Although bees are one of the best assets to your garden, the last thing you want is to find out that your home is harboring an unruly colony of bees. Once Spring starts, bees emerge from hibernation in search of a bigger, better place to build a new hive and chances are, your home provides the perfect recipe. They are looking for a place that is warm, dry and free from pests such as ants, moths and mold. In order to make sure you aren’t surprised by hundreds (or even thousands) of new guests, use these tips on how to bee proof your home.
Check your door frames
You would be shocked at how many little gaps there can be around your door. Bees only need 1/8in of space to crawl into when scouting for a new place to live. Weatherstripping and door seal kits are one of the easiest ways to stop intruders. Installing an aluminum threshold as well as a door sweep will also greatly reduce the risk of bugs and insects getting into your home.
Check your windows
The space between the exterior siding of your home and the drywall is a sweet spot for nesting. It is dry, warm and almost totally undisturbed. One of the easiest ways for bees to make a nest inside the walls is by finding a hole between the window and the wall. Make sure the entire window is sealed and every hole is filled to keep insects out. Also, replace any holes in your existing screens and make sure all the edges of your screens are tucked it.
Get rid of clutter around your yard
Bees love finding places that are quiet and isolated. Miscellaneous piles of unused wood leaning against the shed and overturned pots in the yard are a great place to start. They love to crawl into isolated, dark areas so take a look around your yard to see what you can tidy up. If you have fruit trees, be sure to collect the rotten fruit and dispose of it away from the house, bees love that stuff.
Remove preexisting hives
If you have dealt with bees in the past, make sure that there aren’t any remains from old hives. The pheromone left behind will attract other bees to come and reuse the space. This is probably best if done by professionals but if you decide to remove them yourself, wear protection. There is no telling if something has already started using the old honeycomb so cover up as much as you can and wear goggles.
Use screens for airways
If you happen to have an attic or basement, using screens to cover your vents can save you a lot of time and effort. The small meshing will stop anything that tries to come through, without blocking your ventilation system. It is also recommended that you use screens over rain spouts and water meter boxes as these tend to attract bees as well.
Once bees make their way into your home, they work quickly to rebuilt their hive. More than likely, by the time you hear your walls “buzzing”, a substantially large colony has been established. Preventing this from happening is one of the best ways to keep your family safe. It only takes a few minutes of your time and will pay off in the long run.
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