If you notice pests buzzing around and are low to the ground, chances are you have ground bees, hornets or wasps making nests around your home. Stewart Termite & Pest Control compares these stinging insects and outlines the best way to deal with them below.
Do Ground Bees Sting?
Ground bees are big bees that dig nests in the ground, usually in bare patches of the lawn or garden. The nests look like mounds of soil, similar to anthills but with larger openings. You will notice them flying low to the ground when entering their burrows. Females excavate a nest in dry soil, and mound the loose soil around the nest entrances. She provisions the nest with pollen and nectar for her offspring. They are solitary bees and each female takes care of her own burrow. There may be dozens of bee nests in an area if good nesting conditions are suitable. They are not aggressive, but will sting if they feel threatened. Only the female ground bee will sting as the males lack a stinger.
Are Ground Wasps Aggressive?
Ground wasps include yellow jackets, cicada killer wasps, and digger wasps. They live underground or above ground, in sheltered, dark locations such as crawl spaces, wall voids, fallen trees and thick bushy vegetation. They can be social or solitary. Social ground wasps are communal and nests can have up to 500 adult wasps. A colony can last a year and is aggressively defended. Yellow jackets are an example of social ground wasps. Social ground wasps demand our attention since they present the greatest risk of stings. Ground wasps, especially social yellow jackets, become a problem if their nest is close to people or pets. You should contact pest control so we can ensure the ground wasp problem is resolved in a safe and effective manner. As with ground bees, they will sting if feeling threatened.
How Far Will Ground Hornets Chase You?
Ground hornets are a type of wasp but deserve their own mention. They can build their nests in rotted trees trunks and spaces in walls or ceilings, but usually build their nests in rodent burrows. These nests are usually inaccessible and can’t be removed. Female ground hornets will employ their stinger primarily to paralyze cicadas, which will be carried back to the nest to be used for food to newly hatched larvae. Burrows indicate an infestation and are characterized by the horseshoe-shaped pile of excavated dirt at the opening of each burrow. Ground hornets will also sting if they feel threatened. In the process of stinging ground hornets mark you with a chemical odor that makes it easy for other hornets to find you. If you run, they will chase you and they are faster than you. Yellow jackets and paper wasps will not chase you very far, unless you have destroyed their nest but hornets can chase you up to 300 feet!
Prevention & Control
Ground bees don’t stay for long and are not aggressive. In most cases, because they play an important role in pollination, you should leave them unless they pose a threat to a family member with a bee venom allergy. These ground pests require dry dirt to make their nests. You can discourage this by frequent watering to keep the soil wet. Ground wasps and ground hornets can be trapped and poisoned. Insecticide dust is the best way to kill a colony. They can be used every three days until there is no more daytime activity around the nest.
Stinging Insect Control
If you’re unsure of which ground species of pests has taken up residence in your yard, call Stewart Termite & Pest Control for the best methods of taking care of the problem.