Yellow jackets, with their distinctive jagged bands of bright yellow on their abdomens, are social wasps that live in colonies. Compared to paper wasps, they are, by far, the more troublesome stinging insect to have on your property. Yellow jackets tend to defend their nests vigorously when disturbed, along with a high risk of stinging. Paper wasps are much less defensive, and tend to shy away from human activity. Yellow jackets are foraging scavengers. If there is a nearby yellow jacket nest, you’re virtually guaranteed that they’ll start to show up at picnics and barbecues, around garbage cans, and at dishes of dog or cat food placed outside. And ripe fruit out in the open or half-full Coke or other soda cans lying around are yellow jacket magnets! Once the colony is mature, it requires large amount of sugar to maintain the queen and workers, so sweet things are targets of attraction.
Yellow jackets are are often ground nesting, building nests in rodent borrows. Sometimes, they select other protected cavities as nesting sites, such as voids in walls and ceilings of houses. When I was called to this client’s home in Keyport, NJ to remove a yellow jacket nest, I found it behind a light fixture. Colonies are begun each spring by a single reproductive female and can reach populations numbering in the thousands. These wasps build a paper nest made from wood fibers mixed with saliva. the nest is enclosed by a paper envelope around the outside that usually contains a single entrance hole. These wasps will increase the size of the rodent hole or other cavity if necessary by moistening the soil and digging. When this is done inside a house, you’ll sometimes see a wet patch that develops into a hole in the wall of ceiling. Yellow jackets build their nests in locations where it will be kept dry and protected. By avoiding inclement weather, the nest can continue to grow without interruption.
While yellow jacket nests form in wall voids, it creates a dangerous situation for the occupants of the home. If not removed quickly, the nest will expand, and, with their aggressive behavior, it’s just a matter of time before someone is stung. There are several ways to treat yellow jacket nests hiding in wall voids. What I’ve found to find to be most effective is applying a dust application onto the nest if it is accessible, or by dusting the entrance to the nest. Once he dust is applied, yellow jackets will instinctively begin cleaning it out. Yellow jackets live for the queen, and they’ll do anything and everything to keep the nest clean for their queen. Once the insects, absorb the dust, they soon become infected and die. The nest is soon destroyed. These wasps will attack if they sense a poison is being applied to their nest, and you can expect some wasps to come flying out — and they will not be in a good mood. We wear protective clothing that covers the entire body, including a face veil, and I can tell you from personal experience that, even with protective gear, stings are common. Removal of yellow jacket nests is not a good DIY project. A horde of agitated, partially poisoned wasps is not something you want to deal with on your own.
With yellow jacket nest removal, hiring a pest control professional with the right chemicals and protective equipment is the way to go. We will make sure that all the wasps are dead, the nest is gone, and we’ll assume the risk of dangerous stings instead of you and your family.