What Are Ground Bees?

Rather than a specific species, “ground bees” is actually a generic term that describes any bee or wasp species that builds its nest underground. A number of bee and wasp species colonize abandoned animal burrows, including bumble bees, sweat bees and yellow jackets, which are actually a type of wasp.

Most people notice the presence of ground bees when they see several bees hovering over an opening in their lawn or garden. Bees may also be seen flying into or out of a hole or crack in the ground. These stinging insects can post a serious hazard to unsuspecting adults, children and pets that stumble upon a nest while walking, working or playing outdoors. Even a small disturbance such as a rumbling lawn mower can send a swarm of angry ground bees rocketing out of an underground nest.

Disturbed bees often attack en masse; stinging their victims multiple times and posing a serious health threat even to people that are not allergic to their venom. Ground bees’ aggressive pursuit of their victims makes their removal critically important when they build their nests in New Jersey backyards or near the entrances to retail or commercial buildings.

Protect your family and your customers from ground bees. Call the bee and wasp removal and control experts at Stern Environmental.

Is It a Bee or a Wasp?

Many bees and wasps share similar coloring and markings which can make them difficult to tell apart. When residential and commercial clients call with bee complaints, NJ pest control experts use a number of identifiers to determine whether the offending insect is a bee or a wasp. Correctly identifying stinging pests is the first step to their elimination and can make a difference in the steps NYC pest control professionals take to control or exterminate an infestation of these potentially dangerous pests.

  • Bees are typically covered with tiny hairs and have thick bodies. Beneficial pollinators, most bees feed on plant nectar and collect pollen to feed their larvae.
  • Wasps are usually smooth bodied with ant-like, constricted waists. These predatory insects feed primarily on insects but will also eat plant nectar, fruit and carrion.
  • Most bees live in large social hives governed by a strict caste system that defines each insect’s role. A notable exception is the carpenter bee which is a solitary bee that lives in mated pairs.
  • Depending on their species, wasps may live in large social colonies or they may live a solitary existence.

Honey bees are a protected species that, by law, cannot be exterminated. When hives present a problem, bee keepers are called in to capture the bees and relocate the hive. Other bees and wasps can be exterminated when they pose a threat.

Pharaoh Ants Spread Disease in Hospitals, Nursing Homes

Most ant species active in New York City and northern New Jersey are classified as nuisance pests. Infestations can upset employees and customers and contaminate food supplies in kitchens and restaurants, but most NJ ants pose no serious threat to human life, with one notable exception. Pharaoh ants carry and spread more than a dozen dangerous bacteria and pathogens, including Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Pseudomonas, Streptococcus and Clostridium.

Pharaoh ant infestations are common in hospitals and nursing homes where they can spread infection between patients. Just 1/16th inch long, these tiny ants are pale yellow to red and translucent, making them extremely difficult to see. In hospital settings pharaoh ants are known to feed on wound dressings and will even crawl in and out of open wounds, spreading infection between patients.

Pharaoh ant colonies expand by budding, allowing infestations to grow exponentially. Multiple colonies with hundreds of queens can number in the hundreds of thousands and consume vast quantities of food. Their large colony size makes pharaoh ants a significant problem if they infest a grocery, school or restaurant. These ants prefer to feed on sweets such as fruit juices, syrups, soft drinks and cakes; but they are omnivores and will also devour greasy and fatty foods, breads and dead insects.

A Pharaoh ant infestation can be dangerous and should be immediately addressed by experienced commercial pest control professionals.

New Jersey Woman’s Home Overrun by Bed Bugs, Roaches

“It’s the worst situation I’ve seen in a long time,” Jersey City health officer H. James Boor told NJ.com describing “a very bad infestation of roaches” after evicting a 60-year-old woman from an apartment where she lived with 20 cats and 2 dogs. “The conditions were horrible and the stench was unbelievable.”

When authorities entered the house, they found it scattered with animal feces and overrun with bed bugs, cockroaches, cats and kittens. Previously cited for hoarding animals, the woman will be cited for creating a public health hazard and animal cruelty. All of the animals were removed to the care of the local humane society.

The incident points out the problems New Jersey and New York City landlords can encounter in maintaining pest-free housing when tenants fail to cooperate. Tenants in the second apartment of the two-family residence had been forced out by migration of bed bugs and cockroaches from their neighbor’s side of the building. When the landlord tried to investigate, he was denied access by the pet hoarder and had to call police. The landlord now faces a lengthy and expensive clean up and pest control process before he will be able to rent his property again.

Exterminating entrenched bed bug and cockroach infestations requires the services of expert commercial pest control professionals like the Stern Environmental commercial pest control team.