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Yellow jackets



Yellow jackets are the most common stinging insect in this area. They are not "bees", but are members of the wasp family. They are the ones that are seen around picnics and cookouts trying to land on your hamburger or get a drink of your soda. They typically do not become very evident or problem causing until August and September when their nest's population reaches it's maximum population. Yellowjackets will build nests in voids of buildings, on the exterior of buildings, and in shrubs and bushes in nests that look similar to Bald-Faced Hornet's nests. They also have an annoying habit of starting nests in the joists of houses between floors or ceiling joists below the attic. Less frequently, they will do the same thing in an exterior wall. As their nest becomes larger it will press down against the sheetrock of the ceiling and they start chewing to allow more room for nest expansion. Suddenly, they will break through the ceiling and the room below will become filled with them. Quite an unnerving situation. They will also build nests underground, which are extremely dangerous because many times people will step on them or run over them with a lawn mower without realizing they are there. This will often result in multiple sting attacks. Yellowjackets are the most common "bee" associated with life threatening allergic reactions to their stings.

 A nest only lasts for one season. In August-September, an existing nest raises new queens, which mate in the nest, and then leave and go dormant for the winter. A good hard freeze in late Fall-early Winter kills the existing nest, and in the Spring the new queens emerge from their winter dormancy, and start building new nests. If they occur in the same spot again it is only because it is a good spot for them, not because there is any connection to an old nest.



Yellow jacket nest in the ground

Yellow jacket aerial nest

Removal of yellow jacket nest in the ceiling

These  are extremely dangerous insects! Proceed with extreme caution! If you attempt to do these yourself, spraying the nest from a distance, and just hitting the nest WILL NOT kill it. It might kill a few individuals, but the nest itself will survive. Spray must get into the entrance hole from close up. Something better left to the professionals!



Yellow jacket nest inside a shed

Inside of a yellow jacket nest with the covering removed. Nest is upside down

Yellow jacket

Yellow jacket nest which has chewed through a ceiling

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