The Yellow Jacket Wasp in Texas
The yellow jacket wasp is a beneficial pollinator and a predator of other insects. But it can make life miserable when you’re enjoying the outdoors.
Don’t Mess with a Yellow Jacket Nest
A Yellowjacket queen builds a nest either above or below ground using chewed-up wood fibers. She then covers it with a protective papery shell (called an envelope). The only opening is a small entrance at the bottom.
The queen lays eggs and cares for her brood until the females are mature enough to become workers (18 - 20 days). As a colony, yellow jackets aggressively defend the nest.
Do not move, remove, or cover up a yellow jacket nest. The wasps may swarm and sting multiple times in response to such a direct threat.
Leave wasp nest removal to YardDoc professionals who wear proper protective gear and use licensed treatments.
What Do Yellowjackets Look Like?
It’s easy to identify a yellow jacket’s bright, hairless yellow and black body as a wasp species. Red paper wasps, as the name indicates, are red in color. Bees are duller in color with hair on their bodies.
The Yellow Jacket Sting
Getting stung is another thing you should avoid. Yellowjacket stingers do not have barbs that get stuck in your skin; so each wasp can sting you multiple times without consequence.
And multiple stings are not only agonizing; they can prove fatal to people with an allergy to venom proteins and enzymes.
Only the female yellow jacket stings. She uses a chemical method of communication to call for reinforcements. During an attack, rather than standing still or swatting at the wasps, cover your head and run.
Stings around the head, eyes, and neck are especially serious. Find shelter in a house, car, or other protected space and seek medical attention.
What Do They Eat?
The yellow jacket wasp feeds other insects to the young. Adults eat meat or protein-based food and sugary substances.
You’ll see wasps foraging at outside trash containers and dumpsters, and wherever humans are enjoying food and beverage outdoors.
Yellow Jacket Life Cycle
Spring: A yellow jacket queen emerges from her winter shelter, builds a small nest, and lays her eggs.
Summer: The colony quickly grows. A nest reaches maximum size by August or September.
Fall: Males mate with next year’s queens and die. The inseminated queens overwinter, abandoning the nest.
How to Get Rid of Yellow Jackets
Wasp control and nest removal are dangerous, tasks best left for professionals. But here are a few exterior tips to help keep yellow jackets and other wasps away from your home.
- Keep outside garbage containers tightly sealed, cleaned, and emptied daily.
- Trim trees and bushes, rake up leaves, and otherwise keep a tidy yard.
- Don’t make drinking water available to visiting pests. Empty bird baths and other items collecting water, and ensure the gutter system is working.
- Inspect your property for signs of wasp activity, including under the eaves of the house. Get pest control services before a small colony grows.
Retail wasp traps do not control the colony and are not effective. We also don’t recommend retail pesticide sprays. It is very unlikely you’ll kill off the entire colony and you could provoke an attack.
YardDoc takes a holistic approach to pest control. This means we treat the problem at the root cause to make your property less inviting to unwanted pests.
We may recommend removing dead or overhanging branches, weeds that harbor insects that attract wasps, and other lawn care or landscaping pest prevention.
YardDoc provides licensed organic pest control to help you prevent and eliminate unwanted pests, rodents, and critters including mosquitoes, millipedes, termites, grubs, scorpions, bed bugs, spiders, ants, ticks, wasps, and cockroaches.
Wasp Removal Services
Do you suspect there’s a yellow jacket nest on your property? Let us help, so you and your family stay safe. Contact YardDoc for a free inspection today!
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