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How to Get Rid of Stinging Insects without Harming Bees
Stinging insects are a pain—sometimes literally! If you have stinging insects like wasps or yellow jackets around your home, you want to get rid of them.
But how do you get rid of wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets without getting rid of bees?
Today, we're talking about how to get rid of the stinging insects you don't want while keeping the ones you do. But before we dive in, let's answer an important question: why would you want to keep bees around in the first place?
Why Bees Are Beneficial
Bees might be tiny, but they make a big impact.
Bees play a significant role in pollination, a process that helps plants grow, breed, and produce food. In fact, 1/3 of all the food we eat, and about 75% of all crops we grow, are pollinated by bees! Think of the fruits and vegetables you love: there's a good chance that those plants or trees were pollinated by bees. Other crops, too, benefit from bees. If you own any clothes made of cotton or take any medicine made with plant ingredients, bees played a role. And of course, there are bee byproducts that we use, like the honey that we eat and the beeswax that we use in skin care.
Bees are an important part of the ecosystem: plants, animals, and humans all benefit from bees, which is why it's important to harm them as little as possible.
How to Get Rid of Wasps & Hornets—but Not Bees
We've covered how to get rid of wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets before: see our previous post for all the information you need. Essentially, we recommend taking the following steps to prevent stinging insects from moving in:
- Cover and remove food, especially sugary/sweet food. (Think trash cans, empty soda cans, picnic items, etc.)
- Keep your home and garage well-maintained. (This gives stinging insects fewer holes and gaps in which to nest.)
- Keep up with your yard. (Just like with your home, this makes your yard less hospitable to these insects. Pay close attention to rodent holes, and fill these in so yellow jackets don't nest there.)
However, if you have wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets already, we recommend proceeding with caution—especially if you want to save the bees.
To get rid of unwanted stinging insects in a bee-safe way, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Do not use "wasp traps."
- Do not spray pesticides indiscriminately around your yard.
- Do not attempt to remove a nest yourself.
Wasp traps attract and kill bees as well as wasps and hornets. If you want to minimize the effect your pest control has on bees, you'll want to skip this solution.
Also, overuse of pesticides is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners can make when it comes to pest control. You'll want to be careful with pesticides if you purchase and apply insect killer from the local home and garden store as some pesticides are toxic to honey bees.
Finally, we never advise attempting remove a wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket nest by yourself for safety reasons. These pests can be aggressive and will defend their nest with repeated stings if they feel threatened. Instead, we recommend calling in the professionals. A pest control professional has the tools and equipment needed to safely dispose of a live nest.
What to Do When You Really Need to Get Rid of Bees
There are times when you'll need to remove bees from your home or yard:
- When you (or a family member) are allergic to bees
- When you have a true bee infestation (like a hive in your home)
In this case, we do not recommend attempting to remove the bees yourself. Attempting to remove a hive yourself can result in harm to you—and in harm to the bees. Although bees are not usually aggressive (unless they are Africanized honey bees), they will defend themselves if threatened. Whether you are dealing with a hive or a swarm, you don't want to risk getting stung (particularly if you are allergic).
Instead of DIY, we recommend calling a pest control expert. It's a win-win: your house is bee-free, and the bees safely go to a new home.
Contact Us For Stinging Insect Removal
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We've been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.
Authored By: Eric Scherzinger