As temperatures consistently hit upwards of 90 degrees, you may be seeing an increased presence of yellow jackets in Fort Worth and the surrounding areas during late summer and early fall. Let’s go into how you can tell yellow jackets apart from other stinging insects such as wasps and how to prevent them from nesting on your property.
Yellow jackets are not only a nuisance, but can be dangerous (and even deadly for those who are allergic) as they can sting and inject venomous fluid more than once. Compared to other stinging insects that live in the Fort Worth area, yellow jackets are relatively docile unless you approach their nest. However, they’re usually much more aggressive towards the end of the yellow jacket season (early fall) when they are fighting for survival. At this time, they are eating anything in sight to try to stay alive. Multiple stings are possible if you run into these dangerous and unpredictable insects.
In addition to harming humans, yellow jackets can nest in wall voids, attics, sheds, and underground within lawns. Thousands of yellow jackets can live in a single colony, growing in size throughout the summer. That’s why you must call a pest management professional to remove the nest as soon as you find it.
What’s the difference between a yellow jacket and paper wasp?
When you see a yellow and black insect buzzing around your home or business, your first instinct may be to run or try to swat it away. At the moment, you’re probably not concerned with the type of insect. However, it’s essential to know the differences between yellow jackets and other common stinging insects so you can understand what to expect when they nest on your property.
Yellow jackets are predatory insects that live in large, active colonies and are very protective of their nest sites, which makes them especially dangerous.
Here are four key features of yellow jackets:
- Size ranges between 3/8 and 5/8 inches long
- Front wings fold lengthwise while resting
- Completely black antennae
- Nest in the ground or within attics and wall voids
Since yellow jackets are attracted to meat, fruit, and sweet drinks, you may also find them swarming around your trash cans or outdoor meals.
Unlike yellow jackets, paper wasps will rarely sting when unprovoked but can be aggressive if provoked or they sense their nests are in danger. You won’t see a large number of paper wasps at one time.
Here are four key features of paper wasps:
- Size ranges between ½ and 1 inch
- Its long legs hang down while flying
- Orange-tipped antennae
- Create gray, honeycomb patterned nests that hang under eaves, patio umbrellas, overhangs, and garages
How can I remove a yellow jacket nest?
Now that you’ve determined whether you truly have a yellow jacket problem, you can take the right steps to get rid of those insects. While there’s not a specific measure to altogether remove yellow jackets on your property, here are a few proactive steps you can take to prevent a run-in with the stinging pests.
- Always cover sweet beverages like soda and juice when you are outdoors.
- Avoid wearing sandals or walking barefoot in your yard as yellow jackets can nest in the ground.
- If you store your garbage cans outside, you should have a tight-fitting lid
- Make sure your windows and door screens are adequately sealed.
Since yellow jackets live in nests that can hold around 5,000, it’s not enough to kill only a few to get rid of the nest in its entirety.
You may have seen articles or YouTube videos about do-it-yourself traps and actions to take against yellow jackets such as pouring gasoline at the nest entrance, using store-bought repellent sprays or mixing bleach and ammonia to pour into the nest.
However, those DIY solutions are not only ineffective but extremely dangerous. In some instances, you can make it more difficult for professional pest control service members to get rid of the nests. By agitating the nest, you’ll push the yellow jacket colony to another spot on your property or into your home.
If you find a yellow jacket nest on your property or in your attic, do not touch it. Call us right away for fast and safe nest removal.
How can Certified get rid of yellow jackets at your home?
Certified Termite & Pest Control has served homeowners and business owners in the Dallas and Fort Worth area since 1974. We have a team of professional pest control experts for your yellow jacket removal needs. Our highly trained experts will safely remove the dangerous insects and their nests on your property and prevent them from returning. Call us or fill out the contact form on this page to get started!