Bees, Wasp and Hornets Removal

People in southern Ontario often mistakenly call all stinging insects ‘bees’. However there are major differences between Bees, Wasps, and Hornets. Depending on the type of insect, Anypest will have different methods to control and remove them. While we don’t want you to get stung trying to identify what kind of bee infestation you may have in your home, we do have a guide to the various bees and wasps of Hamilton, Oakville, Toronto and Guelph, just in case you are curious.

Bee Removal Oakville


Wasps in particular always seem to nest close to the entrance of your home or business. If you spot wasps inside your building or house, or near a window, their is more than likely a wasp nest in your attic, or below your eves. The good news about wasps is that they are excellent at pest control. Wasps eat all sorts of insects and meaty things. The bad news is that Wasps are typically hot tempered, and can be a threat to small children, seniors, or anyone with wasp allergies. It is recommended you call anypest to assist in removing them, as we will use methods to make sure that they don’t come back. Below are some common facts about wasps you may find in Hamilton, Burlington, Flamborough, Guelph and Toronto.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jackets are often mistaken for honey bees as they are similar in their smaller size. Yellow jackets tend to be brighter yellow, where honeybees have more of an orange colour. Yellow jackets are easily identified by their rapid side to side flight pattern prior to landing. They are scavengers, eating meats and sweets often found in parks, picnics, fairs, and festivals. Usually when you’re at an event like the Festival of Friends in Ancaster, the Sound of Music Festival in Burlington or the CNE in Toronto, you’ll find yellow jackets hovering around garbage cans or recycling bins as they nest in holes in the ground and are attracted to meat and sweet foods that are often tossed aside. Golf courses and school playgrounds are often other areas where yellow jackets nest. Typically their ground nests are about golf ball to softball in size, and they defend their home aggressively. Unlike the honeybee, yellow jackets can sting multiple times and never lose their stinger. Yellow Jackets also don’t die after stinging.

Wet Spot on Ceiling

Yellow Jackets not only nest in the woods, they nest on walls, in ceilings, under window sills and eaves troughs as well as near porches and under shrubbery. When yellow jackets nest in walls and attics, you might notice a growing wet spot on the ceiling caused by the nest. It’s important you don’t poke at the spot, or then entire nest, along with thousands of angry bees might fall into your living room. Always investigate ceiling stains, if it is a bee, they will begin to eat wood, wallboard and plaster causing major damage to the structure of your home. You might hear them scratching away and gnawing when it is quiet at night. Never remove the nest yourself, have a licensed pest remover like Anypest visit your home to remove the yellow jacket nest.

Hamilton Wasp Nest Removal

Wasp Removal

This is a wasp nest we removed from a property in Dundas

Yellow jacket nests are commonly seen throughout Hamilton, Ancaster, Dundas and Binbrook. They are paper like, and abandoned in the fall, when the queen will find shelter and hibernate in the winter in your attic, wall void, or woodpile. With yellow jacket nests, never dump boiling water or start fires to remove the nests. This will only anger them, and you will likely get stung multiple times. If they are in your wall, never just spray chemical pesticides on them. They will only go deeper into your wall, away from where you sprayed. Nests can contain thousands of bees, and the chemicals you spray are unlikely to kill all of them. You also don’t want to seal the entrance from the outside of your home trapping them in your wall. They will only nest deeper into the framework of your home, and fly around in the rooms of your house. Anypest always looks at the big picture when removing nests. We make sure we remove every last bee, as well we treat the surrounding area so they don’t revisit your home. A few things you can do to avoid potential infestations by wasps is to keep trash and garbage in sealed containers away from the home, clean up decayed wood, trees and brush around the yard. Anypest also recommends painting any unfinished wood, or stain it, as well, to avoid areas where you have standing water in your yard.

Spray Foam to Kill Yellow Jackets

Using Spray Foam on a Yellow Jacket Nest.

Flight path: Refers to the direction Yellow Jackets fly leaving their colony. If obstructed the hornet to accidentally collide with the person obstructing and become aggravated.

When Yellow Jackets abandon their nests in the fall, they do not return to it the following year. This doesn’t mean the nest is safe for you to remove, as there may be wasps still living inside as they have yet to move on.


Hornets are a type of wasp, however, unlike yellow jackets, Hornets are twice as long and thicker. Hornets aren’t overly aggressive despite their sometimes scary looks, if you do get stung, it’s going to be aggravatingly painful. Hornets build massive nests that range in size from a football to a basketball in size. They can be found in attics, walls, sides of the building, in shrubs, tree branches or tree hallows. Never try to remove a hornet nest without experience. Hornets, like yellow jackets, are a social wasp, meaning they will get the entire colony to attack you if they are aggravated.

Hornets are also attracted to meat. In fact if you ever want to do a fun science experiment, leave a chicken bone outside, away from the home. If there are hornets in the area, they will devour the bone within three days. (I learned this from a professor at Mohawk College who studied forensic sciences).

Hornet Removal

This is a wasp nest we took out of an attic in Oakville. The attic also required bat exclusion.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are long, yellow wasps with rusty brown or black stripes and long legs that dangle when they fly. They build open nests that resemble small upside down umbrellas that look like they are made out of gray paper. Tests are usually small, light bulb sized, and contain up to 30 bees per nest. Typically their nests will be found under the eaves, or in garden sheds, or on occasion in your BBQ – which really livens up May 24 when most people light their bbq for the first time for the year. They may also nest in your attic, and will go through light fixtures, thinking the bulb is the outside. Unlike bees, paper wasps can navigate around the house with ease, whereas a bee will just fly to the nearest window and buzz around until it tires itself out.

Paper Wasps also do not lose their stinger when they sting, meaning they can sting you multiple times.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are solitary waps, meaning they live alone. They are not aggressive and seldom sting. They generally prey off spiders. Mad Daubers have an almost an alien like look with their skinny needle like waist they are sometimes called thread waist wasps. Mud daubers (also called dirt daubers) are commonly identified by their mud nests which are oval and tube shaped.

Bald Faced Hornet

Bald faced hornets area a rather handsome wasp. They are generally white, with black stripes and a little larger than a yellow jacket. Their nests can get rather large (up to two feet by three feet), and you’ll find them in portable school buildings, and near golf courses. Bald faced hornets will sting repeatedly. As the member of a wasp family, Bald Faced Hornets enjoy meat, and will prey on caterpillars, flies and spiders.

Bald Faced Hornet Nest

Bald Faced Hornet Nest found in Milton


The main types of bees you will find in Southern Ontario are Honeybees, Bumblebees and Carpenter Bees. Fall, typically around Thanksgiving is the time when the nests of bees and wasps reach their peak size (as such, you’ll see quite a few bees swarming around the fairground garbage bins at the Caledonia Fairgrounds, the Ancaster Fair and the Rocton Fair. They have been busily building their nests all summer and their population sizes are now at capacity. While we’ve created this identification list, be aware that all bees and wasps sting. If you are allergic to bees, you might not be allergic to wasps and vice versa. To avoid being chased by and angry swarm We recommend you try to identify if it’s a bee or wasp from a distance and to leave the control and cleanup to our pest removal technicians at Anypest.


Honeybees can be effectively removed by finding the queen and relocating her. Honeybees are of a great value in Canada as they pollinate our crops. There are lots of examples of honey bee infestations in Ontario such as this honey bee infestation in Varney Ontario. Honey bees do not die in the fall, unlike most wasps. However, unlike the wasp, honeybees stingers are removed when they sting you, and they will shortly die afterwards. Their stingers will also get stuck in you, so you often need to use tweezers or your nail to scrape it out.

bumble bee


Bumblebees are gentle bees that pollinate our beautiful farms and flowers at the Royal Botanical Garden, Lynden, Brantford and Guelph. Bumblebees rarely nest in houses, but rather in low spots like under porches, in gopher holes or old fence post holes. Bumblebees do not lose their stingers when they sting and will aggressively protect their nest. The Bumblebees of Ontario are much more brighter and colourful than bees found in the lower portion of the United States.  The chances of being stung by a bumblebee are pretty slim as they are not an aggressive bee unless you get way too close to their nest.

Bumble Bee Nest in Bird Feeder

Bumble Bee Nest found in a bird feeder in Binbrook

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees are another type of insect that lives in Hamilton, Burlington and Toronto. These bees will tunnel through wood (they don’t actually eat the wood) in your house where they will build nests. Male carpenter bees are quite aggressive, but are unable to sting you as they don’t have stingers. Female carpenter bees have stingers, but aren’t very aggressive at all (only if they are provoked). Carpenter Bees are not social bees so you’ll only find a few living in a nest at once.

Carpenter Bees can be deterred by staining wood or painting untreated wood. Old nail holes may attract these bees to nest, so they should be fixed to avoid infestation.  IF you have an old barn or farmhouse on your property in Ancaster, Jerseyville or Flamborough, expect carpenter bees to nest there.  I used to have an old chicken coop on my property in Dundas where carpenter bees used to nest in the rafters year after year.  Eventually one of the support beams was rotted out so bad from their wood chewing, that we had to replace it.

Anypest Bee, Wasp & Harnet Removal

Anypest is an insect and animal removal company located in Hamilton Ontario. We service the surrounding areas of Ancaster, Flamborough, Dundas, Guelph, the Greater Toronto Area and all surrounding areas.

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