The sound of lawn mowers humming in the background started weeks ago here in the Willow Grove, Pennsylvania area, but it’s not until now, moving forward, that we need to be vigilant. Against what you ask? Stinging insects!
People tend to get lost in their thoughts as they push behind their mowers with the goal of a perfect lawn, but what they don’t realize is that yellowjackets are searching for and setting up homes in the area. They are moving into abandoned groundhog holes or cavities in the ground that an old dead root left behind, areas that we, the mow masters, can not see or even think about. As we mind-numbingly mow our Sundays away, that vibrating motor inches closer and closer to a ground-nesting yellow jacket colony, and then BANG! Yellow Jackets and pouring out of that hole in defense of their home, and you are the target of their fury. These aggressive stinging insects will also set up shop in tree knot holes, the sides of homes, really anywhere an empty cavity presents itself.
The other big deal defending their territory in the backyard is our old friend, the bald-faced hornet. They make those cool-looking football/basketball-looking nests in trees and yes, in bushes, and they are just as territorial and aggressive as the yellowjacket. I get calls every year from unsuspecting weekend warriors who wielded a hedge trimmer to a bush only to be fought off by our fierce friends, the bald-faced hornets. Many times you can’t see these nests in a bush as they are carefully camouflaged.
So what can we do? All we want is for our yards to look better than our friends over in Hatboro, Warrington, or Abington. All we want is to drink some cold lemonade, mow our lawns, and enjoy the day. How can we avoid the terror of these stinging stalkers? My best advice is to simply take a step back, take a deep breath, and survey the property before you jump right into mowing or trimming those bushes. These stinging insects have a flight pattern that is pretty consistent day in and day out. Check to see if you see any yellowjackets or hornets coming and going from a particular area. If you do notice the activity then carefully investigate a bit more, keeping your distance and being safe, let your eyes be your guide. If you find that these insects are coming and going from a particular area, then avoid this area. You don’t want to get in the middle of that flight pattern. It might just be a good time to call your local friendly neighborhood spider, I mean Bugman. A pest control technician will be able to verify nesting activity and then treat the issue Grove Pest Control can help. 215-237-6831. Remember, as always, bee safe!