Spring Insects

Ground Nesting Bees - About 70 percent of bee species nest underground and they are important pollinators of our fruit and vegetable crops. But many residents get concerned when they see large numbers of bees flying low over their lawns or gardens in spring. These bees are often brightly marked though some will look like honeybees. They do not aggressively defend their nests and most stings occur when the bees are handled or accidentally stepped on. They will be around for just a few weeks, then disappear, so best to leave them alone.

Cabbage Butterfly - The pretty little white butterfly that flits about the garden this time of year is laying eggs on cole crops that will hatch into the deep green larvae that will devour cabbage, broccoli, kale and cauliflower. They are especially troublesome whenthey get beneath the florets of broccoli and then decide to emerge when dinner is served. That bothers some people. The larvae can be killed with a spray of Bt, an organic and completely safe insecticide that stops them from feeding and eventually kills them. Just don't use Bt around your butterfly garden because it kills all butterfly and moth larvae. 

Termite Swarms - Termites swarm in the spring and people panic when they see them. Often termite reproductives come from stumps and wood out in the yard and are not necessarily a cause for concern; they may not have invaded your home. Also, be sure the swarms you are seeing are termites and not ants, which also swarm this time of year. Termites have straight antennae, a broad waist and four, equal-sized wings while ants have elbowed antennae, a narrow waist and front wings longer than back wings. If you do suspect a termite swarm, ask us to mail or emial EntFact-604, which will explian how to deal with them.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs - These stink bugs are home invaders and they're going back outside now to damage a wide range of fruit and vegetable crops. Stink bugs are sheild-shaped insects with a hard outer body, and some of them are actually beneficial. The brown marmorated is distinguished by white banding on its antennae. It damages fruits and vegetables with its piercing mouthparts, discoloring the produce and often leaving corky areas. Pyrethrins will control brown marmorated stink bugs; homeowners can also use malathion. 

Clover Mites - Clover mites give people the creeps because they're a tiny, red insect that appears to have e44aten a blood meal. They resemble the mites that feed on poultry, and they appear in cracks and crevices outside and inside, especially in windowsills. You see them most often this time of year and in dry weather outside. But they do not feed on people or pets or household products, and they won't hang around long. So they're really nothing to worry about.