- CICADA KILLER: This is a large and robust looking wasp that can grow as large as 1 and 5/8 inches long! Quite an intimidating looking wasp, but generally they are content with going about their business of digging holes in your dirt leaving holes with sandy looking dirt around the outside of that hole and stuffing unsuspecting cicadas in that hole to feed their young. Females can sting, but rarely do. They have been known to get caught in clothing or disturbed by lawn equipment and nothing happened except maybe scaring the jeepers out of the human. The males will aggressively defend their female, but they do so by intimidation, they can not sting. If these ground nesting wasps are found and not bothering you, I would say leave them alone. If they are bothering or or are in great number, then a chemical spray will be necessary. Pest control companies can power spray the area for you or you can give it a shot yourself with a pump sprayer from your local home store. Be careful, read the label, and use caution. Like I said, the females can sting and for a wasp that is over an inch long, you can imagine what that sting must feel like!
- YELLOW JACKETS: These wasps usually take over a vacated rodent burrow in your lawn and often times you discover these nests by mistake wile mowing the lawn or while your kids are playing outside. Yellow jackets can sting repeatedly and control of them should be left to a professional. Dusting the entrance hole with a good insect dust is your best bet for elimination as they will pick this dust up on themselves as they enter and exit the hole, bringing the dust into the nest and infecting the rest of the wasps. They are aggressive and dangerous.
- DIGGER OR THREADWAISTED WASPS: These wasps are found hovering about an inch off of your lawn and there may be many of them. They appear and stay all day and usually are gone by evening. These wasps are not aggressive as people have been know to walk right through these wasps with no problem. They can sting but rarely do. Control can be accomplished by spraying while the wasps are active via a power spray that a professional can provide.
- BUMBLE BEES: Another bee that takes over vacated ground space from rodents or other holes in the ground. Nests can be detected by the males hovering around the entrance to the nest, but often times this is not the way they are found unfortunately, it is more like you stumble upon a bumble. These are aggressive bees and can inflict painful stings. If they are found, but not in a area of danger for you or your family, it is best to leave them be, as they are useful pollinators.
This is a shot list of some of the more common ground nesting bees and wasps that you may encounter during your summertime. As I always say when dealing with bees or wasps, it is best to leave their control to the professionals. If you do decide to tackle a problem on your own be sure to do so with a partner who watches from a distance and who can call for help in the event that things get dangerous.