The Q&A Archives: How do you kill the bad bees without hurting the good ones

Question: Last year our patio was unlivable due to the swarming yellow jackets that built a nest under the siding. I have seven gardens that are frequented by my honey bees, as they pollinate the flowers every year. I use no pesticides anywhere in the yard, as it is also a wildlife habitat. Nor do I keep plants up near the patio. What do I do?

Answer: Depending on how far inside the siding the nest is, it may freeze during the winter and thus not be a problem for you next year. If you know specifically where the yellow jacket nest is, you may be able to remove it during the winter months; or, you could trap them next summer. Or, you might consider using a specifically targeted chemical control such as carbaryl (Sevin) applied only to that particular nest. If you have someone in your family who is allergic, for instance, this might be something to consider despite not wanting to use chemicals on your property. Your local county extension should be able to help you with determining the most effective timing for your control efforts. In the meantime, you may find the following article helpful in planning your strategy.

I hope this helps.

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