Flying stinging insects are commonly associated with bees, hornets, and wasps. When bees come to mind, many people think of the pleasant taste of honey and their pollinating activities. Wasps and hornets are immediately considered an aggressive flying critter sent to destroy humankind. Wasps, hornets, and bees are responsible for delivering unpleasant stings, which naturally repulse most people. But what these stinging pests have in common that may seem unorthodox is that there are some species that live or near the ground. Today, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to take a closer look at the ground bees, hornets, and wasps.
Ground Nesting Mining, Sweat & Digger Bees
Ground bees construct little taverns in the soil. Finding mounds in the dirt, similar to ant mounds, is a sign of their presence. Ground bee mounds have a larger entry hole in comparison to an ant mound. Some species of ground bees include; mining bees, sweat bees, and digger bees. Their usual behavior is flying low, hovering just above the area they call home or the bees coming and going from the burrow. Being more prone to lawns and gardens, ground bees dig their nests in the ground. They are more active during the spring, as they are a fan of pollen like most other bees and are grouped with the beneficial insects. Ground bees are not like their aerial counterparts that live in social colonies, but rather are solitary bees. The females burrow their nests underground, where their nests are excavated in the soil. There, they produce their offspring, and care for the younglings, bringing them rations of nectar and pollen. Despite their solitary behavior, ground bees can sometimes be spotted grouped with neighbors, with their mounds in close proximity. Males will buzz through patrolling for a willing female. Females are equipped with a stinger, but when it comes to flight or fight, they will choose flight more often than not. They will only sting as a last resort if they feel threatened. Males do not possess a stinger, but during mating season they act aggressively where they will pursue any potential harm. Sweat bees are really the only alarming ground bees because as their name suggests, they lap up the sweat of humans and will perch on you to satisfy their cravings. They have stingers as well, but will only use it if you instigate a fight with a swat in their general direction.
Ground Yellow Jackets & Digger Wasps
Ground wasps that are common are yellow jackets and digger wasps. Yellowjackets usually construct their nests underground, but occasionally, they will choose places above the ground in sheltered, dark locations such as crawl spaces, wall voids, fallen trees and thick bushy vegetative areas that are more favorable. Ground wasps are both solitary and social pests. Generally, wasps are not aggressive unless they believe their nest is compromised by a perceived threat, at which time the aggressive repeated stings will ensue.
Ground hornets are but impostors, a sub-species of the digger wasps and are more commonly known in the industry as cicada killers. Ground hornets are easily named the largest of the digger wasps found in the country. Ground hornets are not social and live solitarily much like the ground bees, and as the ground bees, they are beneficial by keeping the cicada population down and are not known to be aggressive unless they feel threatened. They do however become a nuisance when their numbers grow and the holes forming in your lawn multiply, resembling that of Swiss cheese.
Stinging Insect Inspections, Control, Removal & Bee Relocation in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park, Texas
If you have ground bees, hornets, or wasps that are overbearing on your property, contact A-Tex Pest Management today. We will come out on-site and identify what species of stinging insect is terrorizing you and present a plan to solve your problem from removing wasps nests to recommending a local beekeeper for beehive relocation.