With their distinctive black and yellow stripes and tendency to hang out in groups, wasps receive attention no matter the time of year. As the weather warms up and spring progresses, you may notice more wasp activity in your yard or around your house.
By now, you’ve probably read headlines about the Asian giant hornets (aka “murder hornets”) that were spotted in Washington state and across the border in Canada. It is important to note that Asian giant hornets have only been confirmed in a small area of Washington and Canada. These wasps have not been observed in South Dakota or our neighboring states.
The arrival of spring in South Dakota means warmer weather and more outdoor activities. However, it also brings an increase in tick activity.
This spring, there have been multiple reports of people seeing large fly-like insects in their yards. These insects are sawflies, and all reports thus far have been the elm sawfly (Cimbex americana).
Alfalfa weevil populations are high this year, creating challenges for producers. Questions have arisen on how to get some value out of the forage by grazing it rather than putting it up for hay.
While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.
In this lesson, participants will learn how plants reproduce and how to identify pollinators that help plants.
Another insect that has been mistaken for the Asian giant hornet (also known by its media-popularized name of ‘murder hornet’) is the horntail wasp. Horntail wasps are wood-boring insects that are harmless to humans, as they do not have venom and cannot sting.
Although it may seem like mosquitos won’t be an issue this year due to drought conditions, it is important to remember that they don’t require large bodies of water to reproduce. Mosquitos can utilize standing bodies of water, small puddles or even stagnant water in containers or old tires.