity around your property, contact a pest control professional for advice on how to handle the situation as well as how to get rid of a nest.. Pest control professionals have the appropriate tools and knowledge to resolve pest problems such as this effectively and safely and they can help you protect the structure of your home and the well-being of your family.