Tag Archives: bees

Carpenter Bees-Bee Informed

7293137 - carpenter bee on a butterfly bush flowerCarpenter bees (sometimes known as wood bees) are typically mistakenly identified as bumble bees due to their size and color. Unlike the fuzzy bumble bee, the Carpenter bee has a hairless, shiny and black abdomen and is about an inch in length. Carpenter bees do not eat wood, but burrow into wood and nest within the wood. Many times you will see these bees around your eaves and building nests within wood structures on your property . Carpenter bees prefer nesting within unfinished wood.

This year especially, we have had a rise in complaints regarding Carpenter bees infesting cedar wood areas.  

A few favorite nesting sites for the Carpenter bee are decks, under eaves and other wood areas such as sheds and wood piles. The female bee is quite the handy lady as she will use her strong jaws to drill holes into wood surfaces for the entrance to the nest and then she will make a sharp 90 degree turn and tunnel into the wood. These tunnels can run anywhere from 1 foot to 4 feet long and end with a carved out nesting area.

Typically, Carpenter bees are not aggressive. Only the females are equipped with stingers, and although they can sting multiple times without dying, especially if they feel their nest is being threatened, they are typically quite docile. The males may sometimes seem aggressive and you might see them flying around your head, but this is more just for show, a scare tactic really.

Interesting Fact: You can actually hear the sound of drilling within the wood as the female bees bore into the wood and carve out the tunnels and nests. You may also see sawdust around the edges of an entrance hole.

Carpenter Bee Reduction Tips: Preventive treatments such as exterior finishes with oil or polyurethane bases will help reduce nesting sites before they are found. Future generations of carpenter bees can return to try to use the holes and tunnels year after year once they have been established.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to safely deal with stinging insects and their nests. If you’re hearing buzzing, or see a nest, call Safeway Pest Management at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444, our Oshkosh office at 920-385-0412 or toll free at 800-956-0800  Visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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Filed under Pest Prevention, Stinging Insects, Uncategorized, Wood Destroying Insects

Summertime Pest Menaces

Although there are many bothersome pests making their existence known as summer settles in Wisconsin, there are a few topping the summertime charts.

Mosquitoes

It has been quite moist in Wisconsin, to put it mildly. All of this rain has to land somewhere, and much of it can collect in areas of our yards that might not come to mind. Be certain to check the areas listed below and try to make your yard a mosquito no-breed-zone.

Water Holding Containers:  Put away items such as empty flower pots, water jugs, yard toys, old tires

Small Boats/Canoes and Wheelbarrows-Store these upside down

Roof Gutters: Clean clogged gutters

Water Fountains and Bird Baths– Change the water frequently (at least once or twice a week)

Backyard Ponds-Consider agitating the water by adding a waterfall or fountain

Other Mosquito Reducing Tips:

Keep shrubs and grass in your yard well trimmed, screen all windows and doors/patch any holes in any screens, and properly maintain swimming pools.

Spiders

With over 500 species of spiders in Wisconsin, it’s not surprising that some species, both large and small, decide to build their webs on our homes and businesses.

The largest species are members of the family Lycosidae, such as wolf spiders, funnel web spiders and nursery web spiders.

Most spiders are beneficial in managing pests due to their diet of insects. Speaking of taking bites, although poisonous spiders exist, most spiders are harmless.

Spider Reducing Tips: Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter free, caulk around window and doors to prevent spiders from entering, keep wood and rock piles away from your home and remove webbing in your home by using a broom or vacuum.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees (sometimes known as wood bees) are typically mistakenly identified as bumble bees due to their size and color. Unlike the fuzzy bumble bee, the carpenter bee has a hairless, shiny and black abdomen. Carpenter bees do not eat wood, but burrow into wood and nest within the wood. Unfortunately, nesting sites can be dangerous around your home. Many times you will see these bees around your eaves and building nests within wood structures on your property such as sheds, decks and in wood piles.

These bees typically are not aggressive, but can sting multiple times without dying if they feel their nest is being threatened.

Carpenter Bee Reduction Tips: Preventive treatments such as painting wood with thick coats of oil based or latex paints will help reduce nesting sites.

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to safely deal with stinging insects and their nests. If you’re hearing buzzing, have a spider or mosquito problem, call Safeway Pest Management at our Muskego office at 262-679-4422, our Oconomowoc office at 262-354-3444 or toll free at 800-956-0800

You can also visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

Ask us about our Mosquito Special! An entire season of protection for only $295!

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Filed under Mosquito, Pest Prevention, Spiders, Stinging Insects, Uncategorized, Wood Destroying Insects

The Facts Regarding Honey Bees and Pesticides

Much controversy has erupted over the honey bee population and the stance on chemicals and pesticides and how they may be affecting the insect. We will cover the topic of chemicals and honey bees, but let’s first visit some facts about the buzzing bee.

Honey Bee and Colony Fact
Honey bees play a very important role in the pollination of our food. Although it is true that much of our food is wind pollinated, honey bees are responsible for much of the pollination of our fruit, vegetables and nuts. In fact, it is estimated that honey bees pollinate one out of three bites of food we ingest.
You may be surprised to learn this fact; honey bee colonies actually increased by 45% worldwide over the past 50 years. The past 5 years have also produced an increase in colonies due to awareness. Annual surveys conducted by the USDA have shown that honey bee colonies have been rising steadily over the past 10 years.
Researchers are looking into the overall health of honey bee colonies. Aspects such as parasites, diseases, and the surrounding environment, pesticides, weather and hive management are all being inspected and watched by researchers. There is still much learning, exploring and work to be done.
Much modern beekeeping is done for the benefit of crop pollinating. Although there are many hobby beekeepers, many beekeepers work on a commercial level. Hundreds and thousands of hives are transported to help pollinate crops in various areas.

Chemical Facts
Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that commonly affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam.

Hundreds of studies have found that when used according to the directions and in typical field applications, neonics do not pose a significant hazard to bees, even though some neonics, like insecticides, are toxic to bees. This is due to lower doses used at normal field applications.

The Facts Regarding a Tiny Threat 
One fact that has been learned is the threat of the tiny parasite known as Varroa Mite, which has been named the “single most detrimental pest of honey bees,” according to the USDA. This parasite weakens colonies and helps transmit diseases that can wipe out entire colonies. Beekeepers are working on methods of eradicating the mite, which has been a challenge to achieve.

Future Facts
With steady awareness and groups such as beekeepers, farmers, universities, government, industry and consumers working on methods to improve the health of honey bees, the future for honey bee colonies are looking much better and brighter.

Visit us at http://www.safewaypest.net

References: The Facts about Honey Bees and Pesticides by Bayer Crop Science

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Wasp Out!

The warm days of Summer are coming near, which means the time has come to “Wasp” out for stinging insects!

There are over 4,000 varieties of wasps in the United States; thankfully they are not all present in Wisconsin!

The lifespan of a wasp is typically a few months to no longer than one year. Wasp queens, although, can live for several years.

Wasps are mostly active during the day, and return to their nests at dusk.

Wasps are distinguishable from bees by their pointed lower abdomens and the narrow “waist”.

The Paper Wasp is one of the more common Wisconsin Wasps, and its sting can be very painful, and wasps, unlike bees, can sting repeatedly.

More about the Paper Wasp:

Paper wasps have smooth bodies. They are usually dark brown with yellow markings. Their body can be up to three-fourths of an inch long with slender waist. When flying, can be recognized by two rear legs “hanging down”

Paper Wasps nests are made of paper-like combs and found hanging under eaves, door frames, soffits, deck rails, roofs, porches, trees, shrubs, etc. They are very protective of their nests. Their nests are not reused, new colonies begin each Spring.

Paper Wasps are scavengers and prefer proteins – spiders, small insects and small animals

When dealing with any wasp nest, it is best to be safe and to call a professional for help.

Safeway Pest Management can help with any stinging insect problem you may be having.

Give us a call at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit us on the web at www.safewaypest.net.

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“Bee” Aware of Stinging Insects

Ah, it’s a bright, beautiful and sunny day, you’re relaxing on your deck with a drink in hand and then…BUZZ…a bee starts madly flying around you for what seems like no apparent reason.

There actually could be a reason, or even several. It could be the sugars in the drink in your hand, or possibly the sweet perfume you put on that morning.

Thankfully, stinging insects will usually only attack when they, or their nest has been threatened.

Below are a few common stinging insects in Wisconsin.

Yellow Jackets

Appearance: About 1/2 inch in length, with black with yellow markings. They are members of the wasp family.

Diet: Sugars, sweets, meats, occasionally other insects

Nests: They like to live where humans live. Nests can be underground, near garbage and in cool, dark spaces. They also build in trees, shrubs and holes in walls.

Yellow Jackets can sting several times and are the cause of many allergic reactions to people sensitive to their venom.

Hornets

Appearance: ½ to 1 ¼ inches in length. They have black bodies with white markings on the head and abdomen.

Diet: Feed on nectar, honeydew, and other insects.

Nests: They build large, gray colored paper nests which can be found in trees and shrubs. The nests are usually teardrop-shaped and they can hold 100-700 hornets, yet only one queen.

Hornets can sting several times and are very aggressive, especially when their nest is threatened.

Paper Wasps

Appearance: Dark brown with yellow markings and up to about ½ inch long.

Diet: They are mostly scavengers and prefer proteins such as spiders and other small insects

Nests: Paper-like cones which can be found hanging from eaves, soffits, deck rails, door frames, porches and trees. A mature nest can have up to 30 adults.

Paper wasps attack if their nest is threatened. They can sting several times, sometimes bringing on an allergic reaction.

Bumble Bees

Appearance: Up to 1 inch in length. They are fuzzy appearing, and yellow and black in color.

Diet: Honey and nectar

Nests: Most are located in ground cavities, others in wood piles, walls, sheds, crawl spaces or even sometimes in the attic. Nests can have anywhere from 50 to 400 bees. Bumble Bees will grow aggressive if their nest is disturbed.

Some helpful tips:

  • Instead of swatting at a bee, try gently blowing it away from a distance.
  • If you are being attacked by bees, run! It’s best to try and find some kind of barrier to distance yourself from the bees, like a car, bees will stop attacking when in a vehicle; they will instead try to find a way out. Crack a window on the sunny side of the vehicle and they will exit.
  • Wear shoes when walking in a grassy area.
  • Remove crumbs and spills from an outdoor eating area immediately.
  • Often bees will take over a hummingbird feeder. If this happens, simply remove the feeder for about a week. This will throw off the bees flight pattern and make them look elsewhere.
  • If you notice a hive, it may be best to call a licensed professional to remove it safely!

At Safeway Pest Management, our technicians are licensed and trained to safely deal with stinging insects and their nests. If you’re hearing buzzing, or see a nest, call Safeway Pest Management at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800

You can also visit our website at www.safewaypest.net

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