Bees and wasps are important pollinators that are needed for a healthy ecosystem, but they can illicite strong responses from people who have previously been stung or those with allergies. Control of wasps and bees is often necessary around homes and yards, but the methods of control differ for the different species. Learning to identify the differences in wasps and bees can be helpful in preventing them and knowing how to control them.





Bees are the most important pollinators on the planet. They are perfectly adapted for this job because they have cylindrical, rounded bodies that are hairy. Pollen sticks to the hair so that it can be transported from plant to plant and back to the hive. Most bees have brown or black bodies with yellow or orange stripes. The average honeybee is approximately 2.5 cm long.

Honeybees live in large hives with up to 75,000 members. The hive works together to produce honey to live on throughout the winter. Although a hive of bees may seem scary, bees are not known to be aggressive and usually only sting if threatened. Honeybees can only sting one time because the stinger is barbed and will remain in the victim. Bumblebees have smooth stingers and can sting multiple times if needed.

Since bees are so critical to the environment, a good pest control company will put its efforts into safely removing and relocating the hive to an area away from humans. This can be dangerous, so it is best to hire a trained professional with the necessary safety equipment.





Wasps also contribute to pollinating efforts, but they are much less effective than bees. Wasps have smooth, shiny skin and a pinched waist. There are many brightly colored species of wasps, but the ones most common around humans are black/brown and yellow.

Wasps build nests that are usually much smaller than those of bees. For the majority of the year, wasps are mainly predators that will consume other insects. As fall approaches and the queen stops laying eggs, many of the worker wasps will leave the nest and become scavengers. They are particularly attracted to sugary drinks and other forms of carbohydrates, which often brings them into close contact with humans. This is the time of year when wasps become nuisances and people really want them gone. If they survive through the fall, wasps will hibernate through the winter.


Wasps are naturally aggressive insects and can sting multiple times. They also produce a pheromone that tells other wasps to attack in times of danger. This means that wasps can be a very serious problem, especially for those who are allergic to their stings. Control of wasps is handled differently than bees. Common wasp control involves knocking down wasp nests under eaves and on the sides of homes, using an aerosol spray to kill on contact, and treating with a residual pesticide to prevent future wasps. If you are in need of pest control in the Boise area, contact Combs Pest Control. We can help you take back your yard and home, while also keeping your family safe.