How to get rid of scavenger bees

Asked August 7, 2020, 6:08 PM EDT

We have an infestation of scavenger bees and am trying to find a way of killing them that will not harm animals. They swarm when we are outside cooking or smoking and they are not effected by the smoke, in fact, they seem to be attracted. Please help!!

Benton County Oregon

1 Response

How annoying. I am fairly certain what you are observing are not bees, but yellow jacket wasps. Bees and wasps can sometimes look similar, but they have quite different behavior. One key difference is attraction to cooking food. Yellow jackets, unlike bees, are attracted to outdoor cooking. They are attracted because they savage for meat to bring back to their nests to feed their young. And they are particularly attracted in August, because at this time of the year their nests are at their largest size. These nests typically disband in late September or October.

Okay, what to do. Sometimes, there isn't much that can be done. You may want to try placing yellow jacket traps around the periphery of your property. These traps can be purchased at hardware stores and they attract and trap worker yellowjackets. University of California recommends that the traps be placed 150 feet apart. For more information on traps check out the following article
https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=14805#:~:text=To%20reduce%20the%20number%20of,150%20feet%20along%20the%20circumference.