Yellow Jackets

A typical yellow jacket worker is about 1/2-inch long, short and blocky, with alternating black and yellow bands on the abdomen while the queen is larger, about 3/4-inch long. They are social wasps living in colonies containing workers, queens and males. Colonies are annual with only inseminated queens over wintering. They are considered beneficial insects, eating other insects. The yellow jacket colony will remain active for only one summer, after which the queens will fly away to start more colonies. The remaining ones, die at the end of the summer, the nest is not reuse.

Many are attracted in large numbers to garbage cans and other trash receptacles. Yellow jacket adults feed on foods rich in sugars and carbohydrates such as plant nectar and fruit. They also search for foods high in protein such as insects and fish. These are chewed and conditioned in preparation for larval consumption. The larvae secrete a sugary substance that is eaten.

Foraging yellow jackets are often mistaken for honey bees because of their similar color and the fact that they may be attracted to the same food sources. The yellow jacket has a smooth stinger that can be used to sting multiple times.

Elimination of yellow jacket nests in buildings can be difficult. Use an insecticide that is labeled for yellow jacket control in buildings. Since yellow jackets are attracted to light, they may find another exit and may enter the inside of the building, especially if control is done at night.

Concern about yellow jackets is based on their persistent, pugnacious behavior around food sources and their aggressive colony defense. Stinging behavior is usually encountered at nesting sites, but scavenging yellow jackets sometimes will sting if someone tries to swat them away from a potential food source.

KenMORE Pest Control Certified technicians are professionally trained to treat for these kind of stinging bees which may cause intense sensations to substantial swelling and tenderness, some itching, or life-threatening allergic responses.

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