Wasps, yellowjackets keep exterminators busy
Updated at 9:15 a.m. on Friday, August 19
An influx of insects is keeping exterminators busy this summer.
“The volume is incredible,” said Randy Beuter, owner of Eagle Pest Control. “During the peak of the season we were probably getting 60 phone calls a day.”
Palmer resident Gary Jones went out to mow the lawn and found there were more than just bees buzzing around his backyard. High in the tree, a massive wasps’ nest the size of a basketball.
“At the risk of getting stung I Googled bee hive removal and thought no, I’ll leave this to a professional,” said Jones.
Beuter said wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets are a problem all over the state. This year alone he’s taken down more hives on the Kenai Peninsula than he has in the past 10 years combined.
“We had a mild winter. The queens were not killed off by the winter frost and deep freeze that usually kills a good percentage of them,” Beuter explained. “I think, probably, 100 percent of the queens survived and that led to the population we’ve seen this year.”
If you’re trying to tackle the hives yourself, Beuter advises you to be careful and have good protective gear.
“We had some gentleman call us and he said his hand got stung seven times and his hand was swollen up incredibly,” he said.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article mentioned exterminators getting rid of bees. Exterminators say they focus more on the aggressive stinging insects, like wasps. Beuter said most honey bees and bumblebees are “mellow,” and will likely leave people alone.