Wasps (Yellowjackets)

Wasps are generally seen as a benefit to the environment, wasps are predatory flying insects. Wasps are a great source of organic pest control on gardens, farms, and crops. The're are commonly two types of wasps, solitary wasps and social wasps. Social wasp species live in large numbers. Wasp nests are abandoned by late autumn, the queens individually over-winter until spring. Wasps eat meaty things, spiders, and sweets. Wasps can be more hot-tempered than bees, and should be treated with caution. If you’re trying to eliminate nuisance wasps attached to your home or near a doorway, it is best done at sunset or very early in the morning. If you have wasps inside the house there is likely a nest in the attic. Below are pictures, identification, and information on common wasps in the U.S. and Canada.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jacket1.jpgYellowJacket2


: 1/2 inch in size.
: Social Wasp
: Up to 5,000 members per nest. Nests have multiple layers.
: North east, mid east and south east regions of US, and in Canada.
Often mistaken for honeybees, yellow jackets are just a bit quicker, smaller, and are a brighter yellow vs. the more orange color of honeybees. Honeybees will often be caring noticeable yellow pollen sacks on their back legs, while yellow jackets do not. Yellow jackets can be identified by a rapid side to side flight pattern prior to landing. They are scavengers eating meats and sweets and often found in parks or disrupting picnics or other events.
Yellow jackets are sometimes called meat bees, sweet bees, or ground bees. Nests are generally identified with holes in the ground about golf ball to a softball in size; they defended their home very aggressively. Contrary to the honeybee, yellow jackets can sting repeatedly, they do not lose their stinger, and do not die after stinging. The stings often cause a swelling reaction followed by itching for a few days. Nests start out very small then growing larger untill winter. Seasonally yellow jacket colonies can reach a size of 4,000 and 5,000 workers with a nest of 10,000 and 15,000 cells by August or early September.
Occasionally yellow jackets nest in wall voids and attics, they can end up by accident in the house in large numbers. This is usually preceded by a slow growing wet spot on the ceiling caused by the nest. Every so often, a curious homeowner will poke or push their finger right through the deteriorating ceiling and end up with an unfortunate surprise. It’s generally considered unwise to try to remove an active yellow jackets nest yourself.
Like all wasps, yellow jackets abandoned their nest by late autumn, the queens will often hibernate in attics until early spring. If you have un-wanted yellow jackets in your attic, to discourage them returning, in the winter you can put up some chemical cards labeled for yellowjackets, perhaps one to every 3 studs / bays - based on the label instructions. If you need help feel free to call.