Yellow jackets are an aggressive and potentially dangerous pest to have around your house. They are very territorial and sting if they feel threatened. Even worse, they will sting repeatedly and can cause painful allergic reactions. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reports at least 40 deaths occur each year in the U.S. because of reactions to insect stings.
Yellow Jackets and Their Nests
Yellow jackets live in nests of up to 4,000 workers. You’ll see a lot of workers flying around in late summer and early fall because colonies reach their peaks during that time. The new queens hatch in late fall and survive through the winter by hibernating. Their nests die, and only the queens remain. They will start a new nest the following season.
Queens build nests up high or underground, depending on the species. This means you could end up with nests under your porch, siding, eaves and more. Yellow jacket queens chew fibers from wood and cardboard into a pulp and use it to build their papery nests. The queen starts the nest and has a few broods. The new workers then take over building the nest and taking care of her.
Preventing Yellow Jackets from Swarming Your House
Yellow jackets love sweets and meats, making your outdoor event a party for these insects, too. The adults mostly feed on sugars. They bring protein in the form of bugs or other meat back to the nest for their larvae to eat. Try some of these tips to keep yellow jackets away from your outdoor gatherings and home:
-Keep food indoors
-Cover sugary drinks
-Get rid of your garbage often
-Keep your trash cans covered
-Check the screens on your doors and windows for holes and repair them if needed
-Seal the sides of your home and any awnings to eliminate places for nests
-Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes and bright colors
-Don’t hang hummingbird feeders near your home
-Don’t swat or kill a yellow jacket if it is flying around you. Killing it will release a pheromone that attracts other wasps.
It’s dangerous to try to remove yellow jacket nests on your own because of the insects’ tendency to sting. Call us at (920) 582-9000 to safely get rid of the nests.