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Boxelder Bugs


Carpenter Bees      Honey Bees     Paper Wasps      Yellowjackets

Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa spp.)


  • Large, ½ to 1 inch in length, robust, resemble bumble bees, but abdomen is dark, shiny and relatively hairless.

  • Tunnel into wood

  • Prefer bare unpainted or unstained wood

  • Attack wooden decks, fascia boards, fences, wood siding and window sills

  • Entrance hole measures 3/8 to ½ inch in diameter.

  • Normally there is a pile of sawdust below entrance hole.

Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)


  • Adults can be ½ to 5/8 inches long. Queens can be 5/8 to ¾ inches in length.

  • The queen's abdomen extends well beyond the wing tips.

  • Honey bees have a barbed stinger except for the queen who has a smooth stinger.

  • Color is orange-brown to black

  • Body, including the eyes, is covered by pale hairs.

  • First segment of hind tarsus is enlarged and flat.

  • Hives are placed in sheltered places, safe from weather conditions, i.e. a hollow tree, or a hollow wall.

  • Drones only live for a few weeks and lack a stinger.


  • Produce honey, beeswax and pollinate many crop plants.

  • Social bee with a true persistent colony that endures for years; colonies may contain 20,000 to 80,000 bees.

  • Queens, workers (sterile females) and drones (males) exist in the hives, but not at all times of the year.

  • Only one egg-laying queen exists in each hive.

  • Workers forage for nectar, produce wax and honey and protect the hive.

  • Drones mate with virgin queens after they leave the hive.

  • Honey bees will sting; when they do the stinger, venom, sac, muscle and other body parts are torn from the body and remain in the victim driving the stinger deeper into the victim permitting more time to discharge the toxin.

  • Shortly after stinging, the Honey bee dies.

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Paper Wasps (Polistes)


  • Brown and black Paper Wasps are found in Northern part of North America; brown, orange, and yellow Paper Wasps occupy the Southern Range of North America.

  • A pair of light colored lines on the rear of the thorax

  • A pair of orange to pale brown oval patches is found on either side of the abdomen.

  • All females are potential queens.

  • A typical worker does not exist – when a queen emerges, other females become workers.

  • Not aggressive unless the nest is disturbed

  • Nests are made from paper-like material in a U shape; a single layer of paper-like comb cells pointing downward, supported by a single long pedicel.

  • Nests are usually small, only 300 cells up to the very maximum of 2,000 cells.

  • Nests are built under protective foliage, i.e. under decks, behind shutters.

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Yellowjackets (Vespula)


  • Adult workers are 3/8 to 5/8 inch in length; queens are up to 25% larger.

  • Black and yellow color pattern on the abdomen

  • Front lip (clypeus) is notched.

  • Beneficial due to the various arthropods they feed on.

  • Live in colonies which can number thousands.

  • Slow to sting unless the nest entrance is disturbed; can sting several times.

  • Nests are built in structural voids, in the ground; usually in an area bare of vegetation, or aerial nests are commonly attached to shrubs, sheds, houses, etc.

  • The nest entrance is guarded.

  • Nests are built from chewed up cellulose material, divided into cells. One egg is laid in each cell.

  • Yellowjackets scavenge in trash for food.

  • Will feed on fruit juices and sweet materials.

  • Larvae are fed soft bodied insects; the larvae secrete a sugar containing substance which the adults eat.

  • The male yellowjacket dies shortly after mating.

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