Throwing the bees out with the bath water

In our never ending quest to find reliable and effective ways to control insects pestcemetery.com invites all pest control professionals to give their insights that only their training and experience can provide. I’m thrilled to hear from these great men and women and love to learn the new things they bring to the table and techniques I have never heard of.

I put the invitation out here many times and on my facebook group pestcemetery.com (you should join) and today we have a nice little tip that demonstrates how to take down a bees nest without using any traditional pesticides at all.

Dan Atkins is a supervisor for Johnston’s Pest Solutions in Tucson Arizona and has pest control experience dating back to 1992. Dan posted a picture of a rather large bees nest on our groups wall and while the picture was impressive enough, so too was the way in which he handled it for his customer. Here is the discussion and Dans ‘tech tip.’

Jerry Schappert; Whoa! That might be a little more than my ‘fan spray’ trick could handle. What’d that thing weigh? Any inside the attic too?

Dan Atkins; As you can see in the photo, the bees are sitting right on top of the attic vent. Not one bee went into the attic. I bet it weighed 50lbs or more.

Vonda; We shop vac them, then spray. Faster results. Plus it’s fun : )

Paul; Great photo Jerry…did you end up treating?…what pesticide did you use…maybe different than here in Australia, that’s why I am curious.

Jerry Schappert; Dan was nice enough to share this and I can’t remember how he conquered it. I think Facebook will alert him to this added comment so hopefully he’ll let us know.

Dan Atkins; Nothing more than a little soap and water. Than a lot of clean-up.

Obviously Dan is a little modest so I contacted him and asked for a little more on the subject and this was his reply;

Dan Atkins July 3 at 2:13pm
When bees are sprayed with a soap/water solution. They die almost instantly. Bees breathe through spiracles on the body. The soap blocks the spiracles.

It also sticks wings together making it hard to fly.

Just don’t use too much pressure when spraying. So as not to “blow” bees off hive. I use a birchmeier back pack when spraying.

Quite a simple treatment for a great big and potentially dangerous problem. Dan’s caption on the photo sums it up very nicely and I couldn’t agree more, you’ll need to click on the picture to see it and get a better perspective of just what he was dealing with. With so many experienced pest control technicians around and some really great companies like Dans I would hope that pest control is something people would leave to the experts especially dangerous bee work. Things can get out of hand quickly and it’s when we disregard the warning signs or take for granted that a certain product or technique is a silver bullet that we can get into some serious trouble. There’s an old saying that captures this thought pretty well, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” Dan has just modified it a little bit.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.
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  • James

    Why kill them at all? Just call a beekeeper and he will either gladly come get them alive or else find someone who will.

  • James

    Why kill them at all? Just call a beekeeper and he will either gladly come get them alive or else find someone who will.

  • The Bug Doctor

    Excellent observation but lately I think the bee keepers have been fat and happy because they haven’t been to willing to jump on any of my calls., Also there are some areas where the Africanized honey bee (AHB) are pretty abundant and since you cannot physically see the difference (until you’re getting stung 1000 x) it is recommended to exterminate when there might be a threat as in this pic. I generally agree with you and I’d much rather see them relocated but at times like theses it’s good to know your options.

    Thanks for reading James
    The Bug Doctor

  • The Bug Doctor

    Excellent observation but lately I think the bee keepers have been fat and happy because they haven’t been to willing to jump on any of my calls., Also there are some areas where the Africanized honey bee (AHB) are pretty abundant and since you cannot physically see the difference (until you’re getting stung 1000 x) it is recommended to exterminate when there might be a threat as in this pic. I generally agree with you and I’d much rather see them relocated but at times like theses it’s good to know your options.

    Thanks for reading James
    The Bug Doctor