Many insect species, mainly stinging insects, thrive here in Florida because of the humid weather. While these insects are helpful to the ecosystem in various ways such as pollination and in controlling pests, having insect nests on your property is not ideal.
You’ll need to know what you’re dealing with to keep your family and furry friends safe from stings and prevent property damage. Keep reading to find out how you can identify insect nests and the best course of action if you do.
If you or a loved one has ever suffered a termite infestation, then you must know the level of property damage these tiny pests can cause. Termites feed on cellulose which comes from wooden structures.
Check whether there are large mounds around your yard and inside your home. Termites always live-in colonies, and their nests can spread up to a hundred meters. Each termite species builds its nest based on its food and moisture needs. For instance, the subterranean species require lots of moisture. So, they make galleries underground and don’t nest inside the house unless there is a leak. Drywood termites, on the other hand, will build nests inside your home in furniture and other wooden structures.
An ant colony builds nests within the ground but can also extend numerous feet in the soil. Most ants avoid humans. However, almost all ant species will have their scouts scouring your property for food.
While it can be challenging to track ants due to their size, it’s not impossible. Once ants find a food source, they create a pheromone trail that leads other worker ants towards it. To identify ant nests, check for wood shavings around beams and areas where water is leaking. Alternatively, you could follow these ants back to their nests.
While these insect species first originated in Europe, paper wasps have been increasing in various parts of the U.S. These wasps can quickly take over your home due to their high reproduction rate.
Paper wasp nest identification
These yellow-black insects tend to choose a nesting site that has cavities. Some common areas include rain gutters, tree limbs, vents, and eaves. Also, unlike the native species of wasps, the European paper wasp can quickly attack humans even when left undisturbed.
For this reason, it would be best to reduce potential nesting sites by clearing cracks in the enclosed areas mentioned above. Early detection, especially when the worker wasp groups have not yet arrived, makes it easier to get rid of these pests.
Cicada killer wasps are 1 ½ inches long and black but with yellow markings. While they are more extensive than other wasp species, they rarely sting.
These insects are not social, meaning every female will nest on its own. However, the female wasps have no problem building nests close to each other. To identify their nests, look for a hole about seventy inches dug into the ground. This hole will have several chambers where the female places their eggs.
Mud Daubers are also black colored but smaller in size, about ½ inch long. Some also have yellow markings like the cicadas but have different patterns.
Like the cicada killer wasps, Mud Dauber wasps are not social and will build mud nests known as brood chambers on their own. They prefer enclosed areas such as electric motors, under eaves, and attics. These nests typically have tubes about an inch long, where the female Dauber will place an egg in each and a paralyzed spider for the larva to feed.
Yellowjackets are yellow-black insects with white markings. Unlike the calm mud daubers, these wasps are dangerous and will sting at any time. That’s not all! These wasp species will sting repeatedly.
Yellowjackets are social wasps, so their nests can have almost a thousand of them. Their nests are similar to paper wasps; they are paper-like and consist of wood fibers. Various types of yellow jackets exist, including Aerial yellow, German yellow, and yellow jackets, and they each nest in different places.
Some of the nesting sites include shrubs and on top of eaves. Also, if they build a nest inside your house, you’ll probably see them coming in and out of a hole but won’t spot the nest. For this reason, we recommend against sealing the entrance hole. Instead, call a reputable pest control company.
The bald-faced hornet is perhaps the most dangerous stinging insect. These insects are aggressive, and their stings can pass through protective clothing.
Like yellowjackets, bald-faced hornets build paper-like, teardrop-shaped nests using wood slivers. You will find hornet nests in visible areas like trees and decks.
Bumblebees are hairy, about an inch long, and black with orange bands. The female bumblebees have stingers but are not aggressive and will only sting when disturbed.
These bees tend to nest in multiple areas. Some will choose to go underground in areas like rodent holes and compost heaps. Other bumblebees will prefer birdboxes and trees.
Honeybees are about 0.7 inches long and yellow black with oval-shaped bodies. While they do have stingers, they rarely sting unless disturbed because they will die afterward.
Honeybees nest in open places such as beneath the deck or outdoor table. Nest removal must follow Florida law. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recommends letting licensed pest specialists remove nests.
Carpenter bees are metallic, hairless, black-yellow insects that tend to hover outside homes. These insects are named so because they dig holes inside woods to lay eggs.
Carpenter bees build nests in weathered, softwood varieties like cedar and pine. Popular nesting sites include siding, outdoor furniture, fascia boards, and beneath decks.
If you notice multiple stinging insects inside your home, chances are they’ve already built nests nearby. For your safety, do not try to eliminate the nests on your own. The best solution for your insect problem is to call the professionals at McDonald pest control. To schedule a service or consultation, contact us at 727-734-0963 today to schedule a free quote.