Bees Versus Wasps: What You Should Know

You may think of your home as your castle — but in reality, even the sturdiest property with the highest fence remains very much a part of the larger ecosystem around it. You share the natural world with an enormous range of other creatures, including such potentially annoying flying pests as bees and wasps. You might not have thought much about the differences between these two creatures, but those differences can affect everything from how they interact with humans to what kinds of pest control strategies you may need to employ against them. With that in mind, let’s examine some key differences between bees and wasps.

What Bees and Wasps Look Like

From a distance, you might have trouble telling a bee from a wasp, since they both feature sets of wings, six legs, and arrangements of light and dark stripes on their bodies. Look closer, however, and you will see distinct differences that set them apart, even allowing for variations among species.

The stripes of a typical honey bee are golden and dark brown in color, while those of a wasp will appear more starly yellow and black. A bee will also have a chubbier, more oval-shaped body than a wasp, which usually has a characteristic narrow waist and longer overall body shape. Another difference is the presence or absence of fuzz. Bees generally have a hairy look, while wasps’ bodies have little to no visible hair.

How Bees and Wasps Behave

Bees and wasps can behave quite differently. Bees live their lives as pollinators, getting their nourishment almost exclusively from the honey generated from the processing of flower nectar. Wasps are predators that often dine on other insects and other tiny creatures.

The dwellings these creatures create take different forms as well. Bees form waxy hives characterized by the presence of waxy, geometrically-shaped honeycombs. Wasps make their nests out of mud, paper, and whatever other organic materials they can find.

Bees usually live together in what can be very large colonies, while some species of wasps prefer to live solitary lives in small nesting sites. Wasps’ relative aggressiveness makes them a more immediate and obvious threat when it comes to their defense of their nests or hives, especially when they decide to swarm attackers and sting them. By contrast, bees usually mind their own business unless they or their hives experience a direct attack.

Bees and wasps also tend to move differently. You’ve probably seen the way bees seem to float, moving slowly from flower to flower. Wasps display considerably more speed and maneuverability due to their larger wings and more aerodynamic bodies, allowing them to “dive-bomb” humans and pets viewed as a threat with disturbing effectiveness.

How Bees and Wasps Sting

Bees can mount devastating attacks against their foes if a large portion of the colony attacks in a swarm. Fortunately, each bee can only sting once, since the stinger remains lodged in the victim’s skin. Even so, you’ll want to remove the stinger carefully within the first half-minute of an attack. (Don’t squeeze the stinger — this will only inject more venom into your body.)

Wasp attacks can prove even more dangerous than bee attacks for the simple reason that wasps can sting again and again without losing their stingers. But both bees and wasps can prove deadly to someone who has a severe allergy to their stings.

What Pest Control Experts Do to Control Bees and Wasps

As you can see, both bees and wasps can cause trouble for Arizona homeowners. Fortunately, the right pest control experts can handle both of these creatures by employing the most effective strategies against each.

You may have encountered advice on the DIY approach to bee or wasp removal, but you’re taking a major risk of getting swarmed and/or stung unless you hand the job over to professionals. Even these experts will want to suit up in special protective gear and take other precautions when approaching and eliminating these creatures.

Three common treatment strategies for eliminating wasp infestations include drenching the nests in insecticides designed expressly for that purpose, dusting the nests with powdered insecticide (which also works but takes longer to work than drenching), and the use of bait to lure wasps into traps.

Sprays, dusts, and powders also work well against bees. However, if you need to get rid of a major bee infestation, your pest control experts will most likely need to physically remove the entire hive. If they don’t, the odors in the remaining honey will just attract more bees who will form a new colony in the vacated hive.

Whether you’re struggling with a bee infestation or a wasp issue in the Phoenix area, turn to Buzz Tech Pest Control for solutions. Our technicians specialize in both bee control and wasp removal, so don’t waste time with other, more generalized pest control providers — contact our team today to schedule service.