Portland Bee and Wasp Control
Bumble bees are not very aggressive, nest anywhere they can feel protected, and are beneficial pollinators of both crops and wildflowers. These bees live in small colonies of hundreds, and can be quite gentle. Bumble bees have a fuzzy abdomen.
Carpenter bees are very similar in appearance to bumble bees, but have a smooth abdomen as opposed to the fuzzy abdomen of bumble bees. These bees are solitary, and CANNOT sting. They burrow into wood, and can be a pest in some wood homes.
Bald-faced hornets are large wasps that live in large nests made of mottled gray paper, usually in trees. These wasps are quite aggressive and put a whopper of a sting on you. Tread lightly around these wasps.
Paper wasps build smaller nests of paper usually on overhangs of buildings. They are moderately aggressive, but the small colonies are quite easy to handle. Catching these nests early with only one or two wasps on it is best for controlling them.
The honey bee is a valuable pollinator and the source of the honey we eat in this country. If you see a honey bee, chances are a beekeeper lives in the area. These bees are not very aggressive, especially alone on flowers.
Yellow jacket wasps are the nuisance wasps that crawl in your soda can and bother you at picnics. They are fairly aggressive and will sting without much provocation. They build nests underground or, unfortunately, in structures such as your attic or walls.
For the most part, an encounter with one of these stinging insects, especially if they are alone, will not result in a sting. Here, the old axiom “leave them alone and they will leave you alone” holds largely true. The bees listed above (bumble bees and honey bees) are mostly gentle creatures who sting in defense of their homes. So unless you stumble across a bee hive, you are highly unlikely to get stung. Just let them go about their business. The same goes for the paper wasps. The hornets and especially the yellow jackets can be more persistent and aggressive…and yellow jackets are notorious scavengers for our sweet human foods and drinks. Swatting at them won’t help. Keeping your food sealed and limiting their exposure will.
An encounter with an entire colony of these insects can be more of a problem. If you encounter a large nest of wasps, or a hive of bees, walk away carefully and quietly. Once again, if you don’t disturb them, you will likely be fine. Should you trigger an attack, then your best bet is to RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN away from the nest. Bees and wasps in general have a defensive zone around their colonies, and if you move out of it, you are likely to be safe. “Playing dead” won’t help…run away!
Finally, if you have a nest of these insects in your home or yard, you may need to have them removed. But perhaps you can find a way to live in peace. If not, we strongly recommend a professional exterminator. Stings can be dangerous, especially if you are part of the 1% or so of Americans who may be allergic.