We received a call for pest control from a homeowner who was hearing scratching and buzzing sounds within his living room wall and believed it was bees. The homeowner had even noticed a bee on the exterior of the house. Our service technician treated for bees, finding only a minimal amount of bee activity around the house and no bees at all in the area of where the homeowner was hearing the noise.
The homeowner told the technician that he only sometimes heard that scratching and buzzing sounds while other times it was silent. The technician checked the living room as well and could find no signs of a bee problem. A few days later the homeowner called and said the noise in the living room wall was back, so we scheduled a return visit. When the technician arrived again the noise was gone and no bees could be found.
This continued a few more times over the following weeks and still not a single bee was found in the area of the living room wall. Finally I called the homeowner and arranged time to come by and see if I could figure out where all this noise was coming from. He told me the sounds were loudest around two in the afternoon, so I scheduled a visit for that time.
When I arrived, I carefully held my stethoscope against the living room wall and, low and behold, there was the infamous scratching and buzzing! So we hurried to check the outside of the home. There was no sign of those black and yellow insects. Puzzled, I stood back and stared at the side of the house. A few pieces of siding were a slightly different shade of color.
“Did anything happen recently to this side of the house?” I asked the homeowner.
As it turns out, the homeowner’s son had been playing baseball in the lawn and had accidentally whacked the ball into the side of house, damaging the siding. The siding had been replaced about a month ago. Upon a closer inspection of the siding, it became evident that it had been installed improperly and was nailed too tightly, leaving no room for expansion and contraction of the siding from temperature changes in the environment. That sneaky siding was the culprit of all that alarming scratching and buzzing. And the reason why the noise could be heard only certain times of the day, like when the sun warmed the siding in the early afternoon. The homeowner called the contractor to reinstall the siding.
In the end, I learned that some of the toughest jobs don’t involve any pests at all. I was glad the mystery was solved and the homeowner was happy.