Homeowners need to be aware of what goes on in their garden. It is the key to preventing bees or insects to take residence in or around their home.
If anyone in the family noticed a swarm of bees buzzing around about the house last season then the head of the household should take some time to make sure that they don’t come back the following year.
Going through a list of preventive maintenance tasks is a great way to ensure a new nest is not formed this coming spring. One of the first steps is to detect and identify the old nests and get rid of them.
What species am I dealing with?
It is also a good idea for homeowners to make sure what insect species it is that they will be dealing with. While bumblebees and wasps do not come back to the same nest they previously occupied, it is possible for a new colony to make use and claim that old nest as their own.
On the other hand, honeybees pose more of a problem because once they set up a hive, they plan to stay there for at least several years. In case the nest around your home is the former, then that is quickly taken cared of.
If the problem homeowners are facing is, in fact, an active beehive, currently occupied by a colony of honey bees then the best recourse is to call a local beekeeper and have the hive safely removed. The charge to remove a beehive from home is around $100.
That small fee would pay for the all the bees and the hive to be removed from the house. If the bees infested the hollow sections of a wall or shed, then there will be an additional cost to have a contractor repair that as well.
Calling a beekeeper would be the most helpful thing they can do to remove the bees and hive safely.
Another option is to call an exterminator, but then they would charge a fee to use a dangerous insecticide to kill the bees which homeowners can also do themselves by purchasing pesticide in their local supermarket.
The best course of action to make sure bees don’t make your home theirs is to be vigilant. Take the time to personally inspect the house and check for any possible openings for bees to pass through.
A better option would be to contact a chartered surveyor and have your house surveyed. Allow a professional to inspect the house along with the rest of the property and provide you will an in-depth report about what needs to be done to keep your home safe.
If there are holes that bees can get into, this could also indicate poor insulation which a house survey will pick up on.
Remove any trace of old honeycombs or nests
It is essential that homeowners conduct a personal inspection of their home. Walk around the outside of the house, lawn and backyard. Be on the lookout for anything resembling a nest or beehive. An outdoor hive is an oval-shaped nest usually found hanging on tree branches.
Although honey bees have been known to use existing hollow structures to make their nest in. Hollow trees, rock cavities, underground cavities, even the hollow walls and eaves of a house are among their favourite locations to build a home.
Sometimes underground cavities can be difficult to locate. Carefully check every inch of the yard to see if there is a rodent hole or existing nest already in place. Fill that hole or better yet consider having fake grass fitted.
Artificial turf looks excellent the whole year round without the headaches of doing all the yard work. It is a great option to save money on gardening and even on the water bill. Plus having artificial turf will also prevent pests from making your yard their home.
Seal the house
Use fine mesh screens for any air vents that need to be operational. Don’t forget to look around the house itself. Bees enjoy passing through old pieces of wood.
If there are parts of the house that are made of wood, thoroughly inspect those sections and make sure to replace any rotten wooden boards. Lock and seal entryways to crawl spaces.
Even small holes in the roof or wall of a home can be exploited by bees and used as an entry point to the house. There they will make a nest for themselves and start a beehive which will naturally produce honey.
In case you see the walls start dripping honey then that is a visible indication that there is a full-blown honey bee infestation in the house. Definitely call a beekeeper to remove all traces of the bees for you and contact a contractor to repair any damage.
That is the worse case scenario for a bee infestation. It’s easy to avoid by inspecting the house and patching up any holes and possible entry points.
Use expanding foam insulation to cover holes quickly, not only will this prevent bees but it will also prevent any other pest from accessing the house.
Again a Homeowners can also do this task themselves, remove any nest and clean the area where the nest was located. If ever a beekeeper or an exterminator is hired to take care of the pest problem, make sure they take the nest or hive with them.
Old honeycombs contain the pheromone scents of bees and can attract newcomers, it is vital to remove this from the property. Doing so will prevent a new batch of bees from moving in the same location.
Clean the perimeter
Just like any living thing, bees are attracted to food sources. Insects enjoy overripe fruit and any type of food really, even pet food. Make sure your trash bins are tightly closed and periodically cleaned.
Keeping the yard clear of any kind of food will go a long way to deter pests from going anywhere near your home. Clean the property of any old junk that can be used by the bees to build a nest is an essential step to making sure your immediate perimeter is bee free.
Throw away hollowed out logs and old containers. Keep the compost pile in a container like a compost bin, instead of using a hole in the ground.
Repel Bees Naturally
There are also extra measures homeowners can take to ensure they won’t be seeing bees around their property.
Use Mint plants
It is a known fact that bees don’t like the scent of mint. Planting mint plants is an excellent way to keep bees away from your garden. A nice bonus is that mint leaves have many uses. You are able to harvest and use the leaves for cooking unique recipes, making air fresheners and herbal medicines as well.
Make an anti Bee spray
Take either of these three oils or even mix them together to formulate the spray. Tea tree oil, peppermint oil and cinnamon oil and mix with one cup of shampoo. Pour the concoction in an empty spray bottle and spray on areas that need protection from bees.
Almost all insects detest the scent of mothballs. Use this to your advantage and hang the mothballs in strategic points around your yard. Position mothballs in areas inside the house such as the attic or in any visible crevice as well.
Why not kill the bees?
Keep in mind that bees, in general, are crucial contributors to the production of our food. Bees pollinate 70 of the top 100 food crops consumed by the human race.
That is over 80% of all flowering plants, they bear fruit because of the efforts of these buzzing insects. Instead of hiring an exterminator, choose to hire a local beekeeper to keep the bees alive for the continued benefit of the environment.
On a different note:
Of course, if you want to see bees and butterflies in the garden then find out how to make a butterfly garden or general pollinator garden. The first step is to plant nectar-rich flowers to attract these beautiful pollinators.
Beautiful insects like butterflies will gravitate to pollinator gardens. Plant these flowers in a section removed from the front or back door because bees do enjoy these kinds of flowers as well.
Bees are often misunderstood, take some time to understand our buzzing furry helpers. The more homeowners understand bees, the easier it will be for them to predict their actions. Make it a point to remove old nests, keep the trash cans closed and the yard clean of any old junk.
Seal any cracks or holes with caulking or insulation foam and replace any rotten boards around the perimeter of the house. Doing these tasks will prevent unwanted buzzing guests from sneaking into the house. Plant mint and scatter mothballs in the yard as added defence.