Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Landscape - European Hornets Very Active Now

We have had samples of European hornets come into the office recently. This is the time of the year that these hornets change their feeding habits and can attack plants in the landscape. The following is more information.

The European hornet is a large brown heavy-bodied wasp with yellow and orange markings. It prefers to nest in hollow trees. Normally, European hornets feed on other insects - caterpillars, grasshoppers, flies, etc. At this time of year, they look for carbohydrates and begin to attack fruit and trees and bushes (especially ash and lilac). The hornets can chew into fruit and chew off the bark and girdle branches as they create wounds from which they collect sap. European hornets have a long workday, they will continue to fly into early evening so damage occurs over a short period of time.

Control is difficult and involves finding nests in the area. If nests are found, they can be treated with insecticides such as Sevin or numerous pyrethroids. Landscape sprays are usually ineffective.

Adapted from "EUROPEAN HORNETS HITTING FRUIT AND TREE BARK" By Lee Townsend in the current edition of the Kentucky Pest News from the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture.

1 comment:

The Parish family said...

I live in the Easton, MD area. I have had this problem w/ my River birch in the front of the house. Not only are the hornets destructive, but I am concerned on being stung. Can I spray a fruit tree oil to discourage the hornets?