Most people recognize yellow jackets as insects that cause painful stings. While this is true, these flying foes are actually friends to the ecosystem. They feed on various smaller pests, including flies and young insects that damage plants. They are also a vital part of the pollination process in many areas. While yellow jackets have their benefits, you still don’t want them swarming around your picnic. Take a look at some ways to keep yellow jackets away from your house. 1. Keep Food Inside or Covered Yellow jackets are attracted to food, especially sources of protein or high-sugar foods. We suggest keeping food in the house as much as possible and covering items you bring outside. 2. Put Out Cucumber Slices If you do plan on eating outside, try placing slices of cucumber around your yard. This might sound strange, but cucumbers actually serve as a yellow jacket repellent. Placing cucumber slices around your deck or picnic area will help keep yellow jackets at bay. 3. Seal Garbage Cans As we mentioned before, these insects (and many others) are attracted to food, so this also applies to the scraps you throw away. Make sure your garbage can is always securely closed to make sure it isn’t a buffet for yellow jackets or other pests. 4. Hang Brown Paper Bags Another way to deter yellow jackets from turning your house into their home is by hanging up crumpled brown paper bags around the exterior of your home. Yellow jackets will think these bags are nests, so they will take their development plans elsewhere. 5. Avoid Wearing Sweet Scents If you are allergic to yellow jackets or have a particular fear of them, we suggest avoiding wearing bright colors and sweet-smelling sprays or soaps. Yellow jackets are attracted to bright colors and sweet smells. They will get curious and come for a closer look if you aren’t careful. As an added tip, remember to never plug up the hole the yellow jackets are using. It will force them to come in the house. The hole should only be sealed up after the nest has been treated. These are just a few of the ways you can keep yellow jackets away. If, however, you are already experiencing a yellow jacket problem on your property, contact us at K & C Pest Control. Call (920) 582-9000 to schedule an appointment and enjoy the rest of your summer free of yellow jackets!