Wasps have yellow heads with black caps, a black thorax with yellow on the sides, a yellow abdomen with black stripes, black antennas and yellow legs. There are many different species in the Northwest but we commonly know them as yellow jackets.
Wasps are social insects that live in nests of up to 600-800 workers. They build paper nests in holes under ground or in openings in the siding of your home, sometimes in the eaves. Unlike bees, wasps are able to sting repeatedly. The venom of the wasp contains a pheromone which acts as an alarm causing other wasps to become more aggressive when a wasp has stung something or has been killed. The barbs on a wasp sting are too small to catch in the skin. This is what allows the wasp to sting several times, and leave nothing behind at the sting site. One might think that they were attacked by many wasps but in fact only 5 or 6 actually did the stinging. Wasps become very aggressive when ‘their’ territory has been invaded.
Sometimes wasps will simply ‘bump’ without actually stinging as a warning. You can observe this behavior in picnic areas where they are away from their nest.
Direct application of pesticide to the nest is required. Proper protection equipment is also recommended in most cases.
We find these guys to be most aggressive in fall, but care should be used around these Wasps at all times. We encourage leaving treatment of these types of wasps to the professional especially if you are allergic to wasp stings. If you are an All-Pest customer please don’t attempt to treat these guys on your own. They are an included pest and will be treated at no additional cost as long as the nest is on the structure or is deemed to be within a reasonable distance away for the from the house on the same property as the house under the guarantee.