Bees invading our lawns
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1:00 AM
This week I have noticed and received several calls concerning bees in lawns in and around Neshoba County. There are many types of bees but this one that is invading our lawns is burring holes in the lawns is called Ground Nesting Bees. They often swarm in masses and drill holes in the lawn where they build their nests. You will notice many small holes in the soil with mounds built up around each hold.
There are many species of "Ground-Nesting Bees," but all have similar behavior. These are solitary bees--one female bee per hole, but they occur in large numbers where there is suitable soil for nesting.
Solitary bees are not aggressive and rarely attack people. However, they can and will sting if trapped in hair or clothing.
Many people prefer not to kill these bees as they are important pollinators and they usually remain active for only a few weeks in the spring. It is not recommended to treat for these bees but if you are afraid of them and just have to spray you could use one of the hose-end applicator sprays sold as Ortho MAX, that contains bifenthrin--use the hose-end applicator to flood the tunnels.
However, this would only provide short-term control--they would probably return next year. For permanent control, the solution is to till and amend the soil as necessary to get it to support grass.
They only like to nest in areas with bare soil.
Other bees that are also very prevalent this time of the year are Carpenter Bees. These bees drill holes in untreated wood and lay eggs in the cavities that they make. Spring is the time that Carpenter Bees search for nesting areas and devastates many wood structures.
Spray an insecticide on untreated wood and they will often look for other areas to lay their eggs. A homeowner can use Malathion or a Pyrethrin based insecticide to deter this insect.
For additional information on identifying or controlling insects please contact the Neshoba County Extension Service at (601) 656-4602.