Yellow Jackets

Actual Size and Characteristics: This is the common name for social, predatory wasps. Coloration can vary from black, to red or yellow, with different patterns of stripes. Most are black and yellow, and quite small.

Behavior:

  • Yellow jackets are among the smallest of wasps, and also among the most aggressive.
  • They are either ground nesters, or aerial nesters.
  • They can also be found in attics, crawlspaces, and other unused cavities.
Category:

Pest Description

Yellow Jacket Description

Yellow jackets are known for being aggressive attackers, and will vigorously defend their nest and any food sources they have found. The lifecycle of a nest begins with a fertilized female, who hibernates over the winter. Typically she is the only one who survives the cold. After emerging in the spring, the queen will start a new colony, laying and raising the first batch of eggs. After these workers have hatched, they will take over the roles of feeding and tending the eggs, as well as expanding the hive. Late summer is the time when yellow jackets typically cause the most problems. The colony has grown bigger, and population might be outpacing the food supply. In response to this food shortage, yellow jackets forage for fruits, sweet substances, and decaying matter. They can be found around garbage cans, overripe fruit, and around picnics. Perfume and bright clothing can also attract yellow jackets, because they think it’s food.

Problems Caused by Yellow Jackets

Although they are considered beneficial insects because they pollinate and predate on other harmful insects, yellow jackets can still be a serious problem for humans and animals. The stings are very painful, and people who are allergic to the bee, wasp, and hornet stings need to take special precautions to avoid being stung. If you are allergic or sensitive to stings in general, it’s always best to call a professional when a nest of yellow jackets is discovered.

Yellow jackets also have a tendency to nest within walls. If an infestation is suspected, and flight patterns suggest the nest is within the walls, a pest control expert absolutely needs to be consulted.

Preventing, Controlling, and Eliminating Yellow Jackets

Routine inspection of outdoor areas can be vital in preventing a yellow jacket infestation. Garbage areas should be properly controlled, with all containers tightly sealed. Elimination of any fruit juice, rotting food, or other acceptable food sources for these yellow jackets should be completed as well.

If there is an existing nest near a human-inhabited area, do not attempt to remove it. Yellow jackets will attack any perceived threat to their hive. Because they can sting repeatedly, they pose much more of a danger than a simple honey bee. Calling a pest control professional is critical, as they have the necessary training to remove the nest safely. At Pest Control Inc., our comprehensive stinging insect service always includes inspection, treatment, and followup, and we will work with you to ensure the yellow jacket infestation is permanently resolved.