It seems some of the normal household insects seen during the spring in Howard County have gotten off to a late start. Odorous house ants and carpenter ants have been fairly active but carpenter bees and paper wasps have been slow to develop and are now just becoming a problem.

Carpenter bees will drill into the bottom and sides of wood (facia boards, decks, fence rails, play sets, etc.). The most noticeable damage is done when woodpeckers rip the wood open to pluck the larvae from the galleries. Female carpenter bees can sting but rarely do. Control is achieved by applying appropriate materials to the galleries directly and the outside surface of wood that is at risk.

We have seen an unusually high population of solitary ground bees so far this spring. They resemble small honey bees and drill holes in the soil (especially in bare or sparse turf) about the width of a pencil. They are unsettling to homeowners since there can be hundreds in a small area. The good news is they are not aggressive like yellow jackets and are finished up in 3-4 weeks. They can be treated if necessary.