The buzzing insects of the sky can be a real nuisance, delivering painful stings if they have a mind to, and some causing different degrees of allergic reactions. The instant we hear the soft thrum of a nearby stinging critter we flinch and look for the offender above us. After spotting the potential threat our bodies try to run in every direction at the same time, making us convulse in bizarre patterns. But what if you have to look for these little pests on the ground too? There are some stinging pests that set up home in the soil. Today, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to shine the spotlight on ground bees, hornets and wasps.
Are Ground Bees Harmful?
Ground bees are just beneficial as orthodox bees keeping the vegetation well pollinated. Because they are pollinators, they are far more active during the spring months, but can be spotted year round. Ground bees do not build hives like their aerial cousins, but instead dig burrows in the soil. Their mounds can be very similar to ant mounds, but with a larger opening. They do fly around during their busy work, but return their nests in the ground. You can often see them coming and going. Digger bees, mining bees and sweat bees are the more commonly found ground bees around. Unlike their bee cousins, ground bees are solitary. Females will dig their nests and care for the younglings by bringing offerings of pollen and nectar until they are of reproducing age. Their mounds can often be clustered together despite their solitary lifestyle. Female ground bees have stingers, where the males do not. Typically, ground bees are not aggressive unless they feel threatened with no escape. Males will attempt to be intimidating during mating season when they are patrolling for a willing female but do not possess stingers.
Ground Dwelling Wasps
With an assortment of physical appearances, there are several species of ground wasps. There are however, two major distinctions that ground wasps have; they have 2 pairs of wings and a constriction between the thorax, head, and abdomen, which is frequently labeled as thread-waisted. They construct their nests underground, being dubbed ground wasps. Digger wasps, cicada killer wasps, and yellow jackets are just a few examples of ground wasps. There are some ground wasps that have social colonies and others are solitary. Most wasps are aggressive when it comes to defending their nests, and will sting you over and over again. Wasps are beneficial as long as they are not scaring off picnic goers by eating the problem pests.
Do Ground Hornets Bite or Sting?
Ground hornets are solitary, and they look very similar to yellow jackets, but bigger. Females are larger than the males and have a stinger. Their wings have a tendency to be a reddish orange color and have six yellow colored legs. Ground hornets’ pile their excavated dirt in horseshoe-shaped patterns and favor the loose soil in the warmer and sunnier areas. Though the females have a stinger they typically only attack if threatened, where the males lean to the aggressive side, but do not have a stinger.
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