Wasps eating live plants

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by antonius, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. antonius

    antonius Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2017
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Climate:
    mild wet winters and summers
    Last year i planted out some tagetes filafolia -mexican mint-i had germinated from seed -and it grew along very well, got to 6 foot high but our climate is too bad for these to get to the flowering stage which is around october---maybe in a tunnel---now i thought that these are insect repellant species and that wasps are more of an insect eating species--yes they eat wood to make hives --but dead stuff is what i have observed. Then several of my well grown mexican mint plants started to loose their tops --almost overnight --chewn off . Then others started to lean over from the base , i blamed slugs ,then birds , then i found the culprits ---wasps were eating away at the living stems down to the pithy center, then move up a bit and carry on , a relay team of them seemed to be at work. Three out of twenty survived long enough to get a few small plastic tubs of leaves harvested , and only because i put out some jamjar beer traps around them placed in a car tire. wasp in the picture is in the middle--bit hard to spot. org garden 090.JPG
     
  2. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    83
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Arkansas Senior Appraiser
    Location:
    Vilonia, Arkansas, deep in the woods
    Climate:
    USDA zone 7b,8a.
    they are harvesting the sap instead of harvesting nectar like a bee or wasp would normally do.

    The wasp in the photo looks a lot like our Yellow Jackets, which will harvest sap as an energy source.
     
  3. antonius

    antonius Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2017
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Climate:
    mild wet winters and summers
    yes these are a yellow jacket --but they weren t just at the sap --they chewed the outer layer of the stems away till they fell over--almost like ring barking the whole plant stem --its just one of reasons to plant this was to repel some of the grubs that eat spuds--sorry but i just realized i have named this as tagetes filafolia --i did plant those out as well but they were not bothered at all --well except by myself and the kids as we plundered the plants bare of its liquorish leaves--the wasps were at the tagetes minuta --mexican mint --huacatay.
     
  4. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    607
    Likes Received:
    83
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Arkansas Senior Appraiser
    Location:
    Vilonia, Arkansas, deep in the woods
    Climate:
    USDA zone 7b,8a.
    Yellow Jackets will chew the woody mint plants into pulp and use it for their nest, when they find a good sap source, they have also found perfect fibers for their nests. Mexican mint seems to be one of their favorite things, ours had the same thing happen but non of the other mints were touched this or last year. We are turning to growing Mexican mint indoors next year.
     
  5. antonius

    antonius Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2017
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Climate:
    mild wet winters and summers
    Well that settles it , been putting off getting all mean on them , even though they have been a problem every summer --i have let them be thinking or led to believe that they were hunting down insects in the veg patch----and i put up with them whilest putting up my timber frame manshed--they buzzed and stung me often--up on a scaffold its like being king kong and the planes are coming in--summer time was lumps and bumps on head neck and arms as i took a couple of hits a week---some worry at first as i am supposed to be allergic to bee sting---found a use for the invasive field bindweed -- handfull of crushed leaves rolled up in the hands to a mush and rub into the stings relieves and reduces them--read about it being used in the past. So beer trap time next summer and get some guinea fowl in --if it doesnt work --i get to sip some beer and eat fowl braised in beer. No tunnel yet so i will have to sow out a lot more to maybe get more than a handfull of huacatay next year, cheers tony
     
  6. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    gardening, reading, etc
    Location:
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    all very interesting to me as i'm sure we've grown that type of mint here
    (among others) and have plenty of wasps/hornets/yellow jackets around
    and i've never noticed them targetting that particular plant.

    my only way to control the bees is to go around and knock the nests
    down from the eves of the house (and around the windows) [ in the
    morning when it is cool ] where they like to try to start nests. the rest of
    the property they can nest all they want. the control for them in the wild
    around here are the raccoons and possums which will go around and
    find their nests in the night.
     
  7. antonius

    antonius Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2017
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Climate:
    mild wet winters and summers
    Been out catching a few wasps of the type we have round here ,and they are wasps ---not the yellow jacket--these wasps have the straight bands of yellow and black --tried to get a pic of them but my shots are to blurred to see up close ,will have to try the wifes i phone for this---looking at some other info its become a common problem with wasps attacking sunflowers and toppling them by chewing away the base of stems ---so its not just a once off --they have just learnt a new plant is available to them
     
  8. Pop Alexandra

    Pop Alexandra New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    Temperate
    Yellow jacket all the way. It's normal behavior.
     

Share This Page

-->