What Are Relocation Options for Stinging Insects?

Bees and other stinging insects (even wasps!) are important pollinators—but just because they’re beneficial doesn’t mean you want them in your yard! What can you do about stinging insects near your home? What are your relocation options for stinging insects?

Today, we’re discussing why you should consider relocation over extermination and what your options are for moving stinging insects off your property.

Why Choose Relocation over Extermination

Most homeowners don’t want beehives or stinging insect hives near their home—whether it’s because they don’t want family or pets to get stung or a family member is allergic to bees.

If you have stinging insects you want to get rid of, you have two options: extermination and relocation. Whenever possible, we recommend relocation for bees.

Why do we recommend relocation for bees? Bees (along with wasps and other stinging insects) pollinate 80% of the crops humans grow. From almonds to vanilla, coffee to cotton, most of the plants we use are pollinated by bees. Without pollination, plants wouldn’t reproduce—and humans wouldn’t survive. Crazy, right?

Bee populations have been declining in recent years due to parasites, habitat loss, disease and more. That’s why it’s so important to protect the bees we have left and choose relocation over extermination whenever we can.

When it comes to other kinds of stinging insects, however, relocation isn’t always possible. Yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets, for example, are aggressive in nature and problematic to try to move. Unfortunately, for these types of stinging insects, extermination is typically recommended.

What Your Relocation Options Are

Bees, wasps, hornets, and other stinging insects are (with a few exceptions) social insects that live together in colonies. Honey bees and bumble bees live together in hives that they build; honey bees live in hives above ground, while bumble bees live underground or in hollow logs or abandoned bird nests. Wasps can live above or below ground in nests they build.

Hives and nests can be located just about anywhere on your property: bees and wasps have even been known to build their homes inside yours—like under eaves and inside attics or voids in the wall. Your relocation options will depend on where the beehive is located on your property.

Outside the Home

If a bee hive is outside your home, relocation involves calming the bees, securing the hive, and moving the hive to an area miles away from your house.

First, pros will typically smoke the hive. (Bees use pheromones to alert other bees to danger, and the smoke masks these pheromones.) With the bees safely calmed, the hive is then placed in a secure box. Finally, it’s transported to a new location.

Inside the Home

If a bee hive is inside your home (in the walls, chimney, etc), relocation becomes a bit trickier, though still possible. It’s not a good idea to try to seal the insects inside and wait for them to die. The dead insects will eventually rot—causing odor and unwanted moisture that may damage the structure. Dead insects will also attract pests like cockroaches!

Pest pros will first determine the edges of the hive inside the structure. A hole will be opened in the wall, the combs removed and the bees moved to a new site. After the bees have been removed, the structure is repaired and any holes bigger than a pencil should be sealed. That’s because the scent of beeswax will linger where the hive was. Bees have an excellent sense of smell, and may try to return to the previous hive if they scent the beeswax.

Of course, this type of hive relocation can be prohibitively expensive, since it often involves knocking down walls! For many homeowners, it’s not ideal or even possible to choose relocation. In that case, extermination is recommended.

What to Do After Relocation

After stinging insects are removed—either by relocation or extermination—it’s important to take some steps to prevent future infestations. In addition to patching any holes where stinging insects can enter your house, you may want to take a look at what attracts stinging insects to your yard. Consider, for example, where you place flowering plants. Because they attract bees and wasps, plant them far away from your home or plant non-flowering plants. Also consider keeping garbage (which attracts wasps) away from your home.

Call ScherZinger Pest Control

Stinging insect removal or relocation isn’t a task you want to do yourself. It’s dangerous for the average homeowner, who doesn’t have the training or safety equipment needed to safely get rid of a hive or nest.

If provoked, wasps and even bees can become aggressive and sting—and trying to move their colony absolutely counts as provocation. Unless you’re a beekeeper yourself, it’s best to get professional help when it comes to stinging insects.

ScherZinger Pest Control is here to help you. We can handle all your extermination needs, and we call upon trusted local beekeepers to handle the relocation. (They do this in exchange for a free colony.)

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 websiteFacebook, or Twitter.