Protect Yourself From Killer Bees

African killer bee on a flower

While all pests are annoying, inconvenient, and destructive, Africanized Honey Bees (killer bees) are arguably of of the deadliest threats we seek to control. Since their arrival in Arizona in the early 1990’s, the population has increased to the point that it is now safe to assume that any bee you encounter is Africanized.

Killer bees are not dangerous because their sting is more venomous than other varieties of bees, or because they sting more often. They are dangerous because they are more aggressive in defending their hive and will often send their entire colony to attack. Here are a few things you need to know in order to protect yourself during killer bee season.

Keep Killer Bees Away From You

If you are outdoors on a hike or doing yard work and you are attacked by bees, it is not always intuitive what to do. The Bee Research Center in Tucson offers these tips:

  • Run. Running is the best thing you can do. Do not stop running until you reach shelter, such as a vehicle or a building. Pull your shirt up over your head to protect your face as much as possible. Bees may follow you for up to a quarter of a mile.
  • Do not jump into water. Bees will wait for you to come up for air.
  • Do not swat at the bees or flail your arms, as bees are attracted to movement. Additionally, crushed bees emit a smell that attracts more bees.
  • Do not attempt to rescue someone being attacked by bees. Call 911 and encourage them to run to shelter.
  • Seek medical attention if you have been stung more than 15 times, or are feeling ill, or if you may be allergic to bee stings. The average person can safely tolerate 10 stings per pound of body weight.

Keep Killer Bees Away From Your Pool

Even if you are not being attacked by a colony of bees, sometimes just one or two hovering around your swimming pool in the summer is enough to keep you from relaxing poolside. ABC Home and Commercial Services offers these tips for pool owners:

  • Do not plant bright colored flowers near from the pool. 
  • Plant lemongrass and mint near the pool, as bees hate these smells!
  • Alternately, you can experiment with various essential oils that repel bees, such as fennel, hyssop and thyme. 
  • Turn on any water features such as waterfalls or jets. Killer bees are less likely to land on water that is turbulent.

Keep Killer Bees Away From Your House

Killer bee season peaks between the warmer months of March and October. Bees can set up house fairly quickly during these months, so it’s a good idea to check your property regularly. Common places find them are barbecue grills, sheds, porches, tree hollows, or under the eaves or soffits of your house. 

If you discover a hive, do not attempt to remove it yourself, as doing so is highly dangerous. We are experienced with removing hives safely, and we can also advise you on how to prevent bees from building future nests in the same location. 

Call us today and we will inspect your property for killer bees.

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