We get quite a few questions on a regular basis about different kinds of pests and we’d like to address some well known topics to help educate folks around Tucson about bees and the problems they can cause home owners and businesses.
Bee Basics – What Types of Bees and Wasps Can You Find Around Tucson?
While there are dozens of species of bees and wasps in Arizona, here are the ones that you’ll likely find around your home living in the Sonoran Desert:
- The American Bumblebee is the most widely seen bee species you’ll see around your property. These are the classic yellow and black fuzzy bees that pollinate the flowers around your home. They’re mostly harmless and do not typically want to get into a fight, but they are capable of stinging multiple times which doesn’t fit the stereotype people have built around bees in general that they can only sting once. This poses the most danger to those that might have an allergic reaction to bee stings.
- Paper Wasps are the most common wasp that is found around residential areas around Tucson. Most people make the automatic assumption that they are Yellow Jackets, which is actually in the same family, but is a much larger and more aggressive type of wasp. For the most part, Paper Wasps are harmless and fairly docile unless provoked. The most distinctive characteristic of a Paper Wasp is that they are smaller, thinner and build large tear-drop shaped nests on eaves and around rafters (where Yellow Jackets build underground nests). These are actually effective pollinators for our desert flowers. You should assume that all wasps will attack if you provoke them, so please stay away.
- Bald Faced Hornets are black and white stinging insects that can also appear green depending on the light. These are very aggressive pests and if you notice a good number of hornets around your property please give us a call immediately because a nearby nest can be very dangerous for children or pets.
- Velvet Ants are the final species you may find here in Tucson during your normal daily routine. They are about the same size as a large bee, brilliantly colored and very fuzzy. While called an ant, they are actually a wingless species of wasp, and their stings are known to be one of the most painful on earth, so please call a pest control professional like Results Pest & Termite today
There is no specific reason that bees may decide to build a colony around or even in your home. In the Southwest our climate is ideal for bees, so their activity is very active around the Spring months in Tucson.
These can be dangerous for two main reasons: the first is obvious as they can sting you, your children or your pets and that can cause an allergic reaction that can even be fatal. The second is property damage. Once a colony starts building in your structure, they can expand VERY quickly. They will continue to build the structure as long as they have room, and these honeycombs can weigh hundreds of pounds, and are filled with honey.
Beehives are often built in places where there is shade and the area is covered. It will generally be in attics, garages, interior or exterior walls, or in hollow tree trunks.
Bee swarms occur when a large number of bees travel together as they migrate from an existing colony or are looking to break off to form new colonies. These swarms will often times gather around trees or in nooks around buildings while they move over large distances to stop and conserve energy while they rest.
Do NOT approach a bee swarm. If you want to wait until it has moved on, usually this takes 24-48 hours before they begin to continue on. There is however a chance some of the swarm broke off to start a new colony so once they have moved on ensure you thoroughly inspect your property.
Paper Wasps will make small egg-carton style nests from roof eaves or patio ceilings, or in nooks within a roofing structure.
Treating Your Bee Problem
The next big question is: how to solve my bee or wasp problem, what do I do? The first thing is: hire a professional like Results Pest & Termite. Yes, there are techniques that home owners can employ to get rid of bees. No, we do not recommend them.
In order to even start, you’d need the correct equipment. Once you have acquired the correct equipment, you need the expertise to not only remove bees, but also keep them from coming back. Bees that have simply vacated a structure are an open invitation for other bees to move right in. They leave behind pheromones that can be detected by and attract other bees.
Additionally if honeycomb is left behind in the structure, it immediately will begun to decay because the honeycomb itself will rot since it is not being actively tended by the colony.
These are all reason that this is a job for professionals. Luckily, our services are not only fast, but we’re also very affordable.
If you begin to see large numbers of bees, or can identify a beehive on your property, or you can see bees coming in and out of a hole in your roof or walls, call us today at 520-615-9291 and get a free quote today. You can also Email Us to get started and learn more.