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Yellow Jacket Wasps


Summary: Bees are buzzing. Wasps are stinging and you're trying to have a quiet picnic. Pest control 101 tells you that food in the open during late summer is an invitation to dance with angry insects.

Trying to picnic in late summer can be hazardous to your health. I'm not talking about heat stroke from ninety degree temperatures and humidity you can cut with a knife. Nor, am I speaking of getting food poisoning from that potato salad that has been baking too long in the sun. I'm referring to the health hazard caused by nature's little stinging machines, the Yellow Jacket wasp.

As summer comes to an end and the kids are preparing to return to school, you decide to have one more family gathering. “Let's get everyone together for an “end of summer” picnic.” Unbeknownst to you,

Yellow_jacket.jpg

Paravespula germanica, the German yellow jacket, is planning its own “end of summer” event on the same patch of land where you hope to spread you blanket.

You need to know that from August through October, yellow jackets build up in large populations and scavenge for human food (carbonated beverages, cider, juices, ripe fruits and vegetables, candy, ice cream, fish, ham, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.) All worker yellow jackets die with the first frost, so they are in a frenzy to collect food for the hive that will help the over-wintering queen survive. By the end of summer a yellow jacket colony can reach a maximum size of 4,000 to 5,000 workers and a nest of 10,000 to 15,000 cells.

Knowing all this, if you are still determined to have that picnic, keep these tidbits of information in mind. Keep food covered until eaten, especially ripe fruit and soft drinks. Any scent of food caused by outdoor cooking, eating, feeding pets or garbage cans will attract many bees and wasps Yellow jackets have a lance-like stinger without barbs and can sting repeatedly. This insect is bold, aggressive and, if provoked, can sting repeatedly and painfully. Should a yellow jacket wasp fly near you or land on your body, never swing or strike at it or run rapidly away. Quick movements often provoke attacks. When a wasp is near you, remain calm and stationary for a while. Then, move very slowly away from where the wasps are swarming and avoid stepping on the ground nest.

Wasps and bees can fly about six to seven miles per hour so humans can outrun them. However, by the time you start running you may incur numerous painful stings caused by your rapid movement. Never strike, swing or crush a wasp or bee against your body since it could incite nearby yellow jackets into a frenzied attack. Wasp venom contains a chemical "alarm pheromone," released into the air, signaling guard wasps to come and sting whomever and whatever gets in their way.

Bon Appétit and don't say I didn't warn you.

Click here to watch my short video on how to control wasps.





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Comments

jodyann
13 Aug 2009, 01:30
i have gone into my kitchen last night and there are about 20 wasps in my kitchen strip light, i have a big phobia of them and dont know what to do!!!
carol
25 Aug 2009, 16:59
We have yellow jackets in the siding of our house. Can we spray them and cover up the hole or do you HAVE TO remove the hive. We are in IL and hopefully the fall cool/cold weather may kill whats left after spraying but there are still weeks of warm weather left.
Amy
25 Aug 2009, 18:18
How do wasps/hornets/yellow jackets get in the "walls'? Our home was built in 1977 and I don't see any cracks outside or around the windows. Could they be coming in the roof, then in the attic, then in the walls? We have bees in the house, a couple per week and I was just wondering. So, HOW DO THEY GET INTO WALLS?? Where do I need to look??
MeMe
27 Aug 2009, 14:45
We have yellow jackets in the house. I noticed them 3 weeks ago.I found the location of there activity. I called our exterminator. They dusted and sprayed. We stopped seeing hundreds of them a day. But still had them coming in the house. So I had the exterminator back out and they sprayed and dusted again. Again the amount has reduced but I am still getting them in the house. I have now had the exterminator out 3 times. I have probably vaccuum up 800 plus . My question is how long should this take to end my battle with them?? Should I put steel wool in the hole?? Help??
Giovanni
30 Aug 2009, 03:51
We're in northern IL and have an outside speaker under a cantilevered part of the house. I see wasps going behind the speaker, so I assume there is a nest behind the siding. In the bedroom above this, I keep finding dead wasps on the window, which is kept closed all the time, and on the carpet in front of the window. I don't see any obvious openings inside the room. I have two questions. How are they getting in and why are they dieing?
steven
30 Aug 2009, 11:24
I wonder if they eat at out grill?
or the drippings below? It does not
say they "eat" at flowers. Huh
Phil
01 Sep 2009, 00:31
I posted earlier about my YJ problem but it is getting worse. I mow my land (3 acres) every week and the amount of land I can mow is decreasing due to my YJ problem. I now have a total of 5 active nests on my property. I have managed to kill 4 others but 5 remain and it seems like they are building new ones every week. Is this part of the other nests or are they separate? If they are separate will the different nests fight with each other? The nests are all in the ground and are in three different corners of my property with 2 some what in the middle so I don't think they are all connected? I can continue treating the nests but it seems they are just taking advantage of my short grass and either moving and building a new nest when I treat one or new ones are joining the party. Is there any way to run them away from my property or am I just stuck with them?...Thanks
mikey
16 Sep 2009, 00:19
No pesitcide way to remove a nest! My wife is allergic and I have kids. I can't afford an exterminator. I hooked up my shopvac hose to a 2x4 with duc-tape near the entrance to a nest near an overhang on my house. I left the vac on from 1pm to 4 pm and got about 50-70 bees. Then I plugged the hole. It has been bee free ever since.
PAUL
18 Sep 2009, 09:04
I have a yellow jack nest in the ground
under my porch I need to clean up everything under there. When would be a safe time to do this? end of sept? middle of oct?
Thanks
zara
22 Sep 2009, 13:37
can they kill you
johnny skinner
01 Apr 2013, 17:10
every year i spray my vinyl siding with malathion for yellow jackets building homes in my siding. every year, they still come back! help!
JOHNNY SKINNER
01 Apr 2013, 17:15
WHAT DO I DO TO KILL THESE LITTLE DEVILS, I HAVE AN OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOL AND EVERY SUMMER MY GRANDDAUGHTERS STAY WITH MY WIFE AND I AND SWIM. THE WASPS LAND ON THE WATER AND I'M AFRAID THEY WILL GET STUNG. I SPRAY MY SIDING WITH MALATHION. BUT CAN'T SEEM TO RID ALL OF THEM. I'LL TAKE ANY SUGGESTIONS OFFERED.
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