If your place has been taken over by yellow jackets and you’re on the lookout for ways to keep them at bay, this post might be of help, so check it out to learn more about these insects and the steps to take to wasp-proof your house. Just like when you use traps for Japanese beetles, you can resort to various solutions to rid of yellow jackets.

One of them is related to the food that may attract them to your house. But what do they eat and how often? Read on for more on the behavior of yellow jackets and what to do discourage them from nesting near your place.

What are yellow jackets like?

Whether you have your own yard or you simply spend lots of time outdoors, you’ve most probably encountered these buzzing flyers, especially when there’s food around. They can easily be mistaken for hornets, though. So, to identify them correctly, there are a few characteristics you might want to know more about.

These large native wasps are social insects living in colonies that include a queen, workers, and males. Yellow jackets come with distinctive body features such as the alternating yellow and black patterns. The female yellow jackets have six yellow segments whereas males have seven.

What also sets them apart is the fact that they don’t have body hair, unlike bees. Plus, yellow jackets have a thin waist and are 0.39-0.62-inch long. The wings are as long as their body, a feature that is also helpful when trying to identify them.

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How to keep yellow jackets away

Despite the fact that yellow jackets do come with benefits such as controlling various pests that can reach your crop, they are what they are and they sting. When they do so, they do it multiple times. If you don’t have any crop and thus you’re not interested in using yellow jackets as an organic pest controller, there are various things you can do to keep them at bay.

One of the easiest and simplest things to do is to reduce their access to food. Since yellow jackets will not hold back from feasting on fruits, carbonated juices, and other foods humans eat, they will target your picnic and outdoor dinners.

Try to avoid leaving such foods uncovered. Have your favorite beverages from cups with lids when you’re outdoors. Open glasses and cans will only attract them. Discard or wash your drink container immediately after you’ve finished your beverage. Also, although it may seem too simple, try not to wear perfumes or colorful clothes as they may attract such wasps.

Fruits will undoubtedly attract yellow jackets and other insects. Removing rotten or overripe fruits from your yard is thus a step you might want to take. Just make sure that you don’t basically move them from one place to another and leave them exposed as it won’t help much. Use sealed plastic bags for that to keep the wasps away.

Make sure your garbage containers are always covered. Opt for units that come with heavy lids that can be tightly closed. If you usually gather lots of garbage, go for several containers to avoid leaving it uncovered.

As we’ve said before, yellow jackets build their nests underground. If you find any rodent burrow in your yard, it is best to cover it as you could easily run into a wasp nest and trigger an attack.

If, despite your efforts, the yellow jackets have still found a way to build a nest near your house, you might want to try pesticides to rid of them. The market now offers various such products that should be used as instructed for efficient and safe results.

Remember to always wear protective equipment when approaching a wasp nest or an area where they live.


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If a yellow jacket stings and it hurts, you should see your doctor or get professional help.