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Stinging Insects

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RADIO TRANSCRIPT
Date:  August 31, 2021
Agent:  Donna Teasley

Hello, this is Donna Teasley, Horticulture Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center.

One of the signs of late summer is the surge of stinging insect calls that come in to the office. Wasps, yellow jackets and hornets all seem to get particularly hateful as deep summer moves toward fall. Why does this happen. Well, it is a combination of several things-for one thing, their nests have grown larger as new bees hatch so there are more of them around. They are also more aggressively searching for food to keep the queen alive over the winter and because natural food supplies such as flowers and small insects dwindle towards the end of summer, bees turn to other food sources that are high in carbohydrates and sugars. Hence, the increased aggravation at picnics ballgames and other outdoor activities.

What can we do about the problem? Common sense is the answer. Keep drinks and foods covered when outside. Inspect the yard for signs of underground nests. Also look at house eaves and landscape plants for nests. Turn off porch  lights at night as hornets will fly towards light. Keep the lawn mown and weedy areas at a minimum.

Try and steer clear of the more aggressive bees such as hornets and yellow jackets. And be patient. The first big freeze will take care of any nests that might be present. That’s one good thing about winter!

This is Donna Teasley with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center. If you would like more information about this program you can call us at 764-9480.