What To Do About Yellow Jackets On Your Phoenix Property

7/22/2021

Yellow jackets are beneficial insects that prey on other insects. However, they are also dangerous to humans. They will aggressively defend their nests and can sting multiple times. The stings hurt, and some people are so allergic to the venom that it kills them. Because yellow jackets nest in the ground, it is hard to know the nest is there until you disturb it. Most people find the nests when gardening and especially when mowing over a nest.

yellow jacket wasp crawling on exterior of a home

Description Of Yellow Jackets

There are three types of yellow jackets in Florida. The Eastern yellow jacket (Vespula maculifrons) and the Southern yellow jacket (Vespula squamosal). All three types look fairly similar. 

  • They are yellow and black, a color scheme that generally marks something as dangerous or unpalatable. 

  • Yellow jackets have three distinct body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. 

  • Yellow jackets have smokey-colored wings, two gray antennae, and three pairs of yellow legs. 

The bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) is also a type of yellowjacket. It is black with white on the head and abdomen. Generally speaking, if a wasp's nests are in the air, it is called a hornet. If it nests in the ground, it is called a yellow jacket. 

Yellow Jacket Behavior Characteristics

The bald-faced hornet nests in the air while the other yellow jackets nest in the ground. The nests of the bald-faced hornet can be as big as one foot in diameter. All three insects have nests where thousands of stinging wasps live. Any strong vibration or touch will cause the wasps to swarm out of their nests and defend them. Getting too close to the hornet’s nest will set them off, too. Because of the number of stinging wasps, this is very dangerous. Even if someone is not allergic to the venom, they can get so many stings that it can make them very sick or even kill them. Children and the elderly are most at risk. It takes 1,500 stings to kill an adult man but only 300-400 to kill a child.

Lifecycle of Yellow Jackets

Yellow jacket queens emerge from where they stay during the winter, in the spring. She starts constructing rows of combs surrounded by a paper shell. At first, she finds food, feeds the larvae, defends the nest, makes more room, and makes sure the first eggs hatch. Once that happens, the queen devotes herself to laying eggs and never leaves the nest again. The workers are smaller than the queen and are sterile females. In the fall, larger cells are constructed, and female yellow jackets lay eggs in them. These larvae get more food and grow bigger. They are fertile queens. The old queen lays unfertilized male eggs that mate with the queens after they leave the nest. The new queens find somewhere to overwinter, usually under the bark of a log. The old queen, and the old nest, will die. In spring, the cycle starts over again. 

Ways To Prevent Yellow Jacket Nests Around Your Phoenix Home

Yellow jackets like sweets, and they will come in droves if they find an acceptable food source. 

  • Make sure your trash can has a tight lid on it as yellow jackets will forage there. 

  • If you are eating outside, look before you sip your drink as you might find a yellow jacket in it. 

  • Put food away promptly so the wasps cannot forage on it. Make sure food is covered until it is eaten. 

  • Fix any leaks outside your house to deny the wasps water. 

  • Make sure there are no holes in your siding so the wasps cannot build a nest under there. 

The Experts At Green Home Pest Control Will Safely Remove Yellow Jacket Nests

Don’t Try This At Home, Instead Call The Experts At Green Home Pest Control. If you find a wasp nest either in the ground or on your eaves, do not try to remove it yourself. Our team at Green Home Pest Control has the proper equipment to remove stinging insect nests safely. We also have lots of experience in removing wasps that are too close to your home and yard. Call Green Home Services today and get rid of those dangerous yellow jackets.

Tags: yellow jacket control | stinging insect dangers | yellow jacket prevention |

 

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