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Yellow Jackets – look out!!

There are very few “sure things” in life but this is pretty close: sometime between now and October 15th you’ll see a story on the news about someone being stung by a swarm of yellow jackets. It happens every year.

When the end of summer rolls around these wasps nests are big and mature. Something in nature tells them they have to get ready for winter and protect the nest so that some members can survive until spring. This is when they become really aggressive. Usually the homeowner is out cutting the grass, removing logs or clearing brush that has accumulated over the summer. The activity and vibration disturbs the yellow jackets in the ground or nesting in logs or walls, and the alert pheromone is sounded. All available team mates come from inside and outside the nest to attack the threat. This is the victim you see on the news.

Don’t be a target! Take a look around your environment. Try to notice flying insects – where they are coming from and going to. Usually yellow jackets have more than one nest opening so look for all exits. And then avoid those areas.

This is pest I recommend you call an expert for. You need a special skill level to safely deal with these guys. To help your pest professional and possibly save an extra trip, when the sun is going down carefully approach the areas where you noticed the exits. Put a rock or other marker all the places you saw them coming and going. When the sun is setting all the wasps will be in the nest and you are less likely to be surprised by these stingers coming home and attacking you. When the pest guy comes he can hit the areas you marked and eliminate the problem.
Be smart, be on the lookout and be careful. There are a lot of great things that might get you on the news…but this isn’t the one.

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