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Yellow Jacket Identification & Prevention

Frequently Asked Questions About Yellow Jackets

What are yellow jackets?

Yellow jackets are wasps that scavenge for food and live in large social colonies, much like those of bees. Yellow jackets have a breeding queen, female workers, and a small minority male population. The workers take care of the young, forage for food, and defend the nest. They take that last job very seriously, which is why yellow jackets are one of the most aggressive wasp varieties you can wind up with on your College Station or Bryan property.

Yellow jacket wasp on her nest

Are stinging insects dangerous?

Yellow jackets have the potential to be dangerous because of the aggressive way they defend their nests. Like hornets, these social wasps sometimes mount violent attacks against anything they perceive as a threat. Unlike bees, yellow jackets can sting as many times as they want, and they don't have any qualms about stinging as many times as it takes to eliminate any perceived threat.

Since they nest both in the ground and in aerial nests, it is easy to come into contact with them, especially while you are doing yard work. Yellow jacket stings are not particularly dangerous in small numbers, but if you have an allergy to insect venom or wind up with an inordinate number of stings, it could cause medical issues.

Why do I have a yellow jacket problem?

Yellow jackets are highly opportunistic, which means if your property has any opportunity for food or nesting sites, they will take advantage of it. Common yellow jacket attractants include things they can scavenge, like uncovered garbage or picnic leftovers left unattended. They may also be attracted to your yard if it has lots of holes in the ground or hollowed-out trees.

Where will I find yellow jackets?

Yellow jackets like to nest in existing holes and hollows. Some yellow jackets will build aerial nests that look much like hornet nests, but many yellow jacket varieties prefer to simply set up shop in any hole they find that is of adequate size. This means if you have unattended gopher holes or dead trees or anything else with good-sized hollows in your yard, yellow jackets might just put their homes there, especially if you have things like garbage or fruit trees around for them to eat.

How do I get rid of yellow jackets?

You have to be particularly careful when you are trying to get rid of yellow jackets. Any attempt by you to eradicate a yellow jacket nest from your property could result in an aggressive defensive attack that could leave you with dozens or even hundreds of stings. A few yellow jacket stings might not be a big deal, but hundreds could land you in the emergency room.

This is why it's best to leave the home pest control and commercial pest control to the professionals. Here at Swoboda Pest & Termite Control, we have the proper safety equipment and tools necessary to eliminate entire yellow jacket colonies without putting ourselves or anyone else on the property at risk. So don't run afoul of yellow jackets while you're trying to get rid of them. Just call us instead.

How can I prevent yellow jackets in the future?

Preventing a scavenging social wasp infestation like yellow jackets comes down to eliminating attractants. To do this:

  • Harvest fruits or veggies from your garden as soon as they are ripe.
  • Keep all trash on your property covered with tight lids at all times.
  • Never leave sweets or other food items sitting outside unattended (this includes pet foods).
  • Fill hollows and voids that yellow jackets could use as nests, such as holes in the ground.
  • Eliminate other sources of sugar water, such as hummingbird feeders.

Taking these measures can go a long way towards encouraging yellow jackets to move on to greener pastures, but if you wind up with an infestation, don't put yourself in danger trying to deal with it alone. Call the experts here at Swoboda Pest & Termite Control.

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