During these summer months having trees in your yard can be a lifesaver. The shade that one single tree provides can have a significant impact on your power bill by cooling your home and protecting it from heating up due to the direct rays of the sun.
Trees in the yard can also provide a nice awning for your lawn and other plants, reducing the amount of water they need and the chances the sun will burn them.
Unfortunately, if your trees are fruit-bearing, they can also attract yellow jackets. This time of year is the busiest time for yellow jackets. The workers are out gathering food and water for when the weather starts to cool down and turn to winter. For the most part, these flying pests are beneficial in that they keep the insect population on your property controlled.
But, they are the most aggressive of all social wasps, and if you have children who play in the yard or, if you entertain guests outdoors, you probably don’t want yellow jackets flying around your trees. Here are some tips that you can follow to prevent yellow jackets from being attracted by your fruit trees:
- While you might see them in and around your trees, yellow jackets actually nest on the ground. They will dig holes in the dirt or, build nests under porch steps. Their nests are notoriously difficult to find, so if you see yellow jackets swarming around a hole in the ground and going in and out of it, plug the hole. This will prevent them from being able to get out and flying around your trees.
- Yellow jackets are attracted by the rotting fruit that has fallen off of your fruit-bearing trees. Take some time a couple of times per week to pick up any rotted fruit from the ground around your trees. If there is no food source, they will not come back.
- Like all living things, yellow jackets need water in order to survive. If you have irrigation systems or, outdoor hoses make sure that nothing is leaking or spray water. A source of standing water cause by a leak will absolutely attract yellow jackets to come and nest.
- Talk with your professional tree care and landscape service to discuss additional ways to protect your trees from yellow jackets. Chemical treatment may be a necessary option, but you will want to be thoughtful of the fruit on your trees.
Never try to approach a yellow jacket nest on your own without proper protective equipment. If the issue is a serious problem, contact a professional exterminator and make sure to communicate the intervention plan with your landscaping service provider.