Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Bees/Wasps

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Question
Not sure where you are with Melittology or Apiculture since your area is pests, but I have some bees or wasps that have become pests. We have a new baby in the house so we had not used our back deck in some time, leaves piled up from fall. Finally went out today to move them off the deck and got swarmed as I raked up the wet leaves. No pictures for you at this time, and I know I can deal with whatever is outside. My issue now is the rogues that followed me back in. I got stung a half a dozen times or so, and a few got inside. They flew where I could not get to them, now they've calmed down and I am not sure where they all went. We live in the Mid-Atlantic region, along the Chesapeake Bay. How long can these things survive in my house with food & water? They do have some sort of light & dark banding on their bodies. No longer than an inch in length. Once I catch or kill one, I can give you a better visual. My main concern is we have a one year old child and a cat in the house, and I am concerned about how long our "intruders" will be a threat. Thanks.

Answer
Dear Doug - First off, these insects usually are aggressive only when their nest is disturbed, as in when you moved the leaves on your deck, so the chances of being stung by the ones that made it inside is quite low unless you were actually pick up sit on, or vigorously swat at one of them. We frequently have wasps enter our house during the summer, and we've yet to be stung by any of them. If they have access to food and/or water, they may hang about for quite some time, so you might just try capturing ones you see with a vacuum cleaner.

Hope this helps,
Saugy

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad

Expertise

Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.

Experience

21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Organizations
Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

Publications
American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

Education/Credentials
B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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