Bees nesting on homes will always be an issue during the warm summer months, but now your lawn could be in jeopardy of bee attacks too! There are numerous pests that use Soil to structure their nests and Bees are no exception. In fact, there are numerous types of bees that will use your lawn for a nest, the most prominent being yellow jackets, miner bees and Cicada killers. We have recently seen in Rochester, NY a rise in ground nesting bees and knowing what to watch out for and how to prevent these bee invasions can save you a few stings and headaches when you’d rather be enjoying your lawn on hot summer days.
Cicada Killers: Cicada Killers are exactly as named: the killer of Cicadas. Cicadas are locusts that that go through metamorphosis underground for a number of years (length varies species to species) before rising from the soil and filling the air with a soft buzz as they eat away at vegetation. Cicada Killers are nature’s answer to the onslaught of locust activity. As a larger bee with a solitary persona, Cicada Killers will make burrows in your soil to have a safe place to lay their eggs. The male Cicada Killers are completely harmless because they are without stingers. The female Cicada Killers on the other hand do possess the ability to sting and will implement it if grabbed or stepped on accidentally.
Miner Bees: This bee resembles the honeybee and is a medium to small sized bees that burrow in the ground for their nests. Unlike honeybees however, miner bees do not form social colonies, but rather make solitary nests in large numbers like Cicada Killers. These ground nesting bees are hard to see until the numbers increase due to the solitary nesting sites.Miner bees are docile for the most part, but if disturbed by a lawn mower or activity around their nest, they can and will sting when provoked.
Yellow Jackets: One of the only social colonies to nest in the ground, Yellow Jackets are just as nasty when nesting in soil as they are when nesting in our homes. They are the most aggressive type of ground nesting bees, attacking anything in the area that threatens their home. Any activity around the nest has the potential to cause a yellow jacket attack to animals or humans. these same bees will invade your home and nest in roofing soffits and attics and any space they can find for laying eggs. Most people get stung when trying to get rid of these as they are very aggressive.
So now that we know that there are different types of bees that will nest in your soil and all of these types will attack if provoked on purpose or by accident, what can be done to keep them from starting in the first place? One characteristic is consistent among all of these different types of ground nesting bees: they love sandy and clay soil. These types of soil are easily manipulated by the bees and make for perfect conditions for them to dig their nests in. Here are some helpful tips on dealing with sandy soil:
- Water your lawn on a regular basis because dry soil is best for digging. Bees will avoid soil that has a high moisture content.
- Fertilize your lawn. By adding organic fertilizer and compost to your lawn, it will give the soil the nutrients (potassium) and nitrogen needed to allow grass and other vegetation to grow, eliminating the dry sandy like consistency.
- Aerate and over-seed your lawn in the fall. Aeration and over-seeding will introduce new plant roots that with strengthen the integrity of your soil.
Call a pest exterminator at EnviroPest today at 1-855-GET-ENVIRO for more information on how to keep these bees and other pests out of your lawn and away from your summer fun.