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Pest Guide > Stinging / Biting > Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets

Vespula spp.

There are several species of yellowjackets. These flying insects typically have a yellow and black head/face and patterned abdomen. Many say, the pattern resembles stripes. Signature to species, the abdomen pattern can help an entomologist or pest professional identify specific types of yellowjackets.

Color: Abdomen usually black and yellow pattered similar to bands
Legs: 6
Shape: Wasp-like
Size: Workers 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch
Antennae: Yes

Habits

Yellowjackets nest in the ground or in cavernous areas such as eaves, attics, etc.... They feed on sweets and proteins and commonly invade outdoor activities.

Habitat

Yellowjackets can be found anyplace humans can be found. Check near recycling bins or other areas where sugars are common but keep in mind these pests also feed on protein. Yellowjackets become more aggressive in autumn when the colony begins to die out except for the queen.

Threats

Yellowjackets pose significant health threats to humans as they may sting repeatedly and can cause allergic reactions. Stinging insects send over 500,000 people to the emergency room each year.

Prevention

Remain vigilant and call a pest professional if you suspect yellowjacket activity. Control requires specialized equipment and safety precautions. Do not leave sweet drinks or meats in accessible areas. For example, clean up and remove food and trash after picnics and outdoor events.
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