If you recently purchased a home that's been empty for some time, there may be some things you need to do to get it ready for your family, including cleaning the outdoor AC unit. But if you find a nest of bees living in the unit, you may decide to spray the unit with bug killer to kill the insects. That may be the wrong thing to do. Some bees, such as bumblebees, can sting multiple times when you disturb or threaten them. If you don't know if you have allergies to stinging insects, you may have developed a severe allergic reaction to the bees' venom. Here's what happens if you have severe allergies to bee stings and what you should do to get rid of the bees safely.
How Dangerous Are Stinging Insect Allergies?
Bees can build nests in air conditioners for several reasons, including to avoid birds and other predators. The insects also choose AC units because they're spacious enough to construct their breeding cells. If the previous owner operated the unit before they sold the home, the heat created by the unit may have attracted the bees in the first place.
You don't want to attack the bees head on by spraying them with chemicals. The bees may actually swarm out of the unit and sting you. Stinging insects release a potent venom that can cause severe allergic reactions in people. When exposed to venom, the individual goes into anaphylaxis, which develops when the body's immune system creates special chemicals to combat the venom. The spike in chemicals can raise your blood pressure, create shock, and keep you from breathing.
To avoid the life-threatening problems above, contact pest control for services. Pest control will typically identify the bees before using any type of treatment. The treatment for one bee species may not work for another species. After pest control removes the bees, it's a good idea that you clean the unit's condenser coil, which is the part that ejects heat out the system.
How Do You Remove the Nest From the Condenser Coil?
Cleaning the condenser coil removes the nest and improves air flow through the unit. You'll need to turn off the entire air conditioning system at the circuit breaker before you begin. If there's a power switch outside the home, disconnect it as well.
Now, follow the following steps:
- Use a screwdriver to remove the unit's outer cage.
- Turn a water hose to low speed, then gently cleanse the coil.
- Use a small brush or tweezers to pick out any pieces of bees' nest that doesn't come off with the water hose.
- Replace the cage, then allow the coil to dry for at least 45 minutes.
Turn the air conditioning system's power back on.
If you notice any problems with the system, such as stalling, noises, or poor cooling, contact an AC repair contractor for assistance.