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Insects(click on images to enlarge)
Newly born bumblebee
With a fuzzy black-and-yellow body, about
3/8” in diameter, the bumblebee is easily to
recognize. Sometimes people think they are
Bombis spp. Family: Apidos
Bumblebee nest in ceiling insulation
|Nests require insulation for warmth, so bumblebees often nest in the ground, sometimes using grass clippings or taking over a mouse’s nest or even invading the walls of your house. Nest in insulation||
Cold weather often drives the worker insects into houses. A nest will produce dozens of queens which leave the nest to hibernate over the winter and start their own nests in spring. I’ve seen as many as 30 bumblebee queens burrowing into the lawn in the fall, preparing for hibernation.
Looks like a black bumblebee and it hovers
like a helicopter. Bees tunnel into wood
and can do noticeable damage. They are
territorial and may buzz you if you are
near their nest.
Xylocopa spp. Family: Apidos
Larvae in an egg chamber .
|Carpenter bees drill into wood to make tunnels in which to rear young. Find the nests by observing the presence of hovering insects, sawdust or an ugly yellowish brown stain near the nest. A 3/8-inch hole marks the nest entrance, but it is not always visible, so look for the stain. Tunnels with larvae may be yards long.||These bees like to colonize and can produce considerable damage if left untreated. They over-winter in the tunnels and get worse year after year. If not treated, the wood will have to be replaced. Wood peckers will often peck holes to find and eat the larvae.|
Honeybee problems are rare, but when
they occur, they are major. Swarms, house
invasions or bee trees are all possible.
Apis mellifera. Family: Apidos
New honey comb
|In houses, nests are built between walls or in enclosed soffits. A lot of sudden bee activity indicates honeybees. A dark mass clustered on the side of a house, or on a tree or bush—especially from April to mid-July—could be a swarm of 20,000 honeybees. The swarm could be resting temporarily on its way to a permanent home.||Simple extermination won’t
solve the problem . Unless the
honey is removed, it will
attract carpenter ants,
cockroaches and other
vermin. Frequently honey
oozes through cracks, light
fixtures and baseboards.
New England is home to 5 species of
yellow jacket. They are very aggressive
members of the wasp family. Nests
can contain populations numbering
in the thousands.
A tree nest .
|These gray paper nests—up to a foot in diameter—are made of chewed-up wood. You’ll find them in bushes and trees, underground, under eaves, in chimneys, attics, basements, in ceilings and wall voids.||Nests in a wall or ceiling that have grown very large have been known to dissolve wallboard and suddenly discharge hundreds of yellow jackets inside the house. Since the sting is toxic, the problem should be treated promptly upon discovery.|
Workers are ¾in to 1in long and come in many colors: black, reddish brown, brown, or yellow and brown, similar to a yellow jacket. A nest has many queens, but one queen is dominant. If the dominant queen is killed, another will take over. For this reason, wasps are difficult to completely control.
|Nests range from 10 to several hundred insects and are located behind shutters, under eaves and fascia boards, in chimneys and attics, or in any other warm sheltered space like barbecues and playground equipment. Your home may contain 10 to 50 small nests, making control more difficult. Wasps will reuse old nests. They should be removed if possible, and cracks and crevices should be sealed.||Old nests need to be removed since they continue to attract wasps and can be re-used each year. In addition, cracks and crevices should be sealed to prevent future nesting in cavities.|
WHITE FACED HORNET
These are large insects, ¾in to 1in long
and are black with white markings on the
face and body. Nests are gray paper that
reach a diameter of 18” and can contain
up to 700 workers. The insects seldom
enter your house because the nests are
always built outside in bushes or trees.
The hornets seldom visit barbecues but
are very ferocious if their nest is disturbed
or vibrated in any way. The sting is very painful,
but usually lasts only a short time.
An unusually large hornet nest
|Nests are usually found in a tree or bush or sometimes on your house eaves.||Nests produce dozens of Queens
in the Fall and if the nest isn't treated early, these queens will build nests in your neighborhood next year.