Nothing can ruin a fun day in the sun like a swarm of angry yellow jackets. These yellow and black devils are known to be the most aggressive of all of our local wasps. It is important to know how to identify these dangerous stingers and how to keep them from building nests on your property.

yellow jacket on lawn
yellow jacket on picnic table

What Are Yellow Jackets?

These insects look like something straight out of a superhero movie. Only they aren't among the superheroes but rather the bad guys. And bad guys they are! Most yellow jackets are black and yellow striped, though there are some that are black and white. In contrast to bumblebees, which have fat waists, yellow jackets' waists are thin and defined. Yellow jacket wings are as long as the body, and when the insects are at rest, they fold laterally. 

How Dangerous Are Yellow Jackets?

If you have ever disturbed a nest of yellow jackets, then you already know how dangerous they are, and how important it is to keep them off your Aiken property. They are more aggressive than other stinging insects such as wasps, hornets, mud daubers, and bees. They are especially dangerous (and possibly deadly) to individuals who have an allergy to their venom. Unlike bees, which can only sting once and then die, yellow jackets can sting multiple times. In fact, they can both bite and sting and will often bite to get a good grip and then jab their stinger into the skin.

While yellow jackets are less likely to sting you if they are away from their nest, if there is a nest nearby, you will be in danger of being attacked by, not just one, but by a swarm of angry insects. These stinging insects are known to create nests in holes in the ground. Just the vibrations of a lawnmower coming a little too close can cause these insects to sound the alarm and swarm out to attack the poor soul who just wants to give their lawn a trim.

If you are surprised by a swarm of angry yellow jackets, move quickly away without swinging your arms. Get inside and close the door as quickly as possible. These insects are known to give chase and even jumping into water is likely to be ineffective as they have been known to simply wait until their victim resurfaces. Even people who are not allergic to yellow jacket stings can end up visiting the hospital if they have been stung multiple times.

How Can You Make Your Yard Less Attractive To Yellow Jackets?

  • Yellow jackets, like other pests, are attracted to food sources. To reduce your chances of having these stinging insects building nests on your property, it is important to reduce the food sources they are attracted to.

  • Yellow jackets are attracted to sources of protein. If you have an abundance of flies, caterpillars, spiders and other young insects on your property, yellow jackets will love you for it, and will be more likely to establish a nest. Eliminating pests in your yard as much as possible will go a long way in resisting yellow jackets. These insects are also attracted to foods left out after a barbecue.

  • Yellow jackets love sweet things. If you leave goodies outside on a deck, or open cans of soda or other sweet drinks, you will attract yellow jackets. Wearing perfume or sweet-smelling cologne, shampoo, body spray, etc., will also attract these insects. Eliminating sweet smells on your property will help keep yellow jackets away.

  • Yellow jackets are attracted to open trash. Open garbage can provide a banquet for these stinging insects. Make sure all of your outdoor garbage cans have tight-fitting lids. This will help in keeping yellow jackets and many other pests away.

How Aiken Can Help

If you discover a yellow jackets' nest on your property, it is important that you do not try to remove it yourself. Even getting too close to a nest is likely to end up with you getting stung multiple times. For help with yellow jacket nest removal, reach out to the experts at Aiken Pest Control. We will safely remove all stinging insect nests from your property, so you can get back to enjoying your summer.


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