There are over 4,000 different kinds of bees in North America. Although bees aren’t normally aggressive, bee stings can be painful and dangerous to those who are allergic to bee stings.
Bees find their way into homes through small spaces, cracks, and other openings like chimneys. Bee infestations in your home can be quite tricky to handle.
Bees are a valuable part of the ecosystem, and although inconvenient, they help produce over $30 billion worth of crops and help feed almost 90% of the world.
It can be incredibly dangerous to try and get rid of bees in your house on your own. Attacking or spraying a hive with poison will lead to an angry defense from the bees.
It is best to call a bee removal specialist to assist you in handling the bees safely and humanely.
How to Spot Bees in Your Home
The most common types of bees in North America are honeybees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees. Luckily, these bees are not known to be aggressive unless attacked. They do not carry diseases, and are not looking for forage food from your home.
If you suspect there are bees in your home, look out for:
- Dead bees on window sills or near doors
- Unpleasant odors from abandoned bee hives and honeycombs
- Holes in wooden structures from nests
- Buzzing in walls, or around home
After you confirm you have a bee infestation, find the different points of entry in small cracks in walls and stove, bathroom, and dryer vents. Bees are attracted to light, so they naturally will gravitate towards windows and brighter spaces in your home.
Bees or Wasps?
It is important to differentiate between these insects as wasps are incredibly aggressive. Try to look for dead insects and inspect the body to determine if it’s a bee. Bees are fuzzy and thick/plump, whereas wasps tend to be long and skinny. Bees also find nourishment from plant nectar. Wasps will tend to scavenge for food waste.
If you suspect you might be dealing with wasps, go to our wasps page for more information.
Types of Bees
As mentioned, there are many bee species, but the most common type of bees found in North America are honeybees, carpenter bees, and bumblebees.
Honeybees are known for producing honeycombs, and live up to five years. They do not create their own hives, but find refuge in hollow spaces such as trees and logs.
Their hives do not carry disease – in fact, their hives are meant to protect against diseases with a special wax called propolis.
Although this substance makes the hive anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal, the hives can become quite heavy and damage attached structures.
Honeybees are not aggressive and do not die when they sting. Be sure to look out for honeybee hives in:
- Tree trunks
- Fence posts
- Wall cavities
If you suspect that there is an honeybee infestation in your home, call your local pest control specialist.
These bees expand their hives throughout wooden structures. A carpenter bee will carve holes in wood structure then continue to make nests, lay eggs, and find refuge in winter.
Carpenter bees are smooth, shiny, and do not have yellow stripes on their abdomen. Most male carpenter bees do not have stingers and others will only sting if antagonized.
Call your local pest control agency to assess and infestation and follow these steps to prevent carpenter bees from nesting in your wooden structures:
- Plug holes in wooden structures with a putty or caulk
- Paint or varnish window sills, railings, decks, fences, doors, eaves, and wooden lawn furniture
- Use mesh screens to block openings into your home
- Use hardwoods instead of softwoods for your external structures, and inspect all wood for rot
Bumblebees are large, plump, fuzzy bees with short and stubby wings.
Unlike honeybees, the bumble bee does not produce honey, but are vital pollinators who burrow their nests in the ground. These bees are very social, their colonies can have 50 to 500 bees. Bumblebees are not aggressive, and like the Honeybee, they do not die when they sting.
Look for Bumblebee nests in:
- Deserted rodent nests
- Compost piles
- Underneath sheds and porches
If you suspect that there is an honeybee infestation in your home, call your local bee control specialists.
How to Get Rid of Bees
Depending on the type of bee infestation, your exterminator may change their plan of action. An exterminator may use smoke, pesticides, or the help of a beekeeper to safely remove the bees from your home.
If improperly handled, another colony can form in the place of the old colony. After your exterminator has removed the bees, it is vital to close all points of access by:
- Blocking access to crawl spaces, sheds, porches, and decks
- Filling in old rodent dens and other holes in the ground
- Properly storing all waste and compost in sealed containers
- Removing hollowed trees and logs
- Installing screens in your home’s main entry points
- Inspecting your home for signs of bees during the warmer weather
Always call a pest control specialist if you are unsure if your home is infested with bees or wasps.
To find a local bee control specialist in your area, call the number below.