Few insects can elicit as severe reactions from people as yellow jackets can. These dangerous wasps are considered by many to be the most aggressive and problematic species in our area. If you get nervous every time you see one of these insects buzzing around your yard, we have some things you should know today. Here are some facts about yellow jackets and what you should be doing to keep them off your Nassau County property.
When Do Yellow Jackets Sting?
It is not uncommon for people to keep their distance from yellow jackets out of fear of being stung. Although it is a reasonable precaution to do this, we want you to know that these pests aren’t as aggressive as many people think they are. If a yellow jacket is away from its nest gathering food, its chances of stinging you are low. The only time a wandering yellow jacket will attack is if they feel directly threatened or get trapped.
Beyond this, your risk of being stung by one of these pests goes up exponentially the closer you get to one of their nests. One thing that does make yellow jackets a bit more aggressive than other area species is that they become incredibly defensive during the fall months as their queens get ready to hibernate.
Where Yellow Jackets Build Their Nests
Something that people don’t often know about yellow jackets is that they build their nests both up high and inside holes in the ground. If your property has had trouble with ground pests like voles or gophers this year, yellow jackets may have plenty of empty burrows around your property where they can establish a home. If you suspect this is the case for your property, be extra cautious when walking around your yard to not step on one of these sting-inducing landmines.
How To Eliminate Yellow Jacket Nests
If a yellow jacket starts an above-ground nest on your property, you have a limited amount of time to handle it before it grows too big. We recommend checking your property for wasp nests once every week or two. If any are found, use a long broom to knock them down in the middle of the day when its residents are most likely to be gone scavenging for food and building materials. If a nest grows to be larger than a golf ball and becomes enclosed, do not take the risk of handling them on your own. Yellow jackets can fly at over 30 miles an hour and are capable of stinging their victims multiple times.
Some Strategies To Prevent Yellow Jackets
The best thing you can do to deter yellow jackets from settling in on your property is to eliminate food attractants. Here are some simple ways to do this:
Clean up thoroughly after outdoor gatherings.
Avoid feeding your pets outdoors.
Reduce the number of flowers and budding plants on your property.
Pick up fruits and berries that drop into your yard.
Make sure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids.
What To Do About Yellow Jacket Nests On Your Property
If a yellow jacket’s nest has grown out of control on your property, or you would like to avoid being stung by these pests, let Parkway Pest Services lend you a hand. Our team has the safety equipment and training needed to safely remove nests of all sizes and would be happy to remove stinging insects from your property.