Pike Nurseries answers your gardening questions – MyFox Atlanta




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The folks from Pike Nurseries answered some gardening questions submitted by our Good Day Atlanta viewers!

If you have a question about taking care of your lawn, garden, or shrubbery, send it to [email protected] and it just might be answered on Good Day Atlanta next Friday!

Website: www.pikenursery.com  

Question 1

This past weekend, mygardener quit due to a large volume of bees and wasps. I believe after beingstung too many times because of a hidden nest, he has had enough. It seems thatmy house has become popular for these two insect types. I have knocked downthree nests in June however the yard continues to have bees and wasps hoveringaround. Do you think it might be helpful if I had the house powered washed? Ithink in doing this would also help rid of the increase of spiders and bugspopulating now that summer is here along with rid of hidden bees/wasps nest.But it might cure the bees/wasps that over within the grass and the crack ofthe wood upstairs patio. Any suggestions would be great.

Answer 1

Of all insect species, the honey bee is perhapsthe most beneficial. There is, of course, honey: about 200 million pounds of itis produced commercially each year. But the honey bee makes its greatestcontribution by pollinating plants. More than one half of all fruit andvegetable crops are pollinated by honey bees. Wasps contribute by preying onmany pest insects harmful to crops. Without bees and wasps, our menu would bevery limited.

Unfortunately, bees and wasps also can be athreat to human comfort and health. 

The most common bees and wasps in our part of theworld are:  Bumble bees, Carpenter bees, Honey bees, Paper wasps, Hornets,Yellow jackets and Mud daubers.  Almostall of these insects sting to defend their territory. When threatened, yellowjackets can sting repeatedly, while others, like honey bees, sting once andlose their stingers. As a general rule, beesand their larvae feed on pollen and nectar. Wasps feed on  meats, someinsects and sweets, such as fruit. 

CONTROLS: 

Itmight be a good idea to pressure wash your house toget rid of the spiders and bugs.  Waspsfeed on bugs.  They especially likespiders and often take them to their nests for their larva to feed on.

Basically,the key to bee and wasp control is getting rid of their nests.  This should be done by a pestcontrol expert if the nest is located in a difficult place to reach, such ascrawlspaces, attics, or inside walls.  If the nest is located in an openarea, removing it from a structure should only be done at night, the time whenthe wasps are the least active. You can use a long stick or pole to knock downthe nest.  This should encourage thewasps to look for another nesting site. 

You can also apply chemicals to the nests atnight, like dust or wettable powder insecticides.  If you choose to use chemicals, have anaerosol spray on hand to knock down any wasps/bees that may come afteryou.  As always, make sure you takeprecautions.  Read and follow all of themanufacturer’s instructions on the product. If you need light to see at night,make sure your flashlight or other lighting device is covered with a red lensor red cellophane.  Bees and wasps cannotsee red light.

PREVENTION: 

Keepattractants under wraps: Keep any items that may attract bees and wasps in closedcontainers.  This includes all types offood, especially sweets and meats.  Evenfood designated for the trash should be securely enclosed in a trash can.

Sealyour house:  Makesure that your house is as sealed as can be, including the following: Using acaulking gun, seal all porous openings to your house, such as foundation cracksand window and wall crevices – particularly the crevices surrounding theutility lines that enter your house. Make sure that all vents and flashing are properly secured, that thesidings and eaves of your house are properly enclosed, and if necessary, yourfireplace chimney is properly secured with a cap.

Woodmaintenance:  Keepplants and tree branches trimmed enough so that they do not make contact withthe house.  If you store wood outside, be sure to keep the wood off theground by laying it over bricks.  Thebricks should be the only objects touching the ground, not the wood itself.Also, put a weather-resistant tarp over the entire pile of wood.

Personal protection:  Don’twear bright colors, like yellow and orange, or clothing with a flowerpattern.  Do not wear perfume, cologne orafter shave.  Also, be very cautious incarrying foods and drinks that may be particularly appetizing to bees andwasps, such as sweet tea or soda.

Question 2

I have a pecan treethat has a lot of small circular sacs on the leaves. What are they and willthe pecans be safe to eat?

Answer 2

It sounds like you may have leaf gall. Galls are bumpsor other odd-looking growths that occur on the stems, branches and leaves ofplants. They form as a reaction to irritation caused by insects, mites andother organisms, usually from the insect laying eggs on the plant. The plantgrows over the irritation, causing the growth. Each type of insect causes auniquely-shaped growth. Most of the time, they’re not harmful, but to be on thesafe side, you can take a few leaf samples to your neighborhood Pike Nurseriesstore. The certified plant professionals can verify the problem and recommend atreatment plan if necessary.

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