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Yellow Jacket Print E-mail
Size: 5/8 to 1 inch (14-25.4mm)

Color:Black and yellow or black and white.

Yellow jackets are wasps with a definite waist. They fold their wings lengthwise when at rest. Like all wasps, yellow jackets prey on a wide variety of insects and other arthropods. Yellow jackets are unusual in that workers also forage on foods consumed by people, especially sweets and meats.

Yellow jacket wasps are often pests in recreational areas in Virginia from late summer until early autumn.

Life Cycle
In the fall, wasp colonies have attained their largest size, and in the vicinity of numerous colonies, foraging workers may become serious pests as they search for food-usually food that is eaten or discarded by people.

Type of Damage
If a colony is disturbed, worker yellow jackets will aggressively defend their colony by stinging. May create a nuisance and life-threatening stinging episodes. For most of us a sting may be just a temporary painful experience, but for allergic individuals a single sting may result in a serious reaction.

Management of yellow jacket foragers: destruction of all yellow jackets in and around a recreational area is advised to reduce the possibility of a dangerous sting. Nests should be located during the day when the workers are going and coming on a regular basis; the location of the nest should be marked. Return late at night to treat the nest with a liquid insecticide. The destruction of individual colonies may not eliminate all the yellow jacket workers from an area in which food is available. This is because yellow jackets are capable of flying a mile from their colonies in search of food. Effective management of yellow jackets can be achieved by:
  1. rigorous sanitation
  2. use of physical exclusion from a food source.
The principle behind these practices is the denial of attractive food to the foraging worker wasps. If begun early in the summer and carried out through mid-autumn, proper sanitation will help to reduce the buildup of foraging yellow jackets in an area. Trash containers should be kept closed whenever possible; open containers should be emptied regularly (every few hours when a large number of foragers are present). Use an aerosol insecticide to remove yellow jackets present around trash cans in order to empty them. Place a 1/4 or 1/2 in. section of a no-pest strip to the inside of the lid of a closed trash container to kill the yellow-jackets that may become trapped inside.

The following measures are of no value in reducing the number of yellow jacket foragers in an area:
  1. general spraying of an infested area
  2. electrocuting devices employing UV light, i.e., bug zappers.
Interesting Facts
Recent surveys indicate that between 0.5 and 1.0 percent of the population may be allergic to yellow-jacket venom.

Call Vanish Pest Control to arrange for one of our Bay Area yellow jackets removal experts to come help you exterminate yellow jackets from your area.
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