Nuisance Bees & Wasps
Wasps and bees cause concern for homeowners. Honeybees and bumblebees work blooming flowers and may cross paths with people. Bees are beneficial pollinators and control for them is discouraged. Typically bees are not aggressive unless an unwary gardener grasps them.
Yellow jackets are a yellow and black striped, ground-dwelling wasp that are very aggressive in the late summer and fall. They are scavengers that will eat caterpillars and many types of sugars and meats at picnics.
The Polistes or European paper wasp also has yellow and black stripes and is often confused with yellow jackets. This wasp is a predator that builds paper nests in the eaves of buildings and in small cavities. The Polistes wasp is not a problem for outdoor dining. Their habit of nesting in numerous locations around homes leads to many stings. This wasp will not be attracted to traps because it hunts for live prey.
If wasp nests are too close to the house or children’s play area, use permethrin (Eight®) or other pyrethrin insecticides to kill the insects still living in the nest. For more information, see fact sheet 5.525, Nuisance Wasps and Bees, ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05525.html.
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Updated Friday, April 19, 2013