- Author: Lauren Fordyce
You've likely come across a bee, wasp, or hornet this summer. While these insects can cause painful stings, and allergic reactions for some, they are not usually aggressive. In the landscape, they can be beneficial by providing pollination to plants and, for some, preying on pest insects. And luckily for Californians, there is no need to fear the Asian giant hornet (now officially renamed to northern giant hornet), also known as the “murder hornet”, since this insect has not yet been found in the state.
While sometimes beneficial, these insects can also create nests in unfavorable locations and become a nuisance around picnics and...
- Author: Elaine Lander
The last weeks of summer are here and many are maximizing time outdoors, whether in yards, parks, or natural areas. As you enjoy the sunshine and perhaps a picnic, it is possible you may encounter different types of stinging insects such as bees and wasps.
Here are some resources that can help you avoid getting stung.
- Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
First things first: "murder" hornets, or more correctly, the Asian giant hornet, have NOT been found in California.
The term murder hornet is also not quite accurate. It attacks honey bees, which isn't desirable of course, but the important thing to note that this insect's purpose is not to murder humans. Right now in California, we are keeping an eye out for this insect so there is no need to worry, yet.
The news and social media have been filled with stories about the Asian giant hornet (AGH) but here are some facts from credible sources:
- Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) is the world's largest species of hornet, measuring between 1.5 - 2 inches.
- The stinger of AGH is longer than...
You're probably familiar with lady beetles (aka lady bugs), common beneficial insect predators that prey on aphids and other soft-bodied insects. However, lady beetles are not the only beneficial predators that can be found in your garden and landscape.
Other “natural enemies” such as assassin bugs, minute pirate bugs, lacewings, predatory wasps, spiders, and predaceous ground beetles attack and kill pests. In some cases, both the adults and larvae are predators. It's important to recognize the different life stages of these beneficial predators so you know they are helping control pests and not attacking your plants.