yellow jacket on top of a soda can

You’re up by the clubhouse at your favorite golf course trying enjoy a nice cold soda after a great round, when suddenly you start to notice a lot of buzzing coming from a nearby trash can.  You look over to see several yellow and black insects flying around the garbage.  They must spot you too, because soon enough they are buzzing around your soda.  At first you try to be cool and pretend the little buggers don’t bother (or scare) you, but not wanting to get stung, you eventually give up, toss your beverage in the trash and walk away.

Sound familiar?  It is for many.  In the late summer yellow jackets commonly found around garbage cans, although a few bees may be present, yellow jackets are the most prevalent.  Yellow jackets are attracted to sugars and proteins.  Residue from soda pop, beer, sports drinks, sandwiches, hotdogs, and fruit accumulate in garbage cans.  Once the yellow jacket finds a food source it will tell all of its nest buddies and soon the trash can will be swarming with stinging pests.

What can a golf course manager or business do to decrease the yellow jacket population and keep patrons safe?

  • Spraying heavy pesticides is not the answer.  Yellow jackets are the safety concern, not bees.  It’s important to protect the bees as they pollinate plants, many plants that make our golf courses beautiful.
  • In the late summer it’s a good idea to remind golfers to be aware of yellow jackets.
  • Good sanitation practices are one of the best preventative measures on a golf course.  Using plastic trash can liners and removing trash from container daily will help.  Also wash garbage cans regularly to remove residue from food and drinks.
  • Consider using garbage cans with self-closing lids.
  • In late summer, during times of high yellow jacket activity, relocate trash cans away from places where people congregate.  Trash cans placed on the tees put golfers close to yellow jackets, and thus closer to danger.  Placing the garbage can somewhere between the tee and the next green can potentially limit contact between golfers and yellow jackets.
  • Consider placing dumpsters and garbage cans further away from the clubhouse where there is less potential for people and yellow jackets to encounter one another.
  • To reduce yellow jacket populations and prevent accidental encounters, eliminate all yellow jacket nests on the golf course where contact with golfers is likely.   Contacting a pest professional to find and eradicate nests and formulate an effective yellow jacket control plan may be the most practical solution.

Have a yellow jacket problem?  Want to protect your customers and your business?  Earth Guard Pest Services can assist you by identifying the problem bugs, assessing the best way to eliminate them, and help you decide upon the right combination of pest control services for your business.

For a free pest assessment and estimate from our licensed, bonded and certified pest control professionals, contact Earth Guard Pest Services, (916) 457-7605