Tag Archives: Insect control

Flying Insects – The Difference Between Bees, Wasps and Hornets

You may think you know, but do you really understand what key factors differentiate the flying insects? What makes a bee a bee, or a wasp a wasp?

If your seven-year-old nephew asked you what’s the difference between these pesky flying insects, would you be able to confidently explain what’s what and look really awesome in his eyes? Or would you have to pull out your smartphone and do some fact checking?

If you’re no longer so sure, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered!

First things first, let’s get this out of the way quick:

Hornets are a type of wasp.

Go blow some kid’s mind with that. We’ll wait.

Welcome back. So now the real question is:

What’s the deal with the remaining two types of flying insects: bees and wasps?

To answer this question, we’ll have to perform some tests. Don’t worry, they’re easy.

Flying Insects Appearance Test: Fat And Hairy, Or Skinny And Bald?

Quite simply put, wasps are long, thin and smooth. Bees are round and fuzzy.

This is because wasps are hunters and bees are gatherers. Wasps hunt other bugs for food, so they need to be sleek and aerodynamic to catch their prey. Bees collect pollen, so they need a heftier, hairier body (the hair traps pollen) to help store and transport their precious cargo.

To elaborate even more on their appearance, bees are often 11 to 25 mm long whereas wasps and hornets vary between 12 to 40 mm long. Bees will always be yellow and/or black, but wasps can vary in colouring from black and yellow, to reddish-brown to even white in colour depending on the species.

Flying Insect Personality Test: Friendly Or Mean?

To put it simply, bees are generally friendly whereas wasps tend to be mean.

Bees are gentle and like to keep to themselves. They hang around flowers, filling up on pollen before buzzing over to the next flower.

Wasps are much more aggressive, stalking human gatherings in search of food to eat. Overripe fruit and sugary drinks are their absolute favourite. So if a flying insect that isn’t just a house fly is buzzing around annoying your dinner guests, it’s most likely a wasp.

Flying Insects Homemaking Skill Test: Hive Or Nest?

After a long, hard day of gathering pollen, a bee goes home to a hive made up of hexagonal wax cells made from beeswax secreted from their abdomen. Oftentimes though, you won’t even see the beehive as bees tend to swarm around it. Instead, you’d just see a big flying ball of bees.

Unlike bees, wasps go home to grey-coloured paper-looking nests made up of chewed up wood pulp. If you have a wasp nest in your backyard or anywhere else on your property, you’ll want to call the professionals to take care of it as soon as possible. Wasps can get very territorial protecting their queen and can cause a lot of damage if they decide to swarm you or your guests.

If you ask us, bees are the better housekeepers.

LEARN MORE: THE BEST WAYS TO PREVENT A WASP NEST ON YOUR PROPERTY

Flying Insect Ouch Test: How Many Times Did They Sting Ya?

This is probably the worst way to distinguish a wasp from a bee, as either way it can hurt a whole bunch! But if it stings you once and you find the stinger inside you, it’s a bee. If it stings you a bunch of times, it’s a wasp.

Both bee and wasp stings will show similar symptoms to their victim however, with an initial sharp pain or burning at the sting site. You may also experience residual redness, swelling and itching.

Bee stings can happen, especially if you accidentally touch one while rooting around in your garden, however they don’t mean to sting you. When a bee stings, their stinger is pulled from their abdomen and unfortunately, they die as a result.

Wasps on the other hand feel no remorse. They are able to pull their stinger out of their victim and live to sting another day, or even sting you again right after the first one. On top of this, when stung by a wasp, the wasp actually releases a chemical to alert other nearby wasps. When other wasps detect this chemical, they’ll join the original wasp in a swarm to help attack the enemy (you).

Some neat and not so neat facts, huh? We hope this article will teach you to appreciate the subtle differences between bees, wasps and hornets, but if you don’t, we understand. After all, a pest is a pest. If nothing else, this blog will help you avoid the flying insects that are a little more vengeful than their other insect companions.

Want Flying Insects To Buzz Off For Good? Contact Terminix Canada Today!

Whether it’s bee removal, hornet nest removal, wasp removal or your looking for help identifying the flying insects that are harshing your mellow, Terminix Canada can help. Our pest management services are effective, efficient and affordable. Book a free consultation with us today!

The Best Ways To Prevent A Wasp Nest On Your Property

There is nothing worse than trying to enjoy a beautiful afternoon in the backyard, just to be taken out of your rest and relaxation to swat away buzzing wasps. The problem is, you can’t have summer without having wasps, so to a certain extent you’ll have to learn to live with them. However, you don’t have to learn to live with a wasp nest, and we want to help you prevent wasps from ever deciding that your property makes an ideal spot to nest.

Once wasps have settled into a new colony, wasp nest removal can be very difficult and dangerous if done improperly. Tenacious and dangerous when provoked, it is absolutely not recommended for you to try and remove a wasp nest without the help of pest control experts.

That’s why wasp nest prevention is key.  

Here are some of the best ways to prevent wasps from ruining your summer barbecues, without stirring up a hornet’s nest.

The Best Ways To Prevent Wasps From Building A Wasp Nest

In the fall, a queen wasp goes into hibernation as her workers die off from the cold. When she awakens in the summer, she sets out to build an entirely new nest from scratch. What this means is that you have a wasp prevention grace period in the early summer to find and get rid of prime wasp nest locations before a queen can set up shop.

Common locations for wasp nests are hollow tree trunks, eaves, railings, overhangs and even your child’s play house. There are a variety of natural repellents you can use to keep wasps away from prime nesting locations. Specifically, peppermint or dish soap work well.

One particularly cunning trick to stop wasps from moving in is setting up a commercially available decoy wasp nest somewhere visible on your property. Wasps are highly territorial, but they’ll respect another colony’s territory.

Maintain Your Yard To Prevent A Wasp Nest

Once you take care of the obvious wasp nest locations, you need to think about how to prevent wasps from other people’s properties making their way onto yours. In other words, you have to keep the rest of your yard inhospitable to them. Luckily, that just means doing the yard maintenance you should already be doing anyways.

This includes some of the chores you’d like to put off, but they make a big different in wasp prevention. Things like keeping shrubs and trees pruned and leaves and grass clippings cleaned up. Additionally, the same way birds will flock to your yard looking for water, so will insects. This means you should remove standing water from bird baths and rain gutters.

If you’re wondering what to do about food and drink when hanging out in the backyard, don’t worry. You can still enjoy your sweet libations and barbecues, just don’t leave these items outside longer than they need to be. Keep food covered when not being served. Don’t leave sugary drinks laying out in the sun once they’re done being drunk. There are also many different reusable drink containers on the market that allow you to keep your drinks cold. Additionally, these containers avoid the dreaded wasp stuck in a car or accidentally swallowed.

Due to their sweet tooth (or mandibles), wasps love to hover around garbage. They eagerly await the chance to lick any sweet stains on the side. This means you should always make sure your trash can lids are securely closed and frequently hosed off.

How Not To Prevent Wasps Or Wasp Nests

Once a nest has fully established itself, it becomes extremely dangerous to even go near it. Annoying just one wasp or getting too close to the wasp nest can quickly turn into a whole colony of peeved off wasps which could result in many painful stings.

While there are many myths about how to keep wasps away, they can be inaccurate and unsafe. For instance, using liquids to drown out a ground nest is ineffective. This is because the tunnels go down lower than you would expect. On top of that, chances are the queen will survive and live to nest another day.

Think it’s as easy as covering the hole with a big rock or caulking? Think again. Unless you fully seal the hole at night while the entire colony is inside, you’re just going to end up with swarms of wasps upset and looking for a way back in.

Attempting to vacuum them out is more likely to land you in a hospital ward than stop wasps. The best way to keep wasps away is simply prevention, as discussed above. But when that fails, Terminix Canada is here to help.

For 90 years, Terminix Canada’s bee hive and wasp nest removal services have helped thousands of Canadians keep themselves and their families safe from potentially life-threatening attacks.

We use special insecticidal dust and aerosols to neutralize hives and environmentally-friendly insecticides to make underground wasp nests uninhabitable. Contact us today to make the wasps plaguing you buzz off.

Need Flying Insect Control? Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder And The Importance Of Bees

So you’ve decided you need flying insect control. Not only have you spotted bees, wasps or hornets buzzing around your backyard, but you also have negative childhood associations with them.

Sure, flying insects are undoubtedly one of the most annoying pests around. However, you should also know that bees are incredibly important to the ecosystem. But did you know that a bee’s role is at risk by a disease called Colony Collapse Disorder?

What Is Colony Collapse Disorder?

Colony Collapse Disorder is a mysterious phenomenon where the majority of worker bees will simply abandon their hive and their queen at once. This is an act that goes against all their genetic programming. As of yet, scientists still don’t know the exact reason for Colony Collapse Disorder. Nevertheless, they are examining many possible Colony Collapse Disorder causes and how they interact.

What Are The Effects Of Colony Collapse Disorder In North America?

According to a recent article from the Washington Post, half of our 40 species of bumblebee in North America are in decline. With over 3,600 species of native bees in North America, between 2007 and 2013, an estimated 10 million beehives died due to Colony Collapse Disorder. Over the years, the loss of bees has become so severe that in some regions of North America, farmers have resorted to renting bees in order to pollinate their crops.

What Causes Colony Collapse Disorder?

Firstly, there are numerous possible Colony Collapse Disorder causes. Scientific studies have isolated a number of Colony Collapse Disorder causes that are the most likely culprits.

Many scientists believe that some types of pesticides might be a primary cause of Colony Collapse Disorder. For instance, pesticides like neonicotinoids, which is chemically similar to nicotine. Species like honeybees come into contact with substances like these as they pollinate crops.

Elsewhere, climate change and associated extreme weather have also been cited as likely Colony Collapse Disorder causes in a variety of different ways. Not only does climate change cause plant life to dwindle. Additionally, bees’ foraging patterns are intimately linked to the weather. For instance, bees do not go out in the rain and seek out liquid instead of nectar during extreme heat. As such, prolonged rainy periods or drought conditions might be disturbing their ingrained routines in ways we don’t fully understand.

Ultimately, drought conditions in particular, which have been on the rise in the North America, have been negatively affecting bees’ diets due to the loss of plant life.

The Importance Of Bees Despite Flying Insect Control

Bees are important to our world because:

  • One third of the food we eat on a daily basis is pollinated by honeybees
  • The worth of bee-pollinated crops is around $200 billion yearly worldwide.
  • Bees pollinate 75 per cent of plant species that contribute to human consumption.

All of this is to say, bees are extremely important. Sure, they’re a prime annoyance in summer months like these but they have a crucial role to play.

What Can We Do To Combat Dwindling Bee Populations?

Carefully select your plants in the garden. Bee species that are unfamiliar can still pollinate these plants. This is according to 2018/19 research from Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware, United States.

Director of Conservation and Research, Eileen Boyle recruited Sarver to survey their 1,000-acre estate’s native bee populations. Of the 3,493 bees collected, representing 135 species, 15 bee species hadn’t previously been found in the state of Delaware. The overriding conclusion was that if you plant it, bees will come.

Need Flying Insect Control? Terminix Canada Provides Bee, Wasp & Hornet Removal

Here at Terminix Canada, our technicians understand the importance of bees, wasps and hornets, as well as the dangers they cause in and around your property. Rest assured, we use special insecticidal dust and aerosols to neutralize hives and environmentally-friendly insecticides to make underground wasp nests uninhabitable. Contact us today to make the wasps plaguing you buzz off.

Since bee populations are in danger, we often recommend customers contact local beekeepers to safely rehome bees and their bee hives. However, in cases where bee hives are located in an area that poses a danger to human safety, especially in cases of allergies, we are able to control the threat and safely remove bees from your property. Contact us today and see your flying insect control problems buzz off for good!