Yellow Jackets

Color: Alternating yellow and black bands on the abdomen Size: 1/2″
Legs: 6 Antennae: Yes
Shape: Long oval; bee shaped Region: N/A

The yellow jacket is found in throughout North America in various different species.

Habits

Yellow Jackets are predacious insects, which means they eat other insects. For this reason, they are beneficial insects and if they are up and out of the way, you might just as well leave them alone. They will also feed on ripe fruit, or even tree sap. Though mostly diurnal, they will also occasionally fly at night. Their nest will last only the current season, and will be vacant after the first hard freeze or a couple of frosts.

Habitats

The yellow jacket will make a nest in a soil cavity such as an abandoned mouse nest or hollow tree. Other possible nest sites are in buildings, including attics, porches, eaves, behind shutters or sheds.

Threats

The yellow jacket has a smooth stinger that can be used to sting multiple times, whereas the honey bee has a barbed stinger than can be used to sting only once. A yellow jacket does not leave a stinger in its victim, so therefore it can sting multiple times. Also, yellow jacket stings can result in a life-threatening situation, especially if the person is allergic to yellow jacket venom.

Prevention

Yellow jackets should be addressed by a professional. Because yellow jackets are so aggressive, only a pest control professional can safely remove a yellow jacket nest.