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Answering all those burning questions you didn’t know you had about home ownership.

Bees in the Bathroom

Picture of Jessica Dabkowski

Jessica Dabkowski

Helping you with all things homeownership!

Today, as promised, I am serving up the Dabkowski family bee adventure: Bees in the Bathroom. Always one to admit my mistakes, this entire situation could have been avoided if I had followed MY OWN ADVICE.

Is it a fly or a bee?

One day in early April, I was standing at my primary bathroom sink. Blow dryer in hand, probably singing some 90s pop, something catches my eye near the light fixture.

A slow-flying shape buzzes around the light bulb and settles on the top of my mirror. I grab a tissue, and give him a quick death squeeze. I peer into the tissue. The poor guy mostly looks like a fly, but my mommy eagle eyes notice the slightest bit of yellow fuzz behind the head. I shrug and go on about my day.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (i.e. exact same thing the next day)

After the second encounter, I’m a little nervous. I alert The Mathematician that insects have been discovered and assassinated in our shared bathroom. He furrows his brow, nods and goes back to all the maths. (That’s British for “math”.)

I do NOT alert the Jr. Mathematician, as she does NOT like bugs, especially bees, following a traumatic incident on The Jungle Cruise ride at Disney World.

Next day, no insects! Okay, awesome, great. Maybe it was totally random. I think to myself, it’s all good, nothing to see here.

Not so Fast, Dabs

Day four arrives. Two insects are discovered. At this point, I’m keeping the door closed so no errant insects can escape. These invaders are bigger than their compatriots who came before them. They also have the teeniest yellow stripes on their back. So slight, I wonder if my imagination is in overdrive.

At this point, I think we have a problem. Where are they coming from?!? I never see them enter; they just appear.

How are they getting in???

Next, I snap a picture so I can show an expert. I start googling (like one does), and I am now convinced these are carpenter bees. Carpenter bees can do massive amounts of damage to your home if left unchecked.

It didn’t look like a fly to me, but what do I know?

I have now moved from “Oh, that’s a weird little fly” to “DEFCON 5, the house is about to fall down around us.” Since I don’t have a bee guy, I text Paul Barroco, my real estate buddy. (He has a guy for everything.) He sends my the info for his “bee guy.”

False Hope is the Worst Kind

I call Paul’s bee guy, but he can’t make it for over a week. He gives me the name of another local company to call. I call them and leave a voicemail.

I’m impatient (read: I’m freaking out) so I find a third company on google and call. I have a nice chat with the gentleman. I explain where we’re finding them. He relates that it doesn’t sound like normal bee behavior. I text him a picture one of the invaders. He tells me it looks like a fly and to just ride it out as they wake up and try to exit the house.

Awesome! I can save my money. I don’t need to worry about a bee invasion . . . except I do.

Over the next few days, it becomes apparent that these are NOT flies. The invaders are, in fact, bees. Something must be done.

Noah, the Bee Guy

Okay, I’m back to the second bug company, the one recommended by Paul’s bee guy. (I’m obviously not going back to fly guy, bearer of false hope.) I call and speak with a very nice lady. I email a newer picture over to her, and she chases down one of the techs to show him. The tech thinks it looks like a bumble bee.

I’m in luck! The tech will be in the area and can tack me on at the end of his day tomorrow. Whew, my days of panicking that I forgot to close the bathroom door are numbered.

When Noah arrived the following afternoon, he cradled the little (dead) guy in his hand while he explained that the bees are Miner Bees. Miner bees are solitary, and they typically nest in the ground. This information was well-received by me because it meant there were no bees drilling into my walls and nesting in them. So, solitary bees in our bathroom.

Noah went on to tell me that the bees were likely anticipating the temperature would drop down again. They were looking for somewhere warm to wait out the cold. Somewhere warm, like our bathroom apparently (bees are smarter than I thought because it did get cold again!).

Access Not Denied

Next up, Noah went on a mission to determine how the bees were getting into the house. As we walked around the house to look at the window closest to where the bees were found, he was looking for any point of entry into the bathroom.

Literally, as we are standing there, I see a bee land on our window trim and crawl into a tiny, perfectly round hole. Folks, my jaw about hit the floor. The timing had to be incredibly precise for me to witness this act of unauthorized entry.

Noah was taller than me, so I guess I’m Chris Farley.

Noah heads to his truck to get his giant extension ladder while I go find The Mathematician to show him our findings. Upon inspection, Noah discovers that when the house was built (2018) the workers who installed the trim around our eaves and windows had drilled extra holes that were neither used nor filled.

Upon discovering these holes, the bees were able to crawl into the window frame area and enter the bathroom through a gap in the very top of our interior window trim. Noah used a pesticide dust on the hole the bees were using to drive them away. He said we might see bees for up to 3-5 days but they should be gone after that time frame. (We only ever saw one bee after he dusted!)

He recommended we go around and seal up all the holes the siding workers had left unsealed to ensure no more insects tried to enter the house.

Bees in the Bathroom Takeaway

Now, in the beginning of this article, I mentioned this entire situation could have been avoided if I had followed my own advice. Namely, walking the perimeter of my house looking for points of entry for animals and insects, as I have advised in not one, but TWO previous articles.

Learn from my inadvertent adventure! Even new construction homes have gaps where pests can enter.

Good News . . . and Bad News

To be extra thorough, Noah went up into attic to ensure there was nothing going on up there over the bathroom. When he came down the ladder from the attic, he had . . . a look.

“The good news is, there are no bees. The bad news is, there is definitely some bat guano up there.”

Stay tuned! It looks like the Dabkowski family infestation adventures are not over yet.

As always, thanks for joining me on this week’s adventures. If you need a bee guy, just let me know!

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