Yellow Jackets: Understanding this Common Pest

Yellow jacket a stinging pest

Yellow jacket a stinging pest

No matter where you live you are probably familiar with, and sure to avoid, the myriads of different stinging insects out there. Yellow jackets are especially common with over 16 different species living in the United States alone; and the fall season, even though it’s cooler, is still a very active period for these flying, stinging pests.

Behavior Patterns

Compared to other similar insects like wasps and hornets and despite having similar physical characteristics, Yellow jackets are particularly unique in some of their behavior patterns. In order to handle a potential infestation without a trip to the hospital, it is important to understand the differences in aggression and habitual behavior between Yellow jackets and the many other stinging insects.

Like others of its kind, Yellow jackets are a social creature and live within the bounds of a colony and hive. Only active throughout the summer and fall months, Yellow jackets will die off in the winter leaving only the queen to hibernate and start anew in the spring. Hives are usually constructed subterraneously or hung from some sort of appendage and are instantly recognizable by their<a href=”http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/baldfaced-hornet”>grey papery </a> appearance. Trees, gutters, and underneath the eaves of houses are very popular spots for wasp hives.

What They Eat

Yellowjackets are attracted to and eat fructose based substances typically found in plant nectar, but will raid most anything that has sugar in it. However, despite what we know about  pests like these, wasps in hives actually depend on more than just glucose and sucrose.  In the larva stage Yellow jackets require a great deal of protein, which they often get by ingesting other bugs and the likes.

Avoiding Injury from These Pests

Although wasps are less reactive and therefore less likely to sting, they are extremely territorial. If you come near the hive you’re probably going to be attacked by a swarm. And unlike other stinging pests, Yellow jackets don’t lose their stinger after the first attack, so they can plunge over and over again causing extreme pain and swelling. Many people are  allergic to Yellow jacket venom and if stung can end up in anaphylactic shock. People who are sensitive to the venom can very easily become oversensitizedand react even more severely the next time they are stung.

Yellow jacket Pest Control Tips

Due to the dangers of a Yellow jacket sting, it is imperative that you utilize the help of a professional when attempting to eliminate the pest if you are not confident you can handle the situation.  Exterminators avoid severe health risks by using highly specialized equipment to remove and destroy the hive. There are also many pest control companies that offer organic treatments, which protect nearby gardens or other delicate vegetation.  Instances where the hive you wish to eradicate is near plants you wish to protect require the use of safe but also effective methods  to control the problematic Yellow jackets and their hive.

 Don Kuperhand, Director of Technology at Organic Pest Control NYC notes that “When you’re dealing with a garden, an active outdoor space that may have kids or pets running around and pests, it’s important to put safety first by using organic pest control methods, whether it be green products, biological control methods (bringing in natural predators of the pests you’re dealing with) or organic agents (such as diatomaceous earth). You don’t want to have any hazardous chemicals near your garden, your pets or kids. There is a fine line to accomplish the harmony of all of these things, but if done right you can control the problematic pests, while keeping everyone safe.”

If you have pets running around your yard,  make sure that they remain safe from Yellow jackets and don’t get stung. To manage any Yellow jackets, while keeping your pets safe,  look into pet-friendly pest control methods  you can use outdoors to effectively treat the problem  while keeping things safe for your furry family members.

Although you may be able to handle a Yellow jacket’s nest on your own, nothing is a substitute for the safety and general know how that a professional pest control company will provide. If you believe you have a Yellow Jacket’s nest anywhere on your property  notify a professional immediately, it may save you a trip to the emergency room.