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Yellow jackets are aggressive stinging insects that are commonly encountered throughout the United States in the summer and fall. Builders of large ball-shaped nests, yellow jackets earn their namesake for their typical black and yellow colors.
As is the case with many other types of wasps, yellow jackets in general are viewed as very beneficial creatures. Yellow jackets feed on arthropods like ants that can potentially become pests. However, yellow jackets can inflict a painful sting on humans if disturbed.
Individual yellow jackets can sting a victim multiple times. For some people, yellow jacket stings can be life threatening.
Do not attempt to remove the nest yourself as yellow jacket removal should always be left to trained professionals. Call 800-837-5520 or contact Ehrlich online to request a free inspection of your property.
Often mistaken for bees due to their yellow-and-black coloring, yellow jackets are actually wasps. At about one and a half inches long, they triple the average honey bee in length. These beneficial wasps live in colonies with thousands of individuals and would be a lesser threat to humans if they didn’t nest in structural voids, attics, and cavities associated with landscaping features.
Adult yellow jackets feed mainly on fruit juices and other sweet liquid materials, whereas their larvae are fed bits of soft-bodied insects. Although the end of the warm-weather months means larvae production stops and males die off after mating, the yellow jacket is at its most active during the late summer.
Yellow jackets build spherical nests that grow to the size of a basketball or larger. Unlike paper wasps who only build their nests above ground, yellow jackets will build both aerial and ground nesting sites. Nests can grow to more than 15,000 members in some species.
Ground nesters are wasps that nest in old rodent burrows. Above-ground nests are found among the leafy branches of trees, shrubs, and on structures. The entrance of the nest is normally a hole located at the bottom. Aerial yellow jacket nests can be found in many different places in or around a home, including:
Aerial nesters don’t become scavengers in the fall but are extremely defensive when their nests are disturbed. Locating the nest, through observing flight patterns, is essential to eliminate them.
Yellow jacket stings most often occur when homeowners attempt to remove nests themselves. We strongly recommend relying on the expertise of a pest control professional to remove yellow jacket nests.
Yellow jackets have a reputation for being one of the most aggressive stinging insects. Usually, they won’t sting unless provoked. However, they can get more aggressive in the early fall as resources begin to dwindle. Yellow jacket stings pose a more serious threat to humans than bees, because a yellow jacket's stinger is not barbed like a honey bee, allowing it to sting repeatedly. Some individuals are more sensitive than others, due to allergic reactions, and should seek medical attention when stung.
Property owners can count on their local Ehrlich Technicians to deliver yellow jacket removal services that are both safe and effective.
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