Yellowjacket wasps start to build up their populations during summer, and while we may hate having them buzzing around, they are beneficial to the flowers and plants in our gardens, because they are capable of pollination, and they hunt beetles and grubs.
Their diverse diet draws them to human settlements, especially urban areas, since we tend to throw away a lot of leftover food. They are also heavily drawn to sugar, so any soda or desserts that are left out are big favorites with the yellowjackets. In fact, they have a tendency of going into people’s soda cans when no one is paying attention.
To make matters worse, once these pests find a food source, they will return to that location often. So if you notice yellowjackets bothering you once on your property, odds are that they have found food and will come back again. Not only that, but yellowjackets use pheromones to navigate their environment, similar to ants, so if one yellowjacket finds food on your property, others will soon follow it.
Yellowjackets will be most active during the warm months, and during winter, most of the workers will die, and the queen will go into hibernation only to emerge a year later as the summer begins. They will nest in secluded areas, under or above the ground, and you may find nests in shrubs, trees, in house walls, under the steps of the porch, in cracks or holes in the pavement, inside rotten logs or in brush piles. If you happen to disturb their nest, even a little bit, they will swarm and attack you, and unlike bees, they can sting you multiple times in a row. In fact, they are so sensitive to any disturbance to their nest that even mowing near the nest will make them attack you.
So yellowjackets are mostly scavengers and predators, eating meat and sweets, ensuring that nothing stays rotten for too long out in the open. But they can also pollinate flowers. They are not really suited to the role evolutionarily, like bees are for example, but during their travel, they will sometimes find food inside flowers and as they move around, they will spread the pollen. This does not mean that if you take them out, you upset the ecological balance. If you have a nest on your property you should remove it right away. Contact us today and we will help you out with that.