Bees, Wasp / Hornets / Cicada Killers


Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination, and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name, Anthophila. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families, though many are undescribed, and the actual number is probably higher. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants. The common include: honey bees, bumble bees, wasps, hornets, cicada killers, carpenter bees, ground bees (mining bees), etc.

Bees are helpful to our world, but can be a nuisance to humans.  Have
your Bug Doctor professional come and evaluate your home to help
control the population of bees.


 There are over 100,000 different species of wasps.  The type of nest produced by wasps can depend on the species and location.  Many social wasps produce paper pulp nests on trees, in attics, in holes in the ground, or in other such sheltered areas with access to the outdoors.  By contrast solitary wasps are generally parasitic or predatory, and only the latter build nests at all.  Unlike honey bees, wasps have no wax-producing glands.  Many instead create a paperlike substance primarily from wood pulp. Wood fibers are gathered locally from weathered wood, softened by chewing and mixing with saliva. The pulp is then used to make combs with cells for brood rearing.  More commonly, nests are simply burrows excavated in a substrate (usually the soil, but also plant stems), or, they are constructed from mud.

Though a nuisance to humans, wasps are also helpful to our environment by controlling the pest situation through a natural course.  If you have a wasp nest location on or around your house, contact a Bug Doctor professional immediately, as disrupting the nest could produce negative results.


Hornets are a common known part of the wasp family. A hornet's sting is painful to humans, but the sting toxicity varies greatly by hornet species. Some deliver just a typical insect sting, while others are among the most venomous known insects. Allergic reactions, fatal in severe cases, can occur; an individual suffering from anaphylactic shock may die unless treated immediately via epinephrine ("adrenaline") injection using a de- vice such as an EpiPen, with prompt follow-up treatment in a hospital. Yellow Jackets are also part of this family, though smaller than hornets and some wasp.

Hornets are extremely aggressive so be careful! It is not advisable to kill a hornet anywhere near a nest, as the distress signal can trigger the entire nest to attack. Materials that come in contact with pheromone, such as clothes, skin, dead prey, or hornets, must be removed from the vicinity of the hornet's nest. Perfumes and other volatile chemicals can be falsely identified as pheromone by the hornets and trigger an attack.

For safety purposes, contact a Bug Doctor professional to inspect and remove the nest.

Cicada Killers

Cicada killers are among the largest wasps seen in the Eastern United States, their unusual size giving them a uniquely fearsome appearance. This ground- burrowing wasp may be found in well-drained, sandy soils, to loose clay in bare or grass-covered banks, berms and hills, as well as next to raised side- walks, driveways and patio slabs. The female dislodges the soil with her jaws and pushes loose soil behind her as she backs out of the burrow using her hind legs, which are equipped with special spines that help her push the dirt behind her. The excess soil pushed out of the burrow forms a mound with a trench through it at the burrow entrance. Cicada killers may nest in planters, window boxes, flower beds or under shrubs, ground cover, etc. Nests often are made in the full sun where vegetation is sparse.

After digging a nest chamber in the burrow, female cicada killers capture cicadas, paralyzing them with a sting; the cicadas then served as food to rear their young. After paralyzing a cicada, the female wasp straddles it and takes off toward her burrow. Although cicada killers are large, female cicada killer wasps are not aggressive, and rarely sting unless they are grasped roughly, stepped upon with bare feet, or caught in clothing, etc.