En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - September 25, 2008

From: Hauppauge, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests
Title: Yellow jackets on non-native crape myrtles
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hey Mr. Smarty Plants I have only 1 question. I have several Crape Myrtles that have numerous amounts (alarming) of yellow jacket bees on them. who what where when why etc? Should I be concerned? thanks for all your help.

ANSWER:

Mainly, this is because of the time of year. This information was extracted from an article from Clemson University Extension on Yellow Jackets. Be sure and read the whole article, as insecticides, baits and traps are all discussed.

"Yellow jackets (Vespula species, Vespa species and Dolichovespula species) are considered beneficial around home gardens and commercially grown fruits and vegetables at certain times of the year because they feed abundantly on insects such as caterpillars and harmful flies. Unfortunately, in late summer and early fall, the yellow jackets' normal insect diet disappears and their feeding habits become a problem to man. The diet of adult yellow jackets consists mainly of food rich in sugars and carbohydrates. Yellow jacket colonies do not normally survive the winter, and the first hard freeze will eliminate most colonies."

You may need to go ahead and get after some nests now, but since you are in New York, it shouldn't be too long until your first hard freeze.  But be very careful, yellow jackets do not take kindly to being exterminated!

 

More Pests Questions

Are fuzzy oak leaf galls harmful to post oak trees?
October 19, 2012 - Are the fuzzy balls on the undersides of our post oak trees harmful?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating wood roaches from hardwood mulch from San Antonio TX
February 05, 2013 - How can I eliminate the numerous wood roaches in my hardwood mulch that I get for free from the city of San Antonio?
view the full question and answer

Defenses against imported red leaf beetles on lilies
August 06, 2007 - I've recently discovered small red beetles of some kind on my lilies, which they are happily devouring. I've been picking them off with my fingers and squashing them, but I'd like a better alterna...
view the full question and answer

Asclepias with whitish discoloration
May 26, 2008 - I have red/scarlett milkweed planted in my yard. The leaves have a whitish discoloration on the top of some of the leaves and it is spreading. What is it? What do I do about it?
view the full question and answer

Fungus Spots on Native Bush Honeysuckle
December 03, 2010 - My native bush honeysuckle plants that I have along my back fence have leaves that are turning yellow with spots. It appears to be a type of fungus, but not powdery mildew. Any suggestions as to what ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center