There are 30,000 different types of wasps on Earth.
Of this huge family of insects, not all are considered pests. Yellowjackets are a subset of wasps that are social and identified by their color. Not all yellowjackets are pests, but pest yellowjacket hives can be big trouble in your yard.
Wasps are famous for being able to sting, and unlike honeybees, they can sting multiple times without harming themselves. Wasp stings are painful and can cause allergic reactions. While they are only a serious threat to health if you are allergic, no one wants to be stung by a wasp.
Yellowjackets is a name commonly associated with a set of mustard to bright yellow and black wasps. They are social insects, living in groups instead of being solitary. There are many names for yellowjackets, including hornet and ground hornet. They are also sometimes known as ground hornets.
They are commonly found buzzing around areas where they collect food. This can be trash, as well as in the yard where they live and forage. Yellowjackets are notoriously defensive and easy to rile. You don’t have to work hard to provoke a sting from these pest insects.
A hive, or nest, is a place where insects hatch their young and store food, much like a home. Yellowjackets will commonly have a queen that will build the nest and put in brooding chambers. These chambers are filled with eggs that hatch into larva that are fed and cared for by the queen.
Some nests can have up to 50 of these chambers on the very first build and will be expanded as the colony grows in size. Those wasps that hatch from these chambers and leave after 15-20 days will become the workers of the colony. All the wasps of a colony are wired to protect the queen and nest.
Yellowjacket Hives Have a Wide Variety of Locations
Yellowjackets make their hives in the ground, the western and eastern varieties both do this. They can even use mouse burrows, expanding them as their colony grows. They will use any soil cavity they can find, but not all species go just for ground dwellings.
Yellowjackets are also sometimes known to live next to, or even invade homes. They can and will eat through drywall in order to reach living spaces where food is more prevalent. This is not common, but if it does happen, you could find yourself battling wasps that are flying through your house.
Being on the ground makes a hive very easy to disturb, and if you disturb yellowjackets, they will defend themselves. You can do this by mowing over the top of them or even walking too close. Yellowjackets will respond with stings and swarming.
Since there is such a large variety of yellowjackets, not all of them build their nests on the ground. Some build their nests in the eaves of houses and businesses. These can be spotted because they hang from the side of a building or roof.
How a Hive Is Built
Yellowjacket nests will look like they are built out of mud. In reality, this is a chemical sludge that is closer to paper and built from wood fiber that the wasps chew. Using this sticky substance, they can attach their hives to almost anything, from the branches of trees to the shingles of your roof.
When living on the ground, yellowjackets create their burrows under the surface of the ground. They do this by either digging their own nest or by taking over the nest of other creatures. Those creatures are either killed or harassed until they abandon their home.
The wasps then use this cavity but do not live next to the ground. Instead, they use the roots of plants and trees to build the same type of nest you often see hanging from the eaves of your house. They fix this next to the roots, and it hangs inside the cavity of the underground space they found or dug.
How Long Do Wasp Nests Stay Active
Wasps are warm-weather insects that aren’t active during the winter in most areas. If you live in a cooler climate, they will be active until the temperature starts to drop. If you have wasps, you can expect them to be active and dangerous for months on end.
Once winter comes, the workers will not survive. The queen will, as she hibernates under bark and is ready to come out the next year. The wasps that trouble you are not going to use the same nest site. Each summer, the queen will find or build a new nest.
Destroying a Wasp Nest
If you are being plagued by wasps and want to get rid of them, it can be dangerous to try and remove a nest yourself. The wasps are aggressive because they are so social, and this makes them defensive of their territory and nest. They will attack you once you begin to damage their nest, or even as you approach it.
There are a lot of home cures of wasps, but interacting with them in any way will lead to a sting. A pest control specialist is able to deal with them without risking their health. If you are experiencing a problem with wasps either on the ground or building their nests on your house, get professional help.
Quick and Easy Pest Eradication
Elevate Pest Control services the Utah and Colorado area, and we can help you with whatever past problem you are having. During the summer months, wasps can become a terrifying threat, as people don’t want to be stung wasps can make people very nervous.
Don’t risk getting rid of yellowjacket hives yourself and suffering the pain of a wasp sting. Wasps will attack you for even getting near to them. Enjoy your yard and the outdoors when the weather is nice, you’ve been stuck inside all winter.
Contact Elevate Pest Control to have your problem removed without risking yourself in the process.