We share our world with a wide range of insects. Some are harmless while others can threaten our lives if we happen to be allergic to their venom. Some are aggressive while others are really very calm and slow to attack. The yellow jacket wasp is a social, and therefore protective, species of wasp that will sting if provoked and people who are allergic to their venom should steer clear. The experts at Richland Pest and Bee Control can provide you with all the information you need on this species of wasp.
What do yellow jackets eat and where do they live?
As with most other species of wasp, the yellow jacket wasp has a twofold diet. As an adult the wasp will live on nectar found in flowers near the hive while the larvae will feed on pre-chewed insects, meat and fruit that are supplied by the adult worker wasps.
The nests are constructed of a paper-like material that is made from chewed up wood fibers gathered from surrounding trees. They will be built in abandoned rodent burrows or in holes in trees or any other area protected from the ravages of the weather. The pregnant female wasp or queen wasp will start her nest in the spring. This will breed the first generation of worker wasps and start the population of the hive. As more eggs are laid and more workers and drones are bred, the nest will grow in size to support to large colony. In the fall as the cold weather approaches, pregnant queens that survive will spread out and overwinter until the spring thaw when they form nests of their own.
It is important to note that the yellow jacket wasp is a social species of wasp, and therefore one of the more dangerous species. The workers will not hesitate to protect their nest and queen if they are threatened. Since each wasp is able to sting multiple times, disturbing the nest or hive is not recommended.
Why should you get rid of any yellow jacket hives?
There are two sides to the answer to this question. On one side is the benefit of having a hive of yellow jackets near your barn or fields. On the other is the dangers.
The yellow jacket is a predatory species of wasp and will prey on a large variety of insects to feed their young. This makes them of great benefit to farmers who wish to keep insect larvae out of their stored harvest.
However, the yellow jacket is also an aggressive and protective species of wasp and will not hesitate to protect the nest and queen. This can lead to an entire swarm attacking an apparent predator or perceived danger to the hive.
If you have pets or children that tend to spend time near the hive, then it is far better to get rid of the hive and find some other form of insect control that will not endanger your loved ones. The stings are extremely painful and sufficient stings will cause an allergic reaction and, over time, may trigger an allergy to all kinds of insect venom that can become life threatening. Call Richland Pest and Bee Control in CT to get a free estimate for identifying and removing the nest near your home or business.
How do you prevent a yellow jacket infestation?
The best way to avoid having a number of yellow jacket nests in your area is to find the young hive and have that removed before any of the larvae transform into workers and the population of the nest begins to grow. This is not easy, though, as the start up nests are rather small and inconspicuous. The sooner you are able to spot the nest the better as there will be fewer wasps to deal with and less danger to the person removing the nest. Another reason many yellow jacket nests are difficult to spot early is that they have a tendency to nest within the walls of your home. Without the sight of a visible paper nest being formed, the only identifying features you will have to look for is a steady stream of workers coming and going from a small gap, crack, or crevice in your home.
One way to to help minimize nests around your property is by ensuring that any potential food source is kept tightly closed and free from all wasp access. If there is no food supply then the adult wasps will be less attracted to the area. This includes keeping items such as trash cans tightly sealed at all times.
Whatever you do, do not attempt to remove any sized yellow jacket nest yourself. This is a social wasp and the workers will swarm and attack any threat to the nest. If you do find a nest it is a good idea to call in the professionals at Richland Pest and Bee Control to deal with the problem. Our technicians will have the necessary protective gear to deal with the nest safely and quickly with little danger to your family.
Keep your children and pets away from the area until the nest has been fully removed. Do not try to remove the nest by means of common household pesticides, or block off the entry to the nest with silicon caulking or tape. This will simply provoke the wasps and cause swarming and stinging activity, and will likely cause them to find another point of entry which can end up being on the interior of your home.
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