What Are Africanized Bees?
The Africanized bee species is a big source of stress and fear in the southwestern United States. If you live in this area, you should understand what Africanized bees are, what to do if you get stung, and how you can prevent the pests from wreaking havoc on your home.
The Africanized bee, also known as the killer bee, is a dangerous hybrid species of the honey bee. When beekeepers imported African honeybees to Brazil in the 1950s, some escaped and interbred with the European bees in the region. The resulting offspring are significantly more harmful than typical bees because they can sting people thousands of time. They are more defensive and aggressive than normal honey bees, too, and they are known to chase people when they become agitated.
The species spread rapidly throughout Central and South America in the second half of the 20th century. They were first discovered in the U.S. in 1985. Today, the species lives throughout the southwestern United States and in a few southern states.
The Africanized bee is a major Arizona bee control issue. According to the University of Arizona, all wild honeybees in Arizona are considered Africanized. If you see these bees, quietly distance yourself from them. If possible, get inside your home or car. Cover your head and face to reduce the risk of stings. Don't swat at the bugs or flap your arms.
What to Do if You're Stung
The stinger from an Africanized bee may become lodged in your skin. Avoid squeezing the stinger, which will release more of the venom into your body. Instead, swipe the edge of a credit card or another flat object across the stinger until it is dislodged.
Wash the affected area with soap, and apply ice to reduce swelling. Stings can be treated with corticosteroid cream, antihistamine, or pain relievers like ibuprofen. If you get stung multiple times or the reaction worsens after your treatment attempts, consult a medical professional right away. If a child, animal, or someone allergic to bees gets even one sting, it's critical that you call 911.
How to Prevent an Infestation
Bees can be attracted to sugar and other foods. To prevent an Africanized bee infestation, rinse out food containers before throwing them out. Reducing moisture and standing water around your home can reduce the risk of an infestation, too.
Removing or bee-proofing the structures the insects may nest in can also help to prevent infestation. Africanized bees like to nest in trees, sprinkler systems, and chimneys.
An existing infestation needs to be handled by a pest control company. Trying to get rid of the insects by yourself can lead to serious harm. Your Arizona bee control company has the tools and equipment to safely handle the infestation. If possible, observe where the bees are coming or going from so that you can send your local exterminator in the right direction.
Trust A Local Arizona Company
An Africanized bee problem around your home can be incredibly stressful, but your local exterminator is here to help. Alliance Pest Management can eliminate the bees and put measures in place to prevent them from returning. Working with a pest control company can quickly and efficiently solve the infestation problem and restore your peace of mind.
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