The great Prussian military thinker Carl von Clausewitz stated, “the backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy.” Bees are necessary insects that are a healthy part of our ecosystem but no homeowner wants them near their gutters. Work quickly and safely, and with a little element of surprise, in order to annihilate these intruders. Unlucky homeowners that suspect that they have bees in or around their gutters will have to use some strategy to locate and remove them.
Potential Bee Nesting Sites
Bees need shelter from the elements. They often build their nest under a roof. Some lurk behind fascia, inside gable vents and in the attic near the peak. Hives may also be under eaves, awnings and within the voids of walls.
You can always hire a specialist to take care of everything. If you’d like to go it alone, follow this plan to have the best chance of success.
Carefully watch the bees’ behavior to find their nest. Bees are diurnal and it is easier to locate the hive at the beginning of dusk or at late dawn. If the nest is on your house, your next steps must be carefully done to avoid getting stung as you hone in on them. Protect your arms and hands and be aware of your surroundings as you get close to the nest. If you are on a ladder at any point, remember not to react too quickly and to always maintain your balance.
Some removal methods require more than one application or attempt, depending on the tenacity of your squatters. Wear thick clothes, gloves, a face mask, hat and goggles when applying poison. Bees can swarm when disturbed, and the best time for approach is during the later evening, as they are inactive. If using a flashlight, cover the bulb with a red glaze as it will then go undetected. Sometimes, one application of pesticide or poison does not suffice, and you may need to repeat the application if activity continues.
If the hive is in the attic or on the roof, apply the poison into the crack where the bees have made their hive. Dusk is when all of the bees are within and will provide optimal effectiveness in eradicating the colony.
Monitor the activity moving forward. Caulk holes in the roof or between the roof and the house to prevent future problems.
If the hive is along the outside perimeter, shoot the nest with a long-range bee/wasp spray. Some sources suggest using a hose from a distance. After a few hours or a few days and noticing a lack of activity, you can burn the hive. Start a fire in a fire pit or similar container and carefully toss it in. Once finished, remove all evidence of the hive and all dead insects from the surrounding area.
Suggested solutions include Raid and Sevin (fine powder) and Borax (fine powder). Powders work when insects that get the dust on themselves carry the powder back to the hive. The powders may be slower but useful if the hive is in your siding or deep in a wall-space.
With any removal efforts, there is a chance that you will be stung or that you may have to make a few attempts to remove the hive. It is important to recognize this danger, as well as the danger of being high on a ladder.
The clothing you should wear when dealing with bees is outlined above. In the event of a sting, the first thing to do is remain calm and balanced. Ask your pharmacist ahead of time for medication that will counteract the pain and swelling from a sting. And of course, if the situation feels serious, do not hesitate to call 911.
Best of luck in keeping bees as far from your house as possible!