Unusual Number of Yellow Jackets in the Yard

Unusual Number of Yellow Jackets in the Yard

You may easily mistake any of the three yellow jacket species that inhabit North America for mammals. The three species, commonly known as eastern, western and southern yellow coats, are actually wasps. They bear distinctive alternating black and yellow belly bands and also may deliver repeated painful stings. Meanwhile, the Colorado State University Extension reports an estimated 90 percent of “bee” stings in Colorado are really western yellow jacket stings, so an unusual number is a cause for concern.

Yellow Jacket Nests

North American yellow coat species construct nests underground or in protected places like woodpiles. A nest typically lasts for only 1 season. A single queen starts it in the spring, the colony abandons it from the beach and no colony ever uses it again. You may not notice a new nest in the early spring, since it’s small and has few humans. As it matures and reaches its summit by mid to late summer, but it’s hard to miss. Employees are flying in and out of it during the daylight hours, and sometimes throughout the night too.

Feeding Habits

Yellow jackets are scavengers and attracted to almost any type of food that people consume, including sweets, fruit, vegetables and meat. In addition they congregate around open trash bins, pet food trays, and any piles of food or lemonade debris that you leave behind. You need to eliminate the sources of food in your deck or backyard if you want to reduce the number of yellow coats, which peaks in late summer. Simply swatting the insects isn’t only futile; it might provoke an attack, since yellow jackets are especially aggressive when hunting for food.

Yellow Jacket Control

The only sure-fire procedure to control yellow coats is to destroy the nest, but by the time that the insects have become numerous enough to create a issue, that’s generally a dangerous endeavor. An option is to set traps, which are available at garden and hardware shops throughout the summerseason. You can even use soda bottles filled with a ounce of apple juice. The juice attracts the insects as soon as it ferments, and if they fly indoors to feed it, most fall into the juice and drown. The more bottles you place around your yard, the more yellow coats you’ll catch.


If you suspect there’s a nest on your back yard, it’s important to keep away from it. Yellow jackets are protective of the nest and will swarm burglars, even during the night. Although it’s likely to ruin the nest with an insecticide, or even boiling water, it’s a job for a professional. The nest is going to be eliminated, or be small enough to ruin, by winter. Unless you have a compelling reason to ruin it when it’s most active, it’s probably much better to cordon off the area for the balance of the summer. Control the people by maintaining food indoors and putting traps outside.

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