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During the late summer and early fall months the hot sticky weather has hopefully turned a bit more pleasant, and you and your family are able to spend a lot of time outdoors, enjoying the good weather. However, time being spent outside may be threatened, if yellow jackets have made your property their home.

After a full summer of building up their colony, it can be very large, having thousands of yellow jackets in it. During the late summer and early fall months yellow jackets tend to be very active and aggressive; the workers are very busy and stressed trying to gather enough food for the winter ahead.

As their name suggests, yellow jackets have yellow and black bodies, although some may have white and black color patterns. They measure 10-16 mm in length, and are often mistaken for bees but have a thinner body and pinched waist. Yellow jackets also have elongated wings that fold laterally against their body when they are at rest.

Not all yellow jackets are ground nesters but many are. The nests of ground nesting yellow jackets are most often found in areas that are void of vegetation. If this is not possible, they will clear the area around where the entrance of the nest is located. Yellow jacket nests built near homes can often be found under porches, decks, or steps, around landscaping ties, and at the base of trees.

Yellow jackets can be beneficial because they do pollinate crops and feed on other nuisance insects. If a yellow jacket nest is located on your property, especially if it is close to your home, they can be very dangerous for you and your family. If you or a family member is stung, a painful welt will form at the sting site, and in some cases a severe allergic reaction can happen in response to the injected venom that can lead to death if immediate medical attention is not sought.

Because of the dangers of a yellow jacket sting it is never a good idea to try and remove a yellow jacket nest from your property on your own. Though, there are some steps that you can take as a homeowner to try and prevent yellow jackets from choosing your property to nest on, and to protect yourself from being stung. Yellow jacket prevention tips from the experts at All-American Pest Control include:

  • Caulking gaps found around windows and doors to prevent them from entering into your home.

  • Making sure that screens are intact and replacing any that are not.

  • Limiting the amount of flowering vegetation that is located on your property.

  • Making sure that garbage is kept in sealed containers.

  • Making sure to wear shoes when spending time outdoors in the grass.

  • Never poke at or disturb a nest that you find on your property.

If you have noticed a lot of yellow jacket activity on your property or have found a ground nest located near your home do not attempt DIY pest control methods. Contact the professionals at All-American Pest Control; our professionals will come to your home, inspect your property, find, and safely eliminate the yellow jacket nest. Don’t be held hostage in your home because of yellow jackets this fall, instead call the professionals and get back outside to enjoy the beautiful weather!