Don’t Feel The Sting: How To Handle Stinging Insects In Your Yard

Stinging wasp in Memphis TN backyard

Melissophobia, also known as apiphobia, is the intense fear of bees. Thousands of people experience this fear, especially after having a negative experience with stinging insects or experiencing insect bites and stings. When you have trouble with stinging insects in your yard, you can find ways to deal with these pests in your outdoor areas. 

Do you want to learn how you can prevent flying insects that sting? Keep reading these tips to keep these pests at bay. 

Maintain Your Home, Garage, And Other Outdoor Spaces

The first step to preventing stinging insects from nesting in your home is to make sure you properly maintain your home, garage, and other outdoor spaces where stinging insects commonly nest. Many types of insects like wasps and bees build their nests in holes.

For example, if you have broken panels, missing post caps on your fence or deck, or other crevices that are open to the environment, this provides a perfect place for insects to nest. 

If you want to prevent this from happening, it is vital that you patch any holes, fix broken panels, and do whatever else you can to block off common nesting areas of your house. 

Remove Old Nests

If you have had a wasp or stinging insect infestation in the past, you may have leftover nests that were never removed. To prevent another infestation in the future, it is vital that you remove old nests during the winter. 

This is because many wasps and bees will continually return to the same nesting site, even after years. If they notice a nest, they may build in the same place twice. 

By removing old nests, you make your home a less hospitable place for stinging insects to nest. 

Use Traps

It can be scary to deal with wasp nests in your yard, especially if you are not sure if they are active. If you do not want to get too close to a nest, you can try removing stinging insects by using traps. 

Sticky traps are an inexpensive and easy way to remove any stinging insects from your yard or if one makes its way into your home. Other traps trap wasps and other insects in a funnel and prevent them from getting out. Traps are a great way to get rid of a few stinging insects in your yard. 

However, if you have an infestation or several nests in your yard, you will likely need the help of a professional to remove them.  

Keep Sweet Foods Covered Up

Many people notice that wasps and other stinging insects tend to come out during a barbeque or an outdoor picnic. One of the reasons for this is that there is sugary food, drinks, and other food that these insects may try to eat. 

One way to keep them from crashing your outdoor eating is by keeping food, especially sugary food, covered up. 

Block Entrances To Your Home

Blocking entrances to your home is an easy way to avoid any type of stinging insect infestation. If you leave your windows and doors open without screens, stinging insects and many other pests can find their way into your home. 

Just like any other pests, wasps can crawl into your home through other cracks and crevices. Make sure you seal this off if you notice any stinging insects around your property or in your home. 

Avoid Sweet Perfume

Many people don’t realize that stinging insects, especially bees, are attracted to sweet smells. While this is often used to find sweet food and nectar, it also makes bees and other pests attracted to the smell of your perfume.

When you wear sweet-smelling perfume in your yard, you may become more of a target for stinging insects. If you find that stinging insects approach you outside, make sure you stay calm and try to avoid shooing them away.

Keep Garbage Covered

Another way that you can handle a wasp problem on your property is to always keep your garbage covered. Wasps are attracted to food, so they may try to find the leftovers in your garbage can. 

By keeping your trash cans covered, you eliminate their food source and will keep them from coming to your home. 

Call an Exterminator

Finally, if you are not able to remove stinging insects on your own, it is time to find an exterminator to help. Rather than risking experiencing the insect sting pain index, you can hire a professional company to remove active wasp nests and other stinging insects from your property. 

Wasp removal experts know how to remove nests safely and effectively without creating any additional problems. If you notice any active nests, contact a company that offers stinging insect removal. 

Get Profesional Help With Stinging Insects Today

Having wasps, or other black stinging insects can put a damper on your summer get-togethers. Not only are they some of the most painful insect stings, but they can cause a lot of issues in your yard as well. By following each of these tips, you can keep wasps and other stinging insects out of your yard and away from your home. 

If none of these tips have worked for you, it may be time to get professional help. Do you need help with stinging insect and wasp control in the Memphis area? Inman-Murphy Pest Control can help!

Contact our team today to learn more about our Memphis pest and stinging insect control services or check out our website to get a free estimate for wasp removal. 

Why Are There Bees in My House? Everything You Should Know

swarm of bees with nest build outside shed in memphis tn yard

You’re probably familiar with that distinctive buzzing: the sound of bees flying past. While bees are just fine when they’re outside, what do you do if they’re inside your home?

If you’ve ever asked the question why are there bees in my house, then it’s time to get some answers so you can take steps to get rid of them.

Read on to discover why and how bees can get into a home, and what you can do about it so your home stays bee-free.

The Basics About Bees 

An occasional bee that you see flying about here and there really isn’t a lot to be concerned about. However, if you start to notice more and more bees that are actually flying around inside, there could be a serious underlying problem.

Most species of bees have a queen, which is the leader of the entire hive. The hive will follow the queen wherever she goes, and they’ll settle wherever she decides to settle down so she can reign over her “kingdom”.

There are species of bees that are considered quite aggressive, and these pests can pose a serious risk to your health and safety. While some bees are not aggressive as long as they’re left alone, others may attack when they feel threatened.

Some bees prefer to establish their hives at ground-level similar to wasps, while others prefer to be higher up, such as in a tall tree. If they’re starting to make an appearance in your house, it could be because there’s a hive nearby.

In most cases, you’ll have a bee or two in the home because they happened to get in through an entry point. This could be a crack in a window, an open window or door, or an area where an entry point is no longer sealed.

Hives can range from as small as a few hundred for bumblebees to as large as 80,000 for honey bees! With numbers like that, it’s not surprising that a few bees may make it into your home if the hive is close by.

One type of bee to be especially aware of is the carpenter bee. These bees drill holes into wood and build their hives inside of wooden structures. 

Identifying Bees in My House

If you suspect you have a problem with bees, there are usually a few telltale signs to be aware of. Use these tips to help you determine if a stray bee has gotten into your home, or if there’s a much bigger issue at play.

You can recognize the presence of carpenter bees if you notice a one-inch round hole in a wooden structure. The bees drill a hole, then create a network of tunnels inside for the hive. Carpenter bees can cause serious structural damage if the problem gets out of control.

Another much scarier problem is if a hive of bees were to establish themselves inside your home. They can build their hives in between walls, in attics, or in other hidden spaces.

If you suspect you have a hive in your home, knock on the walls and listen for any bee-like noises. It’s best to hire a professional exterminator who can come and find the location of the hive and remove it for you safely. 

When a bee enters your home, keep a close eye on it and follow it around. It will likely lead you to its home base unless it just happened to get inside. If it’s just a stray bee, it will probably want to get out as quickly as it came in.

Preventing Bees From Getting Inside

Bees are attracted to the pollen in flowers, but they also love anything that’s sweet and sugary. If you wonder why there are bees in my house, it might be because there is garbage close to the home.

Seal up all trash, especially things like sugary sodas and juice. Put all trash in a can with a sealed lid, and try to keep it as far away from your home as possible so you don’t tempt the bees to come near.

Wash your trash can frequently to eliminate any residue that might tempt bees. Carpenter bees prefer building their hives in untreated wood, so make sure any wood outside of your home is sealed, painted, or stained.

There are also a few natural ways you can keep bees from getting inside your house. These methods eliminate the need for harsh chemicals and can prevent bees from sneaking inside the home. Some things you can try include:

  • Place cucumber peels on a windowsill. Bees do not like cucumber, so this is a simple, natural way to keep them from flying in through an open window.
  • Sprinkle peppermint oil around areas where you want to keep bees away. You can also plant peppermint plants in your garden to keep the pesky bees at bay.
  • Bees tend to avoid cinnamon, so sprinkle some cinnamon powder around the perimeter of your home to keep them away.
  • You can apply a mixture of vanilla extract and body oil to your body when you’re outside, and it works well as a natural repellant for bees and other pests.

By keeping your home clean and free of tempting sugar, you can reduce the threat of having bees inside the house.

How to Eliminate Bees From Your Home

Much like other pests, the key to getting rid of them is prevention. However, if there are a lot of bees in your home, you should consider hiring a professional who knows how to remove the entire hive.

Bees are extremely important to the environment and provide pollination to countless species of plants and flowers. However, bees can also be a threat to many people, especially if you’re allergic to bee stings.

Depending on where the hive is located, you might be able to fix the issue by putting a clear plastic tarp over it (if you’re brave enough). The tarp will trap heat from the sun, making conditions much too hot for bees to survive. It’s best to consult with a pro who can remove the hive altogether without hurting the bees whenever possible.

In some cases, you can make conditions unattractive for the bees so that they move elsewhere. Plant some bee-repelling plants around the perimeter of your home like peppermint or eucalyptus. If the bees find their environment unappealing, they’ll likely move their hive elsewhere.

Another repellant you can try is to use mothballs. Hang some mothballs near the hive, or place them strategically around your house. The bees don’t like the presence of mothballs near them, so they’ll likely move on.

When to Call a Pro

Ideally, you should never try to eradicate bees from the home yourself. Not only do you run a serious risk of being stung, but you likely won’t be able to get rid of the entire colony or hive without some professional help. Contact a professional exterminating company that understands bees and how to remove them in a safe, responsible manner so you can get back to living in peace.

If you have young children, it’s also best to call in an exterminator. Kids might be tempted to investigate the hive, which can easily result in some seriously painful stings. Always keep your pets away from beehives, too.

When in doubt, never attempt to eliminate bees from your home. You could end up getting stung, making the problem worse, or become frustrated since most bees are difficult to get rid of completely.

Always consult with a professional company that specializes in pest control. A beekeeper is another solution since they have the tools and skills to remove beehives completely from the home. 

Say Goodbye To Bees

If you live in the Memphis area or any part of Tennessee, you may ask, “Why are there bees in my house?” Fortunately, there are solutions if you’ve discovered that you have an issue with bees or any other pest.

Try to identify if you have a single bee who may have gotten inside or if you have an actual hive hiding somewhere in your home. If you find that you have an infestation, it’s time to contact a company that can get rid of these pests for good.

Once you discover you have a bee infestation, call us to schedule an appointment or to get a free estimate and we’ll help you get rid of bees once and for all.

Stinging Insects You Need to Be Concerned About

stinging insects in memphis tn

Stinging insects are concerning not only for the pain of their sting, but also because they can cause severe allergic reactions for some people. If a reaction occurs, visit an emergency room immediately and always carry epinephrine.

In Tennessee, we have a range of insects known for their sting. Learn about the top stinging insects you need to be concerned about in Memphis and our best tips for how to handle them:

Paper Wasps

Tennessee hosts several paper wasp species with the most common being northern paper wasps. These wasps have large mandibles to strip wood and bark from trees. They chew the fibers and mix it with their saliva to make “paper.” This paper is used to construct nests under roofs, awnings, and tree branches.

Paper wasps are very defensive around their nests, but rarely sting when searching for food or wood. Adults typically feed on nectar but also capture caterpillars to feed developing larvae.

Red Wasps

Red wasps are true to their name with red bodies which can grow as large as one inch. They cohabitate together in big families and build large umbrella-like nests in areas with protection against the environment. Like any wasp, they are capable of stinging multiple times when threatened.

Wasps are attracted to bright colors, loud noises, and the smell of sweet perfume and food. Avoid leaving food out which can entice wasps to join the party.

Bald Faced Hornets

Tennessee is home to four species of bald-faced hornets. They get their name from their black color and mostly white face. Oddly enough, these stinging insects aren’t considered “true” hornets. Some refer to them as “aerial yellow jackets” as these large wasps are very similar to their closest relative.

While less aggressive than their ground-dwelling relatives, they will attack anyone or anything that invades their space. This can make removing hornet nests very difficult. Their smooth stingers can sting multiple times, and their venom makes the sting hurt, itch, and swell for about 24 hours.

European Hornets

The one true hornet species is the European hornet which came to New York from Europe in the 1800s. They make their nests in attics, out buildings, barns, and hollow trees.

Their stingers can grow as large as 1 ½ inches and are active day or night. While less aggressive than others, their stings can cause itching and swell for nearly 24 hours.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are easily recognized by their yellow bodies and black stripes. While often confused for bees, they exhibit very aggressive behavior and are capable of attacking more than once. They eat other insects when hungry, but are drawn to sweet drinks, candy, and food.

Yellow jacket nests are in the ground or rotting logs with potentially thousands in one colony. If you see yellow jackets coming out of the ground, you likely found a nest and should stay far away. Yellow jackets are known to cause several deaths each year.

Velvet Ants

Velvet ants, or “cow killers,” aren’t ants at all. They’re actually wasps. If you see these fuzzy bodies with black and red stripes running along the ground, don’t step on them barefoot. Their sting is painful.

These solitary creatures tend to travel alone and make their homes in nesting chambers of ground-dwelling bees and wasps. After their eggs hatch, their larvae will eat the host. This insect is certainly not one to mess with!

Dealing with Stinging Insects

When their nests are in danger, these stinging insects will not hold back. To remove hornet, wasp, or bee nests from your property, always make an appointment for professional pest control services to protect you and your family from being attacked.

Need wasp control services in Tennessee? Call Inman-Murphy Termite & Pest Control today at 901-388-0852.