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March 3, 2014
Yellow jackets are a very territorial species, with a painful sting that they can inflict multiple times. They are socially active and aggressive food gatherers that become extremely irritated if you bother them. Yellow jackets are also hard to kill, which puts them at the top of the list for pests that you do not want in or near your home.
Yellow jackets are one of only five types of wasps that build nests, gather food, and sting humans. They are scavengers who eat meat, fish and sugary substances, so they can often be found hovering near trash receptacles and picnics. This can be dangerous because their stings are not only painful, but may induce severe allergic reactions in some individuals.
Yellow jacket colonies can be found in various places, both above and below ground. They can build nests under porches or steps, around railroad ties, in sidewalk cracks or at the base of trees. Sometimes they build aerial nests in the corners of buildings, in bushes or in low-hanging branches. They also commonly build their nests fully underground with only a tiny hole to indicate the location, which can make yellow jacket nest removal very difficult.
Having a nest near your home is not ideal, as a colony may contain 1,000 or more workers by the fall. Yellow jackets are almost entirely inactive during winter, but then gain strength in late spring and summer in order to feed their young. They become most active and aggressive around people during fall, when food supplies run out. Therefore, it is very important to destroy a yellow jacket colony as soon as it is discovered, before breeding makes the nest a larger problem.
Home remedies for yellow jacket nest removal are generally not recommended. One of the oldest home remedies is to pour gasoline down the hole and then set it on fire. While this may remove the wasps, it carries the risk of personal injury or even death from accidental burns, in addition to the damage to the environment due to the use of gasoline in the ground.
Other do-it-yourself (DIY) remedies include commercial wasp killers and baited wasp traps. These methods are designed to eliminate wasps individually and do not address the root of the problem: the nest. Considering a nest may house 1,000 or more yellow jackets, trapping or killing them individually is ineffective and dangerous. For this reason, it is better to call a professional than try to handle yellow jacket nest removal yourself.
Pest control professionals have the tools and expertise to locate yellow jacket nests and get rid of them safely. We can use high-tech inspection cameras to quickly and accurately locate wasp nests within walls and use environmentally responsible products to eliminate wasps with minimal disruptions to your home. If you have a wasp or bee problem, contact us for a free no-obligation inspection.
Did you know? Skunks are the primary natural predator of yellow jackets. Skunks are known to dig up and eat the protein-rich nests.