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WASPS VERSUS BEES: KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

May 19, 2016

Categories: Common Pests, Health and Safety, Cottage Services, Country Services, Wasps and Hornets, Infestations

 

May brings forth sunny days and warm weather to sooth our yearnings for summer. But as the birds begin chirping and the flowers begin to bloom, the pests begin to appear once again.

Imagine it’s a warm, sunny day, and have packed a picnic and ventured to the park. You lay down your blanket and begin to eat your lunch and soon see a yellow bug buzzing around your precious food.

What decided to attempt to ruin your picnic? A wasp or a bee? Does it matter?

Most people automatically associate yellow bugs with bees, and automatically tense up, believing they will be stung. The differences between bees and wasps are significant in determining whether you have a pest problem, especially given that bees are currently endangered with a variety of organized efforts dedicated towards their preservation.  Realistically, bees are relatively harmless and generally avoid people unless provoked. Wasps are generally more aggressive, and are more likely to be the unwelcome guest to intrude your picnic.

 

So how can you tell the difference between a wasp and a bee?

The first (and arguably the easiest) way to tell the difference is by appearance. Bees are fuzzy with a round body, whereas wasps have elongated, smooth bodies.

Secondly, bees are pollinators, meaning they feed on various plants and flowers to carry and distribute pollen. For the most part, bees mind their own business, and have no intention of bothering you. Wasps, on the other hand, are predators. While they occasionally feed on nectar or pollen, wasps also feed on flies, insects and even caterpillars.

Wasps and bees also create different nests. A bees nest is built out of wax cells that stack on top of each other to create a honeycomb appearance, which you will typically see in trees. Wasps nests are constructed of papery pulp and their own saliva. Wasps are more likely to build their nests in obscure locations, such as under decks or eaves and even with the walls of your home or dwelling.  

In contrast to the yellow bumblebee, wasps are a larger, more serious pest due to the fact that they are more aggressive, more likely to sting you and if, they nest in the walls of your home, they can be very dangerous to you and your family.

 

Different types of wasps

Yellow jackets and paper wasps are common wasps you will see in the spring. Yellow jacket wasps tend to nest in attics, walls, and under eaves. If you have an infestation you will be able to spot them flying in and out of cracks in the walls of the house.

Paper wasps can be found on horizontal surfaces like beams, overhangs, and supports in places like attics, garages, and tool sheds.

 

What to do if you see a wasp nest?

If you do see a nest but never any wasps around it, it is possible it is not being used anymore, as wasps usually only use their nest for a season and move onto to new locations and new nests.

It might not be vacant though so it is best to call a pest control specialist to inspect the problem for you.

Call 1 (800) 263-5055

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