Fall invading pests arriving: Here’s what to know


It’s the time of year when we start seeing the normal fall insects coming around and into our homes. Questions are rolling in about yellow jackets, multicolored Asian lady beetles, leaf-footed bugs, brown marmorated stink bug, some species of flies and more.

At best, most of these are annoying and some such as the yellow jackets and wasps are more annoying than others. Most calls right now are focused on wasps.

Yellow jackets are wasps and are actually good guys. They are predatory and feed on other insects. Adults capture the insects and chew and condition them to feed to the larvae.

Adult yellow jackets feed on sugars and carbohydrates. This time of the year they invite themselves to our picnics because we have all of their preferred foods.

Yellow jackets are very distinct and easy to identify. They are about one-half inch long and have alternating black and yellow bands on the abdomen. Unlike honeybees, they are not covered with hairs.

Yellow jackets build their nests around homes, doors, entrances, eaves and in trees, etc. Knocking the home down in its early stages helps to prevent major populations in the fall. You might have to do this more than once.

Sprays are very effective in controlling them. However, if you don’t apply at the right time (early evening, dusk when they are entering their home) you won’t be as successful in knocking them down.

I have found at picnics that the wasp traps tend to work. Traps contain a sweet substance that attracts the wasps, just the same way your soda attracts them. Place the traps away from the picnic area.

Don’t swat at the wasps. Stings can be painful and they don’t normally attack unless provoked. Stings usually occur when you get one cornered in your elbow or some other body part.

Another predatory wasp is the baldfaced hornet. I have seen more and more of these around my pollinator-friendly plants. Again, the adults prefer sweets (nectar) and the larvae like the insects.

The baldfaced hornet is black and has ivory-white markings on the face along with white markings on the legs, abdomen and thorax.

These pests form the big paper-like bags in trees for nesting sites.

For the most part, all of these except for the fertilized queen are killed with a hard freeze. Unfortunately, we have to wait a little while longer before this occurs — hopefully!

In addition, they don’t normally re-use a nesting site so if you find a baldfaced hornet nest in a tree and want to keep it wait until after a hard freeze before removing.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Home Garden

Here’s how you can get half off a Starbucks Frappuccinos TODAY
Here’s how you can get half off a Starbucks Frappuccinos TODAY

If you find yourself in need of an afternoon pick-me-up on Thursday, July 19, head on over to Starbucks where you can score half-off a Frappuccino blended beverage! Starting at 3 p.m., you’ll be able to get 50 percent off any grande or larger Frappuccino as part of Starbucks’ Happy Hour. To get the deal, just sign up for Starbucks&rsquo...
Qué delicioso! Restaurant celebrating 30th annual Green Chile Festival
Qué delicioso! Restaurant celebrating 30th annual Green Chile Festival

What’s better than 29 years of a green chile festival? Thirty years of that delicioso affair. Fun, festive atmosphere, great food, drinks at Chuy’s Chuy’s will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Green Chile Festival from Monday, Aug. 13 to Sunday, Sept. 2. The Tex-Mex restaurant chain will feature a menu that includes green chile...
Man dies after eating raw oysters at Florida restaurant, report says
Man dies after eating raw oysters at Florida restaurant, report says

A man died from a Vibrio vulnificus bacterial infection after eating raw oysters at a Florida restaurant, health officials say. The 71-year-old man reportedly died two days after eating the raw oysters in a Sarasota restaurant. Health officials have not said which restaurant. "We have an individual that consumed some raw oysters and to the...
5 signs your relationship is hurting your mental health
5 signs your relationship is hurting your mental health

Everyone in a relationship knows how easy it is to accuse a partner of something they didn't do. It's their fault, you tell them, whether the spat is about towels on the bathroom floor, an angry mother-in-law or a missed restaurant reservation. Sometimes you know you're wrong the second these words leave your mouth; other times you recognize your mistake...
How to know if your child is overweight
How to know if your child is overweight

It's easy to fall in love with your child's chubby cheeks and pudgy legs. But by the age of two, if your toddler is heavier than the other children of the same age, it's possible that he or she may be overweight.  How can you tell the difference between normal baby fat and an actual weight problem? Here's the skinny on excessive weight and obesity...
More Stories