The video from Houston Chronicle City Council reporter Mike Morris was both horrifying and intriguing.
He had seen bees milling around the outside of his house and soon realized that if he put his ear to the wall in his room, he could hear humming and feel the heat emitted from the structure. It was then that he contacted a beekeeper, who helped extract hundreds of bees from the walls.
Then there was another colleague, who two months later discovered that carpenter bees were digging tunnels on his porch. Her response was to find the nearest home improvement store and take care of it herself.
Come to think of it, bees weren’t the only ones buzzing. At my home in the city center, I had seen more than my fair share of fruit flies and mosquitoes once I started staying home.
Quarantine, Day 7: the bees are installed on the wall of our room and must be removed: pic.twitter.com/bZGm3660ZX
– Mike Morris (@ mmorris011) March 19, 2020
“We are in the best season for many flying insects,” said Nathan Hermond, entomologist at Prairie View A&M.
This is what insect specialists have to say about the spring pests that fly around your home and their quick fixes to fix the mess.
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Bees are beneficial to the environment, and in particular, bees are unlikely to sting you just because they are there, said Raleigh Jenkins, president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, a pest control business that serves the metropolitan area of Houston.
“If you see a lone bee buzzing around the roses, that should be encouraged,” Jenkins said.
Bees can pose a bigger problem if installed on their walls. Not only can certain types of bees (such as the carpenter bee) damage the wood and integrity of a structure, but any honeycomb left behind could attract other creatures.
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Hermond recommends painting, lacquering, or applying enamel to wood to seal and tighten the surface. It can also contain chemicals that bees (and other flying insects) can’t handle, keeping them out of your home.
You can also contact the Houston Beekeepers Association for help removing a hive or colony from your property safely.
Those fat, black and brown critters flying through the grass? It is a May beetle, a June bug … whatever you want to call it, they are more frequent in late spring.
Although adults do not bite, they are a nuisance to patios, where white seed-shaped larvae live.
“Eating roots and killing plants have become a problem,” Hermond said.
The easiest way to get rid of them is to turn off the exterior lights before going to sleep. June insects are attracted to the bright lights of the night and use them as directional guides, he said.
It also helps mow grass regularly and mow trees, to avoid giving them room to breed.
The unpleasant downside of being home more often? Noticing insects lazily drifting through my kitchen more frequently.
Maybe it’s the result of buying more fruit to eat or opening windows to enjoy the beautiful spring days.
But the answer is not to stop enjoying bananas. Jenkins warned that fruit flies could also come out of the sink, as small insects slip through holes in dry traps in pipes.
The solution? Grabbing a bottle brush and scrubbing the tops of the sink drains, where the flies lay their eggs in the middle of the slag.
“Clean them constantly and remove the substrate they live on,” Jenkins said.
If the flies are already buzzing through your home, you can either create a DIY fruit fly trap or take a trap from a nearby home improvement store.
Bright brown insects milling around your house? Those are termites, an insect native to the Gulf Coast.
Not all swarms are signs of infestation around your home, but you can check the wood around the structure by pressing on the walls, hitting and listening for hollow sounds, identifying pitted or rotting wood floors, and looking for mud lines at the base of the structures. . .
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If termites eat in your home, that’s not something you need to address yourself, Jenkins said. It may take a lot of work to stabilize your foundation and the walls of your home.
“Take care of them to protect your structure, it is your biggest investment,” he said.
The termite swarms come out in the spring, when the weather warms up, and try to establish a new colony. If they are inside your home, you may have an infestation and you should call a pest control company for help. But if they are outside the house, or are just some of the insects lurking inside, it is just a sign that there is a colony nearby.
Houston How To has more tips for verifying and identifying a termite infestation.
Yes, it’s that time of year again. The mosquito season in Houston runs from late spring to late summer, when the air is humid and warm.
The number one way to avoid becoming a mosquito breeding ground is to empty flower pots, old tires or pet bowls, and pools of standing water, Hermold said. The same is true when watering plants.
“When we water our gardens, we spray water on everything and it becomes an attractant for mold and insects like mosquitoes,” he said.
Review one of our practical guides on what to do with Houston’s muggy mosquito season, which kicks off in full force in June.