As the weather warms up, homeowners in the Johns Creek & surrounding area of North Georgia may start to notice an increase in ground-nesting bees, wasps and yellow jackets in their yards. We get calls all the time for hive removal services but I ask a few questions and after 15 years of doing this I can deduce that it isn’t a hive removal call. These insects are attracted to areas with soft soil and sweet smells, making yards with loose or moist soil and fruit trees or gardens prime nesting sites. However, there are steps you can take to prevent these insects from making their home in your yard.
Beneficial Cicada Killers and Digger Bees
Cicada killers and Digger bees are both types of solitary nesting bees that are often found in yards with soft soil. The first question I ask when someone calls and say they have a swarm or a infestation of some hornet or bee I start asking questions.
- Are there many of them swarming about a foot above the ground?
- Are they small and dark or huge and black & yellow?
They are always surprised when I do ask it (they gave away hints in the start of the call) and I tell them they should not waste money trying to get rid of them. I suggest they look up images on google of whichever I suspect either Cicada Killers or Miner bees. It is then that my true passion, my job, begins. It is the education and rationalizing with people to make them less fearful. Less apt to want to destroy them.
Cicada killers are beneficial insects that help to control cicada populations, which can be damaging to trees and crops. Digger bees are important pollinators and help to control other pests such as aphids and caterpillars. These bees are not aggressive towards humans and are unlikely to sting unless provoked.
To prevent cicada killers and digger bees from nesting in your yard, consider reducing the amount of bare soil by planting ground cover or using a thick layer of mulch. You can also provide alternative nesting sites for these bees by installing bee houses or drilling holes in logs.
Completely Ruthless Yellow Jackets
Yellow jackets are a type of wasp that are attracted to areas with sweet smells and soft soil. These insects feed on a variety of foods, including fruit, nectar, and insects. Yellow jackets can be aggressive and will sting if they feel threatened, making them a concern for homeowners. We do not save Yellow Jackets. We seek pleasure in destroying these hives and do it very well. : )
To prevent yellow jackets from nesting in your yard, consider removing any sources of attraction, such as fallen fruit or open soda cans. You can also keep your yard well-maintained with firm soil to make it less attractive to these insects. If you do encounter a yellow jacket nest on your property, it’s best to contact a pest control professional to safely remove it.
Roles of Beneficial Insects
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, beneficial insects play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Solitary nesting bees, such as Cicada Killers and Digger Bees, are important pollinators and can help to increase the yield of your garden or crops. They also help to aerate the soil, which can improve its quality over time.
Digger and miner bees are also beneficial insects, as they help to control other pests such as grubs and aphids. These insects are not aggressive and are unlikely to sting humans, so it’s best to leave them alone and let them do their important work.
Preventing Nesting in Your Yard
In addition to the suggestions mentioned above, there are a few other steps you can take to prevent ground-nesting bees and yellow jackets from making their home in your yard. For example, you can plant a variety of flowers and shrubs to provide alternative food sources for these insects. You can also provide alternative nesting sites, such as bee houses or logs drilled with holes.
It’s also important to be aware of the time of year when these insects are most active. Ground-nesting bees and yellow jackets typically emerge in the spring and early summer, so it’s a good idea to take preventative measures before this time of year.
Understanding the behavior and benefits of ground-nesting bees and yellow jackets is key to effectively preventing them from nesting in your yard. By addressing soil and habitat issues, removing sources of attraction, and providing alternative nesting sites, you can enjoy a pest-free yard while supporting the important work of beneficial insects. With these steps, homeowners in the Johns Creek area can enjoy a beautiful and thriving yard while keeping pests at bay.
We as a Responsible & Ethical Pest Control Company, Southern Wildlife Management, wants to change the public’s mindset when they see insects outside in the yard. If are determined that no bug should exist in our yard and seek to destroy everyone of them without understanding their benefit to the environment then what kind of place are we leaving for our children? If you are nervous and need us to come get our eyes on your situation to determine if anything should or could be done to deter the insects…. call us to book an inspection. (678)935-5900
– COOL FACTS ABOUT GROUND NESTING BEES & WASPS –
Digger (Mining) Bees:
- Mining bees (aka Miner Bees) are among the world’s largest groups of solitary bees, and there are more than 4,500 species of mining bees worldwide. They are also known as Digger Bees, Ground Bees, Mud Bees, and Dirt Bees.
- Digger bees are solitary ground-nesting bees that are typically non-aggressive towards humans.
- They are often confused with yellow jackets due to their similar size and coloration, but can be distinguished by their hairy bodies and lack of visible stripes.
- Digger bees are important pollinators and help to control other pests such as aphids and caterpillars.
- Some species of digger bees are known to use sand or clay to create their nests, which can be up to a foot deep in the ground.
- Female digger bees are known for their impressive digging abilities, and can excavate several pounds of dirt to create their nest.
- During mating season, male digger bees will perform a dance about a foot above the ground in large numbers as part of their courtship ritual.
- Cicada killers are large, solitary wasps that are often mistaken for hornets due to their size and coloration.
- They are named after their habit of preying on cicadas, which they capture and paralyze before bringing them back to their nest to feed their young.
- Despite their large size and intimidating appearance, cicada killers are typically non-aggressive towards humans and will only sting if provoked. Cicada killers are not typically aggressive towards people and will generally only sting if handled or threatened.
- Cicada killers do not react to vibrations from walking like yellow jackets or other social wasps. Instead, they are more likely to fly away when disturbed or threatened.
- Both male and female cicada killers have the ability to sting, although males are less likely to do so since they do not have a stinger as long as that of females.
- Cicada killers are important predators in their ecosystem, helping to control cicada populations which can cause damage to trees and crops.
- Female cicada killers are known for their impressive digging abilities, and can create nests that are up to a foot deep in the ground.
Really Bad Bee & Wasp Dad Jokes:
- Why did the bee get married?
- Because he found his honey!
- What do you call a wasp in a fancy suit?
- A dapper-caper!
- Why did the bee go to the barbershop?
- To get a buzz cut!
- What do you call a wasp that’s always grumpy?
- A buzz-kill!
- How do you know if a bee is having a bad hair day?
- It gets a little combative!
- Why do bees hum?
- They forgot the words!
- What is a wasp’s favorite subject in school?
- Stinging 101!
- How do bees brush their hair?
- With honeycombs!
- What do you call a bee that can’t make up its mind?
- A maybee!
- Why did the yellow jacket go to the psychiatrist?
- To work through its anger issues!