Hundreds of flighty Bee-listers swarmed the Upper East Side of Manhattan yesterday causing havoc at 75th and Second Avenue. But it wasn’t a low-budget film run amok that had people buzzing. This was a weird freak of nature more appropriate to the deep woods than a city sidewalk.
Frantic phone calls to 311 reported a cloud of bees swarming area bus shelters and creating general panic along sidewalks. Spectator Bill Orfanon described the noisy swarm “like debris, floating around in a whirlwind. It was pretty amazing.”
Police contacted the Bronx Zoo for help which sent bee-keeper Jim Fischer to the rescue. Garbed head to toe in protective gear, the bee-buster arrived with a smoker box to calm and contain the bees. When finally under control, the tightly-packed colony covered the entire side of a newspaper box. “It’s how they reproduce,” Fischer explained. “Somewhere around here there’s another hive of bees. This one broke off and followed the queen.”
While bees are beneficial to nature, a swarm can pose a serious danger to humans. If bees are buzzing you, contact a pest professional for safe removal.
If you have noticed large black bees flying about your residence or boring holes in wood structures you may have been selected as the new resting and breeding place for carpenter bees. Typically they are noticed with the arrival of Spring. The males don’t have stingers but the females are equipped with one, however they rarely attack humans. They look like bumble bees but the upper portion of their abdomen is void of hair and is shiny black while the bumble bee has a harry stomach which features yellow marks. It should be noted that I have not actually inspected bee bellies.
Carpenter bees can be a big problem due to creating tunnels in wood items to lay their eggs. They prefer unpainted and weathered soft types of woods, particularly redwood, pine, cedar and cypress.
If you are searching for carpenter bee nesting locations make sure to inspect the eaves of the house, wooden shakes, window trims, decks and your outdoor furniture. The holes are quite round. If the site of the nest has been used for years, extensive damage can occur.
Prevention consists of painting wood surfaces. You may need to hire a professional pest control company to get rid of your carpenter bee infestation.
With spring come ants. The warm weather brings them out of their underground tunnels searching for food. You may find them swarming around the floor near your kitchen trash can or you may find them marching in a long line up your cabinets and onto the counter to finish off the maple syrup the kids left behind after breakfast. Most ants are a nuisance that can be controlled with bait traps and sprays, but carpenter ants can be destructive.
Larger than their kitchen-patrolling cousins, carpenter ants gnaw through wood. They typically build their nests and chow down on wet or damaged wood such as piles of lumber, hollowed trees and dead branches. But they’ll happily colonize your deck or porch, gnawing tunnels that can undermine the structure.
Watch for blackish colored ants about 1/2-inch long. Winged ants indicate the establishment of a new colony. To protect your home, store firewood away from the house, remove stumps in the yard and keep tree limbs and shrubbery from touching the house. Once established, colonies can be difficult to treat as they burrow inside and outside your home. Professional pest control services will be necessary to rid your home and yard of carpenter ants.
For those of you who vacuum your mattress and box springs and other areas for added protection against the bed bug gangs, there are some things you should consider:
In order to prevent the vacuum from becoming a moving resort for the insects, select a vacuum that utilizes a bag that you can toss into the garbage can. Bed bug eggs can get stuck in the filter of the bag-less version. Don’t use attachments that include brushes or bristles. Send them to their death by the open hose. When you have finished hunting for the critters with your vacuum, place the bag in a tightly sealed trash bag and place it outside of your home. Inspect the area for bed bugs where the bag is connected to the vacuum hose. If you insist on using a bag-less unit, make sure after you empty the canister, you wash it thoroughly.
Besides vacuuming, make sure the house is void of clutter. A messy house provides a vast number of hiding places for the insects. Clutter can lead to the demise of a quality bed bug control system.
Don’t let your vacuum become a hotel for bed bugs. We recommend Cryonite for pest control for those who prefer to freeze the critters to death.
Students at the University of Vermont were on the move last week. Bed bugs moved into one of the dorms at the Burlington, Vermont school, forcing students to move out. Fast action by the university kept bites to a minimum in the “German House” suite shared by 8 students. Students were moved to other rooms while the suite and neighboring rooms were treated.
“All of their belongings had to go into bags and they had to wash all their clothes,” said freshman Nick Leggett who had to vacate his neighboring suite during fumigation.
It’s too early to tell whether the problem will spread. In multi-room facilities like college dorms, hotels, apartments, nursing homes, etc. fumigation can eliminate bed bugs in the treated room but force them to seek harborage in nearby rooms, expanding the problem. Bed bugs move easily through wall voids, electrical and plumbing conduits, vents and air ducts. If a bed bug infestation is found in one room, it is likely that adjacent rooms as well as rooms on the floors above and below the original site are also infected.
If you discover bed bugs, it’s important to immediately consult a pest control professional with a proven expertise in bed bug eradication to make certain that all appropriate measures are taken to eliminate the problem.