Are you concerned about the yellow and black-looking insects that are flying around your home? Or have you been stung by such wasps? Or did you see the colony of ground nesting yellow jackets in your yard or property?

A yellow jacket nesting on the leaf

Before you decide to control or handle them manually, let us learn about these yellow jackets and the right way to get rid of them.

What are yellow jackets?

A yellow jacket is a social wasp. These yellow jackets are included in the wasp species from the genera Vespula and Dolichovespula. The difference between Vespula and Dolichovespula as social wasps is that Vespula species have a shorter oculomotor space and nest underground.

The yellow and black patterns distinguish Yellowjackets from other insects. They build nests underground or between the walls, under eaves, and hollow logs. The nests contain the queen, working females, and males.

The queen starts the nests that gradually grow and host 4,000 to 5,000 yellowjackets by late summer. The yellow jacket wasp has a stinger at the rear.

Are ground bees the same as yellow jackets?

Confusion often arises among the general population when distinguishing between ground-nesting bees and yellow jackets that nest underground. To your knowledge, they are very distinct and different. First and foremost, while jackets are like social wasps, most of the ground-nesting bee species are solitary bees. They do not live in a colony.

Female ground bees dig their nests in the soil. There is no community and queen present. The best thing about these bees is that they are not aggressive. But yellow jackets are a matter of concern.

Where do you find yellow jacket nests?

Similar to paper wasps nest, yellow jackets construct their nests using a material resembling paper pulp. They create this pulp by chewing wood fiber with their saliva. Usually, the common areas to see a nest are a yard, the eaves of your home, and hollow trees. They start their nest in the spring and abandon it by winter.

A yellow jacket nest

If you find rodent burrows in your yard, a colony of aggressive stinging insects may be underneath. So tt is better to contact professional service providers before taking any manual steps to control them.

What animal digs up yellow jacket nests?

Many mammals enjoy feeding on insects. Raccoons, skunks, wolverines, and bears are common animals that search and dig up their nests. They sniff for the nests at night and eat the jackets.

How do you recognize yellow jackets?

People often confuse these yellow jackets nesting on the ground with bees or mud daubers. It is due to similar color patterns.

Yellow jackets are larger than common bees. They have black and yellow patterns on the abdomen. Specifically, the worker in yellow jackets nests is about half an inch long, while the queen is larger, about 0.75 inches long in size.

What do the yellow jackets feed?

Adult jackets feed on items rich in carbohydrates and sugar. Their natural sources of food are fruits, flower nectar, and tree sap. However, in modern times, yellowjacket also collects food from human sources like soft drinks, garbage bins, and picnic parties.

Garbage bins where yellow jackets feed on

The yellow jacket larvae feed on protein. Likewise, the female workers forage in daylight for food. They hunt down insects and other pests to collect protein. Then, they search for meat from human occupations. They chew these meats before serving the workers and larvae in the colony.

What role does weather play in the lifestyle of yellow jackets?

Weather plays a crucial role in the life cycle of yellow jackets. They generally live one season a year. Summer is the best season for these insects to grow their colony. By late summer, they produce new queens for next year. In the fall, all the workers and males, along with the queens, abandon the nests and fly away.

During fall, people also experience an increased yellowjacket and human interaction. It is due to a lack of natural food sources.

In winter, these wasps cannot withstand cold and die. The workers and males die out of the continuous cold weather. However, the queens can hibernate in the winter. After overwintering, the queens restart the nest all from scratch next spring and summer. This cycle takes place every year.

What attracts yellow jackets to humans?

Yellow jackets forage not more than 1,000 feet from their nests. Yellow jackets are attracted to flowers in and around your garden, sweet drinks in your backyard party, ice creams, barbeques, and other meat items.

Other attractants, like flower-patterned clothes, sweet-smelling perfumes, sweet-smelling lotions, and other sweet-smelling skincare products.

Why are yellow jackets aggressive?

Yellow jackets are one of the most aggressive wasps. They attack if threatened. Plus, they attack in mass numbers. And when stung, their venom can cause intense pain and allergic reactions.

Specifically, when yellow jackets sting you, they may release some chemical on your skin that marks you as the enemy. Other nearby jackets get the signal and will rush toward and sting you. Yellow jackets chase down their enemy and even overtake obstacles. Jumping into the water may sound like a good idea, but they will wait above the water longer than you can hold your breath.

What can trigger a yellow jacket attack?

Yellow jackets build their nest underground. So stepping near their nests can cause vibration. It can alert them to defend their nests from damage resulting in an attack. The yellowjacket wasps sting to defend their nests.

Mowing or trimming in the yard can trigger yellow jacket attack

Be careful while mowing or trimming in the yard. Vibrations caused by these activities can again hint at the presence of an enemy. And this may result in hundreds and thousands of yellow jackets attacking and chasing you.

Wearing flower-patterned clothes may lead to confusion about yellow jackets. They can confuse you for flowers. But when you try to get rid of them, they may get threatened. In such a situation, they will attack you in defense. If stung by a group of yellowjackets, one needs immediate medical care.

How painful is a yellow jacket sting?

Yellow jacket stings can be a painful experience. The stinger does not fall off when it stings. Hence they sting and can sting you multiple times. Their sting can be dangerous because, apart from pain, the sting can cause allergic reactions. A group attack can include hundreds of stings. People who are allergic to insect stings should take extra precautions.

What do you do when yellow jackets attack you?

When a yellow jacket attacks you, the first thing to do is not panic. If you punch or hit the jacket, it will release a chemical asking for help from nearby mates. It can bring you a nightmare. Instead, slowly remove it from your skin without any harm.

The second thing one should do is, run away. Run from the place as more jackets may be on their way to you. It is because more of these stinging insects are coming. The next thing that most people should do will be to seek medical help depending on the sting effects.

Should I get rid of yellow jackets?

If you see yellow jackets that are nesting on the ground of your yard, you should examine them for the presence of nests. If the nest is far from your home entrance, you can remain worry-free. You can consider them helpful to control various insect populations. However, reduce their food sources, like meat and fruits, near your home to prevent any possible encounter. Homes with kids and pets should remove the nest to prevent stings.

Yellow jackets on an apple

How do you prevent attacks by yellow jackets?

Preventing a yellow jacket attack is essential because it can be fatal sometimes.

Some of the preventive measures to reduce the risks of attack are as follows:

  • Do not go near the nest hole or entrance.
  • Do not trim or use the lawn near the hole. Maintain a very safe distance.
  • Do not keep doors and windows open.
  • Seal any hole or crack that can serve as an entrance to your home.
  • Do not wear flower-pattern clothes.
  • Seal-pack garbage bins.
  • Reduce outdoor cooking activities.
  • Do not use sweet perfumes.
  • Keep food items covered inside the home.
  • Keep children and pets away from the nests.

If you have found yellow jackets in busy areas, they carry a threat to nearby people. Hence, it is essential to get rid of the yellow jackets with professional help.

Should I kill a yellow jacket nest?

If the yellow jacket nest is in a place that is very much untouched, killing the nest is not necessary. It is because the nest will eventually disappear in the winter. They are not considered a pest. Also, they help in pollination. They are even good at controlling the population of other pests around your home.

These insects rely on the weather for survival. Summer is often the best weather for them, but they can not withstand the cold weather of winter.

Yellow jackets during winter time

How do you get rid of yellow jackets in the ground?

Have you found many yellow jackets flying around your home or nesting on the ground? It hints at the presence of a yellow jacket nest in your property. One common option to get rid of these wasps is to trap them. There are many commercially available traps that you can use. You can also make traps at home with a DIY guide. One such pest trap is an inverted glass bottle hung with jam or meat at the bottom.

If you are thinking of removing the nest, the first step will be locating the nest in the ground. Look for insects flying in and out of holes in the ground. Once you find the shelter areas, contact a pest control service professional.

You should not remove them yourself because it is a dangerous activity. Contact professionals, as they are equipped and trained to handle these dangerous wasps. They can take care of your pest problems without any possible harm to you and your family. An all-rights reserved pest control company, A.N.T. PEST CONTROL NEW LENOX, can keep away yellow jackets from your property at your ease and convenience.

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