Buzz Off! 4 Tips for Preventing Bee Infestations in Your Home

Posted on: 19 September 2016

Australia is home to over 1,500 different species of bees, and according to Australian Geographic, many of these are deadlier than the country's widely-feared spider population. Local councils across Australia rightly recommend that homeowners engage licensed pest controllers to remove bee hives. However, as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, and there are a number of steps that households can take to prevent bees from taking hold on their properties. Here are a few simple tips for keeping your home bee-free.

1. Prevent physical access

One way to prevent bees from nesting in and around your home is to seal off access points so swarms searching for a new home have no way to enter. Bees can settle in trees, roofs, cracks in walls and all manner of other sites, and you can use a caulking gun or metal screen to block access to these. Sheds are also a common nesting site, so be sure to keep your shed door shut at all times. 

Bees can pass through holes less than one centimetre in diameter, however, so if using this technique, it is important to be thorough in identifying all potential pathways. 

2. Remove opportunities for shelter

Bees are creative creatures, and if they are unable to find an established structure to nest in, they have been known to inhabit household clutter that may be left around the yard. You can remove opportunities for bees to shelter in your yard by clearing away unused items, such as clay pots, old appliances or lawnmowers.

3. Keep them thirsty

Like humans, bees need water to survive, and by restricting the insects' access to water sources, you can reduce the chance of a swarm settling on your property. Open water sources, such as swimming pools, should be covered when not in use, and adding vinegar to standing water (such as bird baths) can act as a pesticide.

4. Be careful with sugars and syrups

During the summer and autumn months, when flowers are less plentiful, bees become opportunistic creatures and look for other sources of sweetness when nectar is not in easy reach. Ensure that spilled sugar or syrup is cleaned up immediately, especially from December to June. Use plastic bin liners for your household rubbish to prevent bees feeding off your trash, and if you have fruit trees, clear away any overripe fruit as soon as possible.

It is important to remove access to sugar and syrup as soon as they are discovered, as should a stray bee locate a potential source of food, they may alert their swarm and attract others.

Bees are an unwelcome presence in many Australian homes, and once they have established a presence, a licensed pest controller should be contacted to remove them. However, it is possible to reduce the chances of a swarm settling in your home by following these simple steps.