ABC Blog

Bumblebee Versus Carpenter Bee

For most people, when you hear or see a bee buzzing about, the first instinct is to get away. No one wants to get stung, and some people are allergic to a bee’s sting. But, not all bees are the same. Consider two common types you likely encounter around your home: bumblebees and carpenter bees.

Bumblebee Nests

You have probably seen large bees with yellow and black stripes flitting around shrubs and flowers. These are most likely bumblebees, which can also be white and black. They have hairy bodies right down to their bellies and love to spend time with other bumblebees.

These bees usually make their nests underground, either in soil or under trash, like dumps. Unlike other types of bees, bumblebees don’t make enough honey to sell, though they do make some. These bees get almost all of their food from flowers and are known to be helpful … Read Full Post »

Types of Bees in Texas

bees on a piece of wood

Springtime in Texas is an enjoyable season to get outside and relax in your yard. But as a homeowner, you may be concerned by the presence of bees around your house. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that most bees are not dangerous for humans and play an important role in our ecosystem.

By understanding more about the different types of bees that live in Texas, you will be better prepared to keep your family safe from bee stings.

The Most Common Types of Bees in Texas

Across Texas, there are many different types of bees, including some that are native and others that migrated here. All bees may appear the same from a distance, but up close, there is huge diversity in the bee population.

Some of the most common types of bees in Texas are honey bees, bumblebees, mason bees and carpenter bees. Some of these bees prefer their time alone while … Read Full Post »

How To Get Rid of Wasps

yellowjackets

For many people, seeing a wasp is cause to scream, duck and run for cover. This is understandable, considering how much it hurts to get stung. Some people are even allergic to stings, making bees and wasps a real danger. But while some types of wasps are aggressive, plenty of others are very unlikely to sting you. Regardless, most of us want to get rid of wasps when we see them. Read on for more information about these insects, including the best ways to get rid of wasps when you see them or their nests around your property.

Are Wasps Beneficial?

Something many people don’t realize about wasps is that they are actually beneficial. Like bees, wasps are pollinators. This means they are an essential part of the process of producing fruits, seeds and more plants. Wasps also feed on caterpillars and other pests that might otherwise destroy our food crops.

For all … Read Full Post »

Black Wasp in Texas: Identification & Control Tips

a black wasp on Texas wildflowers

Texas is home to many different types of creepy-crawlies that sting, bite or otherwise cause trouble for people. This includes thousands—yes, thousands—of different species of wasps. One type of wasp commonly found in Texas is black wasps. True to its name, a black wasp in Texas is a flying insect with a narrow, black body, long black wings and a stinger.

Most black wasps in Texas are cricket hunters, so named because they sting crickets (or sometimes grasshoppers or katydids), drag their paralyzed bodies to their wasp nests and lay eggs on the crickets’ backs. When the wasp eggs hatch into larvae, the wasp larvae have ready meals waiting for them—the crickets.

While their reproductive habits are definitely gross, there is good news about black wasps. If you find one in or near your home, you can breathe at least a little bit easy, because black wasps are not known to be … Read Full Post »

How To Identify Different Types of Wasps in Florida

a cicada killer wasp on a leaf

If you have noticed some six-legged creatures flying around your property, you are probably wondering what kind of insects you are dealing with. Since some insects look alike, it can be difficult for homeowners to figure out what kind of bug is well, bugging them. Wasps are one of the most common flying insects that homeowners encounter, but not all wasps will hurt you. Although some of these creatures are dangerous to humans, some other types might even be beneficial and help get rid of other pests.

Some of the kinds of wasps that you might find on your property include cicada killer wasps, mud dauber wasps, paper wasps and yellowjackets.

Cicada Killer Wasps

As you can see in the image above, the cicada killer wasp is about an inch and a half long, and it’s mostly black with orange wings and some yellow markings on its abdomen. They can look scary because … Read Full Post »

Do Wasps Bite Or Sting? Advice On Treatment And Prevention

do wasps bite

Many homeowners have had the unpleasant experience of encountering a wasp while doing yard work or sitting outside with a cool drink. When wasps are around, it’s not easy to enjoy your outdoor living spaces. Since these flying pests are known for their aggressive behavior, it’s valid to wonder: Do wasps bite or sting?

Whether you’ve spotted just one lone wasp, a couple of them or even an entire nest, it’s smart to proceed with caution. While wasps don’t bite humans, they do sting, and these stings typically cause red, painful welts. Fortunately, even if you’re allergic to wasps, a sting from one of these pests isn’t likely to cause serious complications like anaphylactic shock, the way that bee stings can. Some people do experience more severe swelling, redness and discomfort than others at the site of a wasp sting, but most won’t suffer any life-threatening symptoms.

Still, wasp stings are distinctly … Read Full Post »

Help! I Have Carpenter Bees – Warning Signs & Solutions

Carpenter bees warning signs and solutions

Bees, bugs and butterflies are emerging from their winter nests seeking food and new shelter. Spring is in the air… literally.

When most of us think of bees, we think of honeybees, which are the social and mostly-beneficial insects we love and make movies about. But, there are other bee species out there and they are not all as friendly and helpful.

Carpenter bees, for instance, can cause serious structural damage and staining. While carpenter bees don’t eat wood, they burrow narrow tunnels to create chambers for rearing their offspring.

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees get their name from their biological ability to drill through wood. When spring comes around, female carpenter bees start to chew into dry wood, normally logs and lumber. Instead of biting into the wood for food, female carpenter bees are actually forming narrow canals for the purposes of laying eggs.

Known as galleries, these small tunnels are around 4-6 inches deep … Read Full Post »

Orange Wasp, Mahogany Wasp: Red Wasp Nest Facts

red paper wasp

It’s a hot summer day and you walk outside your front door, greeted by a familiar buzzing sound; only, it’s not a bee. It’s another scary looking creature—a red paper wasp. You know it stings, and you know where there is one wasp, a nest isn’t too far away. But what brought it to your doorstep? How can you get rid of it? What if you notice an orange wasp, or a mahogany wasp—are they related? What about a red hornet? What does a red wasp nest look like? And most importantly, how can you keep these pests from coming back and making your home their own?

The first step in understanding how to deal with any type of unwanted pest is to learn more about it. Once you know how to identify red wasps and what attracts them, you’ll be better equipped to get rid of them—for good.

Do I Need … Read Full Post »

Why Are Bees Dying?

Why Are Bees Dying

Do you consider bees an unwelcome pest? If so, you aren’t alone. Many people are afraid of this small, buzzing, yellow-and-black insect—or, more specifically, scared of its sting. For people who are allergic to bee stings, an encounter with these stinging insects is truly a critical (even life-and-death) event to be avoided. Even for those who aren’t allergic, chances are that you’d rather stay away from bees.

While you may know that bees play an important role in our ecosystem, you may not realize that bee populations worldwide have experienced a significant decline. If you’re among the folks who avoid these little creatures at all costs, that may not sound like such a bad thing. Let’s talk about why bees have been dying, why they’re important to humans and what to do if you find a beehive in or around your home.

Why Are Bees Dying?

In 2011 in Brevard County, Florida, about … Read Full Post »

Why Do Bees Swarm? And What To Do.

why do bees swarm

Imagine the scene: you’re outside enjoying the summer weather in your backyard or by your pool, and you spot a mass of tens of thousands of bees swarming on a tree or near a fence. That visual is pretty terrifying – so much so someone decided to make a horror movie called The Swarm, where a mass of killer bees terrorizes and kills people all over Texas! The irony of it all is though the swarm may appear menacing, bees are much less likely to be aggressive in swarms due to their vulnerability. Swarming is a natural occurrence that is absolutely necessary for the propagation and survival of bees.

To understand why bees swarm, you first have to know how a bee colony is set up

A bee colony consists of several different types of bees. There is only one queen bee in any given hive. The activity of the hive revolves … Read Full Post »