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  #1  
Old 08-09-2003, 09:10 AM
AllShookDown AllShookDown is offline
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Bees behind vinyl siding

My house has vinyl siding. Where the siding meets the concrete foundation of the house, bees are going up there and I assume they're building a hive of some sort. They aren't aggressive but this is happening right by the most used door of the house so it's probably just a matter of time before I piss them off. I've also had one get in the house as I was going in the door.

I sprayed some wasp/hornet killer on the area but, other than killing the bees it actually hit, it had no impact on their activity. The spray can doesn't work upside down so I can't spray it up into whatever hole/crack they're using as an entry. There aren't any other holes or seams near the area that I can spray down into. I'd rather not have to hire someone to remove the siding to get at them.

The only other thing I can think of is to seal the area where the siding meets the foundation with some kind of caulk or expanding foam (at night or early morning while the bees aren't active). Is there any reason I shouldn't do that or is there a better way to deal with this? If the caulk/foam idea is a good one, what kind should I use?

Jane
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2003, 01:51 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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Sure, you could use the expanding foam... But, are you sure the open seam you see is the only way they're getting in? Also, you may need the open seam for drainage. Sealing it all up may lock humidity between the siding and the sheathing leading to rot, mold, and structural damage.

I would check with an exterminator.
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Old 08-09-2003, 01:56 PM
Master Wang-Ka Master Wang-Ka is offline
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Check with an exterminator. It's actually fairly cheap; my father in law had the same problem. The guy just drilled a hole in the outer wall and smoked 'em out.
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Old 08-10-2003, 06:08 AM
hlanelee hlanelee is offline
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Are these honeybees or some stinging insect? How long have they been there? If they have a substantial hive with a lot of brood (eggs and larval bees), it will rot and stink after the bees are killed. If you don't care about that, chloroform will kill them nicely without removing the siding. I'm a beekeeper and I have been an exterminator also.
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Old 08-10-2003, 11:08 AM
AllShookDown AllShookDown is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by NoClueBoy
Sure, you could use the expanding foam... But, are you sure the open seam you see is the only way they're getting in? Also, you may need the open seam for drainage. Sealing it all up may lock humidity between the siding and the sheathing leading to rot, mold, and structural damage.
I hadn't thought of that. I'm reasonably sure that's the only place they're going in and out of. I'll call an exterminator tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally posted by hlanelee
Are these honeybees or some stinging insect? How long have they been there? If they have a substantial hive with a lot of brood (eggs and larval bees), it will rot and stink after the bees are killed. If you don't care about that, chloroform will kill them nicely without removing the siding. I'm a beekeeper and I have been an exterminator also.
I don't know what kind of bees they are. I went out and picked up a dead one and it's 3/8 inch long and does not appear to have a stinger. I tried to take a picture of it but it's too small. I remember seeing a bee in that area a couple of weeks ago. It's right by the back door so I probably would have noticed if they'd have been around before then. How big of a hive could they make in 2-3 weeks?

I noticed this morning that they're going to and from some pine trees in a spot that gets a lot of sun. There are some wild grape vines clinging to the trees, and a few sumac plants in that area, too. They don't appear to be going after the grapes or the sumac though. It looked like they're mainly just flying around that area but I did see one that appeared to be feeding (or something) on a pine needle. I haven't noticed any at the tomato blossoms that are right in front of the pines.
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Old 08-10-2003, 05:25 PM
hlanelee hlanelee is offline
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Bees don't swarm much after June and swarms cast after May usually don't survive the summer. A swarm of bees usually weighs about 5 pounds and can produce about 10 or 12 pound of empty comb in a month given agood honey flow. I really don't believe you have honey bees, though.
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2003, 08:41 PM
Carnac the Magnificent! Carnac the Magnificent! is offline
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Re: Bees behind vinyl siding

Quote:
Originally posted by AllShookDown
I sprayed some wasp/hornet killer on the area but, other than killing the bees it actually hit, it had no impact on their activity. The spray can doesn't work upside down so I can't spray it up into whatever hole/crack they're using as an entry. There aren't any other holes or seams near the area that I can spray down into. I'd rather not have to hire someone to remove the siding to get at them.
The downside of wasp spray is that concentrated fumes exposed to an electrical circuit/switch can instantaneously combust. The good news is your insects will be gone. The bad news? So might your house. Experts advise homeowners to refrain from emptying a can of spray into a house cavity, for this very reason.

I'm guessing you have yellow jackets, not bees. If so, hundreds of them could be holed up behind your siding. Yellow jackets are aggressive and have a fierce sting. Rile them and they will attack. (I might add that they aren't the lumbering critters that wasps are; yellow jackets are amazingly fast.)

For $50-70, an exterminator can rid you of these pests instantly. Afterward, you can seal this gap. (Check with a homebuilder regarding this. I sealed my foundation/siding gap years ago and no problem to date.) I never noticed a whiff of odor after our exterminator gassed them.
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  #8  
Old 08-10-2003, 09:45 PM
AllShookDown AllShookDown is offline
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As I said in my OP they're not aggressive so I don't think they're yellowjackets. They flit around pretty quickly compared to a lazy bumble bee but, as often as I walk by that spot, I think I'd have been stung by now if they were yellowjackets. A few years ago I was washing windows and got stung out of the blue by what I believe was a yellowjacket (right on the lip...ouch!)
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2003, 09:06 AM
AllShookDown AllShookDown is offline
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After quotes ranging from $175(!) to $80 the exterminator has been and gone. When I asked what they were he said probably paper wasps but, after looking at some sites to confirm that what I call paper wasp are really paper wasps, this guy didn't know what he was talking about. I think those who said yellowjackets were right. The exterminator said that in a couple of weeks they would have become aggressive enough that just opening and closing the back door would have set them off. Since he didn't know the correct name for the insects though, who knows?
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