Manitoba is home to all kinds of stinging insects—we’ve got:
Our relationship with these stinging insects is tricky. On the one hand, we know wasps and hornets kill and feed on a variety of pest insects, and we know our bee populations are declining worldwide.
On the other hand, stings from these insects can be more than just painful. Allergic reactions to insect stings aren’t uncommon, and a severe reaction can be life-threatening. We want these insects around—but we don’t always want them living near our homes. Here are some tips on controlling bees, wasps, and hornets:
Bees are hairy—whether they’re bumblebees or honeybees. They’re also smaller than wasps or hornets.
Wasps and hornets are quite large—they’re also hairless. In Manitoba, we have yellowjacket wasps—they’re recognizable by their bright yellow-and-black striped bodies. Our hornets have striped bodies too, but they’re bigger than wasps and have black-and-white striped bodies.
Identifying these insects is important for a few reasons—it will change your tactics when dealing with their nests and give you a better idea of their behaviours. Wasps and hornets tend to be more aggressive than bees; they scavenge for meat. Bees can only sting you once, after which they die—wasps and hornets can sting multiple times.
A wasp sting is painful enough—subsequent stings can be overwhelming. Play it safe around all stinging insects, but especially wasps and hornets!
We recommend two different tactics for nests. When it comes to honeybee or bumblebee nests, it’s best to remove them in order to save the bees. We can help remove these nests for you and transport the bees to an apiary.
Destroying wasp and hornet nests is much more acceptable. We highly recommend you hire a professional like Gilles Lambert Pest Control to handle it for safety reasons. Wasps and hornets are extremely aggressive when defending their hives, and if you’re unprepared, you might get multiple stings.
Once you’ve found the nest (it’s usually located in an area with a lot of wasp and hornet activity), you’ll look for its entrance. Try not to breathe on the nest, as that can aggravate the insects.
Mark the area near the wasp nest or hornet nest entrance—mark it far enough away that it won’t bug the insects but close enough that the nest will be easy to spot. Buy a foaming wasp and hornet spray—pick one that fires from a long distance, so you’ll be less likely to get stung.
Explaining exactly how to spray a wasp or hornet’s nest through writing isn’t the most effective method. Fortunately, we have YouTube, and Professor Rob Currie from the University of Manitoba’s Department of Entomology has an excellent tutorial on how to spray wasp nests (it works for hornet nests, too).
Bee, wasp, and hornet stings can be painful and dangerous. We highly recommend removing their nests from your property, especially if you think you may have a severe allergic reaction to a sting. We can help—contact GL Pest Control today.