What Do Yellow Jackets Look Like?
Yellow jackets are winged insects that measure about one-half inch in size. Queens are slightly larger at three-quarters of an inch. Their bodies vary in color depending on the species, but they usually have yellow and black bands along the abdomen. The key difference that separates yellow jackets from honey bees are their smooth, hairless bodies.
How Can I Tell if I Have a Yellow Jacket Problem?
While seeing one of these pests isn’t cause for alarm, it’s important to recognize the signs of an infestation. Some of these include:
- Nests – Yellow jackets build their nests in abandoned underground burrows, tree trunks, and the walls of buildings.
- Noise – If a swarm of yellow jackets is in your house, store, or office, you may hear a loud buzzing noise. This could mean that a nest is nearby.
- Sighting – Adults feed on sugars and carbohydrates, so these pests may show up to your picnic or hang around trash cans looking for an easy meal.
How Do Yellow Jackets Get Inside Homes and Businesses?
Yellow jackets typically enter homes and businesses through tears in screens, gaps in vents, and cracks in structures. They often fly inside undetected during warmer months when the doors and windows are open. Once indoors, they may nest in attics, crawl spaces, and out-of-reach corners.
Sweet items like soda, frozen treats, and over-ripe fruits attract these pests. Concession stands at public pools, amusement parks, and sporting events often have yellow jackets. Additionally, this pest may venture into farmer’s markets, grocery stores, or restaurants in search of food.
Are Yellow Jackets Dangerous?
These wasps are extremely aggressive and protective of their nests. Unlike honey bees, yellow jackets can sting multiple times when they feel threatened. These attacks are very painful and often result in swelling, itching, and redness. However, they may cause more severe reactions for some people and pets that are allergic.
Establishments with outdoor dining options, such as bars or cafes, run the risk of attracting yellow jackets. These pests can land in food or drinks, and may even sting patrons. An infestation may quickly cause a loss of business and liability if a customer gets stung.
How Can I Prevent Yellow Jacket Infestations?
There are a few best practices for preventing a yellow jacket. Clean up spills promptly, especially sugary items like juice, and keep garbage bins tightly sealed. You should also remove possible nesting locations like hollow logs, rock piles, or firewood. If you think you have a yellow jacket problem, call the experts at Waltham Pest Services.