Category Archives: Pests In the News

Bees Attack Texas Town

Hundreds of bees attacked a neighborhood in El Paso, Texas, when something disturbed a local man’s backyard beehives, according to El Paso-area Fox affiliate KFOX.

Firefighters were called to the scene to disperse the swarm of insects. The bees were discovered by a woman who noticed her dog had been attacked. The canine was stung trying to get to safety.

The fire department used foam to kill the aggressive pests, and found out the swarm had come from a neighbor’s beehives. Although beekeeping is not illegal in the area, it can be a risky venture, especially if young children or animals live nearby.

The source reported that the man plans to remove any surviving bees from his yard and relocate them to prevent a future swarm.

One neighbor said a similar situation has occurred with the man’s bees once already, and she fears another attack.

One firefighter was stung during the attack, but did not require medical attention. The dog has been reported to be in good condition.

Aggressive swarms of bees can be dangerous, and homeowners should use caution if they see a swarm. Pest control professionals should be contacted to handle such situations.

Giant Wasps Prominent in Texas

Giant wasps, also known as cicada killers, have been a problem in Texas since June, the Country World News reported.

The pests are two inches long and have orange wings, making them easy to spot. Residents often have no idea what they are, and report the insects as hornets, bees or scud missiles.

The wasp stings and paralyzes the cicadas before taking them back to their wasp burrow. There, the female wasp lays her eggs on the cicada and seals the nest. When the eggs hatch, the grubs can feed on the cicada.

Female cicada killers have stingers, but tend to rarely attack humans. Male cicada killers are territorial pests that can become aggressive, and although they lack stingers, they can prick humans with sharp spines on their abdomens.

The wasps can be a nuisance because of their tendency to dig tunnels in yards. They burrow into the ground where bare dirt patches are readily available, such as in gardens and around trees. Parents are also concerned about nests in yards where young children play.

Watering, fertilizing and putting mulch on bare dirt can assist residents in keeping the large pests out of their yards and gardens. Pest control measures and pesticides may be recommended by a professional if the cicada killer infestation is severe.

Insects destroy crops in Ontario

A rare insect infestation in Ontario is causing farmers to implement pest control.

Potato leafhoppers are not typically found in the Ontario area, the Ottawa Sun reports. This year, a massive amount of the bugs is destroying alfalfa crops.

The pests eat alfalfa juice, but also inject their poisonous saliva into the crop, which prevents the plant’s sap from flowing.

The source reports that alfalfa is typically a fairly drought-resistant crop, making it a good crop to be growing this year until the potato leafhoppers showed up.

The damage to the plants is initially difficult to detect, farmers do not often realize there is a problem. This allows the pest population to grow, because farmers are not taking pest control measures against them.

A local crop specialist told the Ottawa Sun that he estimates up to 30 percent of the area’s alfalfa crop may be destroyed by the pests this year.

Because farmers tend to harvest alfalfa crops several times in a season, they have been advised to cut their alfalfa down to get rid of damaged plants and prevent the leafhoppers from hiding anywhere in the field. Pesticide is also required to completely rid a field of an infestation, the source reports.

Bee swarm frightens Florida neighborhood

An enormous swarm of honeybees recently invaded a neighborhood in Isles of Capri, Florida. The swarm took over a light pole near a large condominium building.

Residents kept away from the swarm, unsure if they were Africanized bees, which can be very aggressive. The Marco Island Sun Times reported that after multiple residents became concerned about the situation and inquired when the bees would be removed, the condo building’s maintenance department contacted pest control professionals to determine how to best deal with the swarm.

After being told not to disturb the insects, the maintenance supervisor roped off the area around the light post and put up signs warning residents to keep clear of the post until the swarm had been dealt with.

The news source stated that it is likely the swarm consisted of wild honey bees and did not pose a serious threat to residents.

Some swarms can consist of Africanized bees, which can become dangerous if provoked or threatened by humans. Homeowners concerned about a beehive or swarms of the insects in their area should contact pest control specialists to handle the situation safely.

Giant Beehive in Florida Neighborhood

An enormous beehive has Port St. Lucie, Florida, residents pleading for pest control.

A giant beehive has taken over an abandoned home in a residential neighborhood. One homeowner told West Palm Beach-area CBS affiliate WPEC that from what she can see, the hive is taller than her young daughter.

Locals told WPEC that neighborhood children fear the hive and try to stay away from the home. One resident said that the situation was a tragedy waiting to happen. Even homeowners are fearful of the bees. WPEC reports that swarms of the insects swarm when some neighbors approach the abandoned home.

City officials told the source that they sympathize with the community, but there are rules they must abide by, since the hive is on private property. The city is making efforts to contact the homeowners, who neighbors say walked away from the property a while ago. Regardless of who ultimately deals with the problem, the homeowners will be held responsible for the cost associated with the bee removal, according to WPEC.

Homeowners concerned about bee infestations in their area should contact insect control professionals to inspect the problem and safely remove the pests.

Bug Bites More Than An Annoyance

Warm weather means plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors. It also means more insects, many of which can bite or sting. The pests can make outdoor activities annoying, or even dangerous for some people.

Mosquitoes are known as an annoying biting bug, and their saliva is what makes the inflamed bites itch, according to the Oklahoman. Though the bites are annoying, they have the potential to be dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control reports that mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis virus, both of which have the potential to be deadly.

Many people fear the pain of bee stings, but others fear a severe allergic reaction that can occur as a result of them. Bees inject venom into the skin through their stingers, and this venom can affect some people more than others. More dangerous is when bees sting and release pheromones, signaling more bees to attack, physician and researcher Stephen Prescott told the Oklahoman.

Common sense pest control measures can be implemented to keep bugs from ruining summer fun. Wearing insect repellent is a safe way to keep away pesky mosquitoes. Avoiding bees and keeping a safe distance from any beehives will limit any potential bee stings. Any beehives built close to a home should be professionally removed by an exterminator.