Bug Bytes Vol. 6 Issue 12

Posted By: Lydia Crabtree Bug Bytes, Community, Industry News,

View this email in your browser
August 25, 2023 |  Vol. 6 Issue 12

Meet Them!

I am pleased to extend my warmest congratulations to the newly elected Region Directors and Vice Region Directors for the upcoming year. Your dedication and commitment to the organization are truly commendable.

As a reminder, I'd like to highlight the term durations for the Region Directors based on the even and odd-numbered regions. Even-numbered region directors will serve a one-year term, while odd-numbered region directors are required to serve a two-year term in accordance with our bylaws. This aligns with the rule that elections for odd-numbered regions take place in odd years, and elections for even-numbered regions are held in even years.

I am excited to share that in the month of September, we will be introducing a fantastic opportunity for all regions. We are planning to host in-person region CEUs and meetings each month. The specifics regarding the locations of these gatherings will be determined by the respective Region Directors. You can expect to find this information published in the CEU update emails that we will be sending out.

We are currently working on ironing out the finer details, and more comprehensive information regarding these meetings will be made available very soon. This initiative reflects our commitment to providing valuable networking and educational experiences for all our members.

Once again, my heartfelt congratulations go out to the recently elected leaders. Your roles are integral to the continued success of our organization, and I have every confidence that you will thrive in your new positions.

Best regards,

Kelly McLendon Executive Director, GPCA

Lee Tubbs, Environguard
Region 1 Director

Roger Lemaster, Cooks Pest Control
Region 1 Vice-Director

Josh Lewis, Northeast Georgia Exterminating
Region 2 Director

Matthew Chambers, Allied Exterminators
Region 2 Vice-Director

Alyson Gilleland, Arrow Exterminators
Region 3 Director

Dwayne Lee, A&A Termite & Pest
Region 3 Vice-Director

Thomas Anderson, The Green Queen
Region 4 Director

Johnny Jury, Jury Pest
Region 5 Director

Brantley Russell, Jury Pest
Region 5 Vice-Director

Wyatt West, Arrow Exterminators
Region 6 Director

Ryan Andrews, Active Pest Control
Region 6 Vice-Director

Brian Baird, Baird's Pest
Region 7 Director

Chris Watring, Orkin
Region 7 Vice-Director

Discovery of Yellow-Legged Hornet Confirmed in Georgia for the First Time

Atlanta, GA - Today, The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) announced, in coordination with USDA and the University of Georgia, confirmation of the detection of a living yellow-legged hornet in Georgia for the first time. This is the first detection of a live yellow-legged hornet in the open United States. GDA is asking the public to report any sightings of the yellow-legged hornet, a non-native hornet species, that, if allowed to establish in Georgia, could potentially threaten honey production, native pollinators, and our state’s number one industry - agriculture.

Earlier this month, a beekeeper in Savannah, GA, found an unusual hornet on his property and reported it to the GDA. On August 9, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the University of Georgia’s (UGA) identification of this insect as a yellow-legged hornet (YLH; Vespa velutina). 

"Georgians play an important role helping GDA identify unwanted, non-native pests, and I want to thank the beekeeper who reported his sighting to us, as well as our partners at the University of Georgia and USDA’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service for working swiftly to confirm its identity," said Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper. "Our experienced team of professionals will continue to assess the situation and are working directly with USDA APHIS and UGA to trap, track, and eradicate the yellow-legged Hornet in Georgia. "

The yellow-legged hornet is a social wasp species that constructs egg-shaped paper nests above ground, often in trees. These nests can become large, housing an average of 6,000 workers. The yellow-legged hornet is native to tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia. It is also established in most of Europe, parts of the Middle East, and parts of Asia where it isn’t native.

The GDA has a team of experienced scientists in their Pest Program, and we are actively collaborating with USDA and academic experts. Together, we are developing an operational plan to trap, track, and eradicate the yellow-legged hornet in Georgia. The plan will begin with trapping, and APHIS and GDA will set out traps and survey for this pest to determine if additional yellow-legged hornets are in the area. If a colony is discovered through reporting, trapping, or tracking, the colony will be eradicated. APHIS is providing technical expertise, technology, and outreach support as well as analyzing the hornet’s DNA to determine if it is related to European populations of this species. 


“The foundation of this response is the strong relationship USDA has developed with the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the University of Georgia over many years,” said Dr. Mark Davidson, Deputy Administrator of APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine Program. “Our partnership is already paying off as our teams come together to apply the science and technology in our response planning. The public can also play a critical role by reporting potential sightings of the hornet to help eradicate this pest.”

The GDA and APHIS will continue to provide public outreach and education about the hornets and encourage the public to document and report hornet sightings. However, yellow-legged hornets can be dangerous, and we encourage everyone to use caution in the event of a sighting.

GDA’s website has been updated with additional information regarding the yellow-legged hornet and an easily accessible form to report potential sightings. This information is prominently displayed on the homepage of the website. Georgians with additional questions or concerns are encouraged to email us at yellow.legged.hornet@agr.georgia.gov.

Here is what to include with your report, if possible:  

  • Your name and contact information.
  • The location of the sighting.
  • Date of sighting.
  • If you can, safely take photograph(s) of the hornet (we generally can only confirm a report with a photo or specimen).
  • Location and approximate height of the nest if found (Is it in a tree? Approximately how high is the nest?).
  • If you have no photo, please include a description of the size of the insect, the color of the head and body, and what it was doing.
  • Description of the hive loss/damage (if no photo is available). 
  • The direction the hornet(s) flew when flying away.

Please note: There are many domestic lookalikes that are native to the United States and do not pose a threat to honeybees. Many of them are valuable pollinators. USDA has a photo gallery of lookalikes. To get to the gallery, go to www.aphis.usda.gov, and search for “yellow-legged hornet.”

If you believe you saw a yellow-legged hornet in another state or province, please report it to the Department of Agriculture for that state or province.

Report A Yellow Legged Hornet

Better Together!

Registration Open!!

If you would like to optimize your time at the North Georgia Conference in Dalton, GA, in September 2023, you should definitely also register for the Wildlife Workshop for 4 hours HPC and 1-hour WDO with a bonus class on Coyoty control.

This well-received event is being held at the same location as the North Georgia Conference, just 1 day before. This turns the potential CEUs you could earn from 6 HPC to 10  HPC and 6 WDO to 7 WDO. 

Registration Open!!

You are now able to register for the North Georgia Conference in Dalton, GA from 9/13/2023 to 9/14/2023 in Macon Georgia. Located at the Dalton Convention Center; 2211 Tony Ingle Parkway; Dalton, GA  30720-3809. 

Call 706-217-6200 for GA Pest Control


Need to find a new employee, GPCA has a deal for you. We will post your job on our JOBS Board for thirty days for FREE, if you are a GPCA Member! What are you waiting for? Go find that new technician today!


<----  New Monthly Feature. All Meeting Minutes will now reside on the GPCA Website. 
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.