There are a lot of things about the summer we all enjoy. Whether your favorite part about the summer is grilling out, spending time at the beach or reading a book on the porch as the sunsets, most of us can agree, one of our least favorite parts of this time of year are the bugs. While there are plenty of insects buzzing around right now, there are some that instill a bit more anxiety than others. One of those insects that often has people running in the other direction are yellow jackets.
Yellow jackets have a very similar look to other wasps and bees. They are black with yellow stripes and are usually about an inch long. A yellow jackets defining feature is that they have segmented bodies, unlike bees. They also tend to build nests underground which can make them even harder to locate than nests that are say hanging from the eaves of a home. While being able to identify what type of stinging insect is buzzing around your yard is helpful, it can be tough without the help of a professional since most of us don’t want to (and shouldn’t) get close enough to get a really good look at them.
Anytime you’re outside with food or a sweet drink, you’re likely to see yellow jackets hovering near by. They like pretty much any kind of food, whether it’s sweet and sugary such as fruit or soda, or even protein such as meats and cheeses. Thier buzzing around can make any outdoor meal less than enjoyable.
Yellow jackets are social insects and so they live in colonies. Each colony can have as many as 4,000 yellow jackets in it. That is a lot of stingers in one place, especially since they can sting multiple times! For that reason, it is very important that if you think you have a nest on your property, you should not try to get rid of it on your own, you should contact a professional.
There are some things you can do around your home to make it a little less appealing to yellow jackets, and really any other stinging insect for that matter.
Trim bushes and trees, especially in areas you go on a regular basis such as the front door.
Make sure when you eat outside any and all food is cleaned up and disposed of properly. You should also try to avoid leaving it out, uncovered for any extended amount of time.
Make sure you trash and recyclables are stored in covered bins as far away from your home and yard as possible.
Seal any cracks and crevices around your home.
If all of these things don’t seem to be enough, or you just want some help locating the places you should focus your efforts on, you can contact a pest control professional and they can help you control stinging insects. There are so many do-it-yourself options out there but in the long run they can cost you a lot more time, money and even possibly a trip to the emergency room, and that does not make for a fun summer day.