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yellow jacket

Yellow Jacket & Yellow Jacket Control

Anyone who lives in Oregon long enough is well-acquainted with the fear that Yellow Jackets induce. Some run at first sight, while many others do not have enough luck to see them before they attack. Regardless, the last thing you want to find lurking around your yard and home is a yellow jacket colony. Finding proper yellow jacket control will ensure your home remains safe and allows you to use your yard at ease.

Colony Structure

Much like bees, yellow jackets operate in highly intricate colonies that have one mission in mind, survive. A colony will have three leading roles for the yellow jackets to fulfill depending on their gender.

  • These are the males of the colony that serve to fertilize a queen to lay eggs then. They will die off after they mate most because the colony does not accept them. After mating, they are useless and will fly independently and most likely die from dehydration or the environment.
  • The workers are sterile females who tend to the queen and the young and maintain the overall nest.
  • The Queens are an essential part of the colony because they ensure it continues to grow.

The Queen

A yellow jacket queen is truly the lifeblood of the colony. Without the queen, there is no colony because she is solely responsible for laying eggs. She will also hibernate in the nest throughout the winter despite the rest of the colony dying off. The colony lives for the survival of the queen rather than the individual worker or drone.
The most effective form of Yellow jacket control can locate and remove the queen. Without the queen, the colony will not continue growing and, therefore, eventually die out. Removing the queen is not the quickest way to remove an active yellow jacket nest, but it is merely one solution. Additionally, locating the queen is extremely dangerous because you will have a whole colony setting out to defend her.

Yellow Jacket Diet

Yellow jackets are true omnivores because they will eat another insect just as they consume nectar and fruit. Adult yellow jackets will mainly consume fruits and flower nectar as their main diet while they hunt for other insects. Once they kill other insects or source meat, they will feed them to their larvae for the protein. Trophallaxis is when a community member transfers food and fluids to others within the colony.
Larvae will secrete sugary substances that the workers will consume as another source of nutrients. Though this may seem gross to us humans, this is how other species ensure survival. They can share all nutrients possible or serve as another form of communication among the colony.
To help with your localized yellow jacket control, ensure that your home does not have any fruits or sweets left out.

yellow jacket in water puddle
yellow jacket looking out from nest

Common Nesting Habits

Ideally, mice make their nest within 10 to 30 feet of a food source. Additionally, they prefer dark and secluded areas. Nesting material generally consists of fabric, insulation, and paper products.  Nesting sites include inside walls, under cabinets, and seldom used cabinets and drawers. Target these areas when implementing mouse control measures.

Fear the Nest

Yellow jackets like to build their nests in different places, more often underground in holes. They will seek out old rodent tunneling that provides shelter from the elements and other predators. Otherwise, they will locate other elevated locations if they do not build a nest underground. In forested areas, they will also nest off of high-hanging tree branches.
Their nests consist of different materials that they scavenge, such as wood, branches, and other cellulose-containing materials. They will slowly chew up cellulose and then use these newly tailored materials to create a paper-like nest.
A yellow jacket colony is highly protective of its nest it is best to exercise extreme caution when near one because they can both bite and sting multiple times. Unfortunately, it is often hard to tell when a nest is near, so yellow jacket control is vital.

Benefits of Yellow Jackets

As scary as yellow jackets are, they provide benefits to our homes and world. Every species has its role in the ecosystem, and yellow jackets offer a vital service we need to survive.

Pollinators

Since nectar is a significant component of their diets, they will consume nectar from flowers. As they fly from each flower, they carry extra pollen on them, spread naturally every day. This process is called pollination and is how our plant life in Oregon continues to thrive forward.

Natural Pest Control

Yellow jackets are omnivores and predators, which means they kill many insects to feed their larvae. They are highly effective predators and can help reduce general pest populations around the yard over time. Gardens can be so lucky to have a yellow jacket presence when other pests eat away at the plants. Yellow jackets are also considered detritivores which means they consume dead plant and animal materials!

Signs You Have Yellow Jackets

  • Determining if you need yellow jacket control can be difficult because a singular sighting could indicate a nearby nest or scavenging. However, below are some quick ways to tell if you have active yellow jacket nests in your yard.
  • You see more than one flying by consistently.
  • A nest is located underground or high up. Yellow jackets will typically have a high in-and-out traffic pattern.
  • You hear them! If you are quiet enough, yellow jackets will buzz around. Especially if they build a nest inside a wall void which is quite common and almost ideal for protection.

Yellow Jackets and Other Wasps

It is easy to mistake a yellow jacket for other wasps species. Unfortunately, there are few ways to tell what type of wasp is nearby unless they sit still.

paper wasp under roof

Paper Wasp vs. Yellow Jackets

  • Paper wasps have longer, lankier bodies than yellow jackets do.
  • Paper wasps will have more black and darker colored wings
  • Yellow jackets are more stout and fat; meanwhile, a Paper wasp’s legs will hang considerably lower when flying.
mud dauber wasp making nest

Mud Dauber vs Yellow Jacket

  • Mud Daubers are typically alone, whereas yellow jackets operate in large colonies.
  • Mud Daubers are larger in build than yellow jackets with typical brown or black solid coloring.
  • The name Mud Dauber is consistent with the type of nests they build, made up of mud. Yellow jackets use wood and other fibrous materials to build their nests.

Even More Serious with Hornets

Hornets in Oregon are larger and significantly more aggressive compared to wasps. While both belong to the same family of insects known as Vespidae, hornets are generally considered to be more formidable and imposing.

One of the key differences between these two types of insects is their behavior and level of aggression. Hornets are known to be territorial and will defend their nests viciously if threatened, which is why they are often associated with danger and fear. In contrast, wasps tend to be more solitary and less threatening, although some species can still be aggressive if provoked.

Another difference between hornets and wasps in Oregon is their appearance. Hornets are larger than most wasp species and have a distinct yellow and black coloration. They also have a visible “waist” segment between their thorax and abdomen, which is not as pronounced in most wasps. Additionally, hornets have stingers that are longer and more potent than those of wasps.

It is worth noting that while hornets can be a nuisance and a potential threat to humans, they also play an important role in the ecosystem. They are predators of other insects, including pests like caterpillars and aphids, and can help control their populations.

European hornet

Prime Pest Solutions Knows Yellow Jacket Control!

Prime Pest Solutions is prepared to answer the call when you are ready to start protecting your home from yellow jackets. Our team will safely and effectively remove any yellow jackets nesting around your home. We will also identify possible entry points around the house and look for signs of infestations.
Are you ready to protect your home from a yellow jacket invasion? Prime Pest Solutions’ yellow jacket control techniques are unique to each home. Our technicians can locate former yellow jacket nests and any active colonies, if present. Give us a call or fill out our contact form to get a technician servicing your home in no time.