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The MPRB Wants You to Know: Summer is Sand Wasp Season!

Via a July 27 e-newsletter form the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

Summer means warms days, sunshine and sand wasps. This is the time of year when some park users may see sand wasps swarm and burrow into the sand in tot lots, playgrounds and other Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) properties where sand is present.

Unlike yellow jackets and other types of wasps, sand wasps are not aggressive. While female sand wasps are capable of stinging, they will only do so to defend themselves. Male sand wasps can aggressively guard a territory and will challenge other males (even people) but they lack a stinger cannot harm humans.

Photo Courtesy of the UofM Bee LabSand wasps are small, typically close to 1/2 inch in length and are typically black and yellow. Sand wasps nest individually in burrows but often nest in one small area.

Removing sand wasp nests with pesticides would close the affected area for an extended period and then likely leave trace amounts of pesticides in the sand. Since sand wasps are typically not aggressive, MPRB staff most often recommend leaving them alone until the nesting time is over and they die naturally.

(Note: sightings of other stinging wasps that pose a threat can be reported to Customer Service at 612-230-6400. After verification, MPRB staff may use natural methods to encourage wasps to abandon the nest.)

In addition to sand wasps, other bees and bee hives may be found in the parks. Please be alert and avoid those areas as much as possible. For more information about bees, please visit the University of Minnesota Bee Lab website

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