Bees & Wasps

Apex treats a range of stinging insects including: bald-faced hornets, yellow jackets, paper wasps, carpenter bees, mud-dauber wasps, European hornets, and bumble bees. Each of these singing insects are unique and finds a different way to invade your home or outdoor living space. Nesting sites include aerial nests in trees, ground holes, and wall penetrations via exterior cracks and unsealed gaps.

Effective control by the homeowner is unlikely due to the sheer number of occupants in the nest, misuse of products or improper control methods, and the fear of being stung and the medical concerns that may arise. All valid reasons to have Apex handle all your stinging insect issues.

Besides eliminating individual nests, Apex uses a specially formulated exterior power spray to prevent stinging insects in the first place so that you can enjoy your outside living space. This preventative treatment discourages stinging insects from nesting or drilling into your home or business and eliminates any nests that have already formed. Our experienced professionals will provide a crack and crevice, spot specific exterior application to potential harborage sites from the roofline down. Any issues that may arise after treatment are guaranteed up until the first frost of the year.

Call Apex Pest Control Today! 1-800-MUG-A-BUG (1-800-684-2284)
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Bee and Wasp Identification

Stinging insects can be nasty pests to deal with, so identifying what is plaguing you is the key to eradication. The bald-faced hornet, carpenter bee, yellow jacket wasp, paper wasp, mud dauber wasp and bumble bee are common bee and wasp pests.

Bald-Faced Hornet

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Largely black in color with white face
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: Adults are 5/8 to 7/8 inches long; Queens are about 3/4 to 1 1/8 inches long
  • Identifying Characteristics: Colored black with white pattern on face, white stripes on thorax and white bands on last 3 abdominal segments; construct aerial nests

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Social insects that consist of workers that are sterile females, queens which are the fertile females, and males that appear in later summer from unfertilized eggs
  • Live in aerial nests. They attach nests to low shrubs, high trees or high buildings. Nests are not reused the next season
  • Nest size varies from less than 2000 cells to 3500 cells that contain 100 to 400 workers at its peak. At the end of the season, the founding queen (not the newly emerged queens and males that left the nest and mate), workers, and males all die
  • Only the inseminated queen overwinters and in the spring, builds a grayish paper nest shaped like an inverted pear. One egg is laid in each cell and the queen initially feeds developing larvae chewed up insects, spiders, and nectar. By late September the nests consist of 3 to 5 disk-like paper combs attached one below the other and encased in a multi-layered envelope

Carpenter Bee

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Resemble the bumblebee except that bumblebees have dense yellow and black hairs on the abdomen and large pollen baskets on hind legs, while carpenter bees have a nearly naked black, shiny abdomen
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: Adults are about 1 inch long
  • Identifying Characteristics: Shiny, black abdomen; seen hovering around weathered and unpainted woods, although they will nest in a wide range of woods, they prefer softwoods such as cedar, redwood, cypress, pine, and fir

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Solitary insects that do not form colonies. Usually are nuisance pests that cause cosmetic instead of structural damage. Considerable wood damage can occur as a result of many generations enlarging existing galleries in the wood
  • Male and female carpenter bees overwinter in old nest galleries, emerging in the spring to mate
  • The female prefers to utilize existing holes as opposed to excavating a new one. When constructing a new nest, female utilizes strong jaws to excavate a clean-cut, 1/2 inch wide entrance hole. The hole is perpendicular to the grain for one to two inches then makes a right angle turn (90 degrees) and excavates along the wood grain for four to six inches or more to create a gallery (tunnel)
  • The gallery will consist of six to ten eggs that are sectioned off and laid upon a mixture of pollen and regurgitated nectar to feed upon. The female carpenter bee will die soon after
  • The new adults remain in gallery for several weeks, chew through the partition, and venture outside in late August

Yellow Jacket Wasp

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Typical black and yellow color pattern
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: Adults are 3/8 to 3/4 inches long; Queens about 25% larger

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Social insects that consist of workers that are sterile females, queens which are the fertile females, and males that appear in later summer from unfertilized eggs
  • Only the inseminated queen overwinters and in the spring, uses chewed cellulose material to build up a paper carton or bag nest of few cells. One egg is laid in each cell and the queen initially feeds developing larvae chewed up insects, spiders, and nectar. Nests are constructed in attics, eves, soffits, gaps in exterior construction, false ceilings, and exterior rodent burrows to name a few
  • Nest size varies from 300 to 120,000 cells, averaging 2,000 to 6,000 cells, that contain 1,000 to 4,000 workers at its peak

Paper Wasp

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Yellow with rusty brown or black stripes
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: 5/8-3/4 inches
  • Identifying Characteristics: Can range from dark brown in color, with black wings and yellow markings to looking just like yellow jackets in coloration

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Paper wasp nests are made from plant material combined with saliva to resemble gray paper-like material
  • Nests consist of a single layer of paper-like comb with cells pointing downward, which are not enclosed. Nests hang from branches of trees or shrubs, porch ceilings, top of window or door frames, soffits, eaves, and deck railings to name a few
  • Nests are not the reused the following season
  • The wasps attack when aggravated and have a quite painful sting. The insect does not lose its stinger, so it is possible for the wasps to sting several times. The females have a venomous sting that can be threatening to those allergic to wasp venom

Mud Dauber Wasp

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Black or metallic bluish-black with pale to yellow markings
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: Adults are 1 to 1 1/8 inches long

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Not social wasps and do not live in colonies
  • Mud daubers overwinter as full-grown larvae, pupate in the spring, and emerge shortly thereafter
  • Females construct nests of mud. The nest is comprised of a series of cylindrical cells that are plastered over to form a smooth nest
  • Females capture several spiders, which are stung and paralyzed and used as a food source for brood. A single egg is deposited on the prey in each cell. The hatching larvae will eat the prey and emerge from the nest
  • The nests will exhibit round holes as the wasps emerge. This indicates that the nest is probably old and inactive

Bumble Bee

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Dark reddish brown with deep yellow and brown black markings on the abdomen. The markings on the abdomen are similar to the markings found on yellow jackets
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: 3/4 – 1 3/8 inches
  • Identifying Characteristics: Fuzzy appearance; makes loud buzzing sound when flying

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Social insects that live in nests and colonies. This bee may be found nesting in or around structures, beneath landscape features, abandoned rodent burrows, dense clumps of grass, and are a concern due to the numerous bees around flowering plants
  • Adults are represented by workers which are sterile females, queens, and males (drones) which come from unfertilized eggs in late summer
  • A mature bumble bee nest contains 50-400 bees and brood (larva and pupae). In late summer, only drones and new queens are reared in nest. Once new queens emerge, they mate and find a suitable place for winter. The drones, old queen, and unfertilized new queens die when winter arrives
  • Bumble bees will travel up to 3 miles for nectar at speeds of 7-12 mph

European Hornet

Identification Tips:

  • Color: Brownish with yellow abdominal stripes and a pale face (looks like a giant yellow jacket)
  • Legs: 6
  • Size: 3/4 – 1 3/8 inches
  • Identifying Characteristics: European hornets have a hairy thorax and abdomen. Females tend to be larger than males. Males have 7-segmented abdomens whereas females have 6. Males have 13-segmented antennae whereas females have 12 segments. Eyes are indented and shaped like a “C”

Characteristics of this insect:

  • Nests are typically located in a cavity such as a hollow tree or wall void, but can occasionally be seen attached to structures. Nests are comprised of chewed-up cellulose from decayed wood consisting of several hundred cells all which is enclosed in a paper envelope
  • Workers can sting, but they are not particularly aggressive unless the colony is threatened
  • These hornets are unique in their ability to forage at night. It is not unusual for workers to bounce off exterior lights or windowpanes during summer nights