Yellow jackets, the beneficial little attackers are social insects that live in large colonies. These social insects are focussed on the wellness of their colony, which makes them defend their clan. These insects are highly aggressive and a single yellow jacket can sting several times. Besides being painful, there has been reports of death due to the anaphylactic infection.
Quite a shocker, right?
So, it is better to stay away from these insects rather than regretting later. It is estimated that almost 500,000 people experience yellow jacket stings every year. It is also important to be careful about the underground nests.
Why Yellow Jackets Attack During Summer?
These insects are quite aggressive during the months of August and September. Their hive is full with grown up larvae and pupae by this time. Hence, the founder yellowjackets move out to search more food for themselves and the growing nest.
An unwelcome guest
Yellow jackets are one of August’s more unwanted pests. As summer barbecues give way to fall tailgate parties, watch out for yellow jackets zeroing in on sugary drinks, ripe fruit and overflowing trash cans. As these foodstuff lures yellow jackets, they make their way into human habitation in search of more which results in the attack on people.
Aggressive when provoked!
These aggressive insects are most numerous between late summer and early fall and live in large colonies of 4000 to 5000, building their nests in the ground ,in trees as well in protected places around your home, like eaves, attics, garage etc. A single yellow jacket is capable of stinging multiple times. If their nest is threatened, they will swarm out and attack aggressively.
Preventing Yellow Jacket Stings
You can prevent yellow jackets stings by using insect sprays, powders, traps, repellents and so on to ensure that the nests of these insects are controlled in the lawns. Here are some prevention tips that you can follow to avoid being stung by yellow jackets.
- Avoid swatting or crushing the flying insects. If you spot one such insect on you, brush it off gently and walk away.
- Monitor the insect’s flight pattern to find out the location of their nest so that you can avoid it.
- Avoid using lotions, hair products, and perfumes that have a floral odor as it might attract the insects.
- Cover the pet food and garbage cans.
- Use imitation or fake nests to prompt the yellow jacket seek another place to build its nest.
- During the peak season, avoid having snacks and drinks outside or cover the drinks using a secured lid and use a straw to drink.
- Wear heavy clothing when walking in wooded areas. Lightweight clothing may not be tough enough to protect you from a sting.
- Remain calm. When you get aggressive, yellowjackets get aggressive.
- If you find a nest, call a pest control professional. Removing one yourself is probably more dangerous than you think.
Useful tips to get away from the menace
- Although humans can outrun the wasps, which have a top flying speed of 6 to 7 mph, you could suffer more than a dozen painful stings triggered by your movement before you could run out of range.
- Don’t strike or crush a yellow jacket against your body. This releases an alarm pheromone that can incite a frenzied attack from other yellow jackets in the vicinity within 15 seconds.
- If yellow jackets are bothering you, your best defense is to cover your face with your hands and back away slowly, making sure not to step on a ground nest. Move indoors if at all possible.
How to Handle Yellow Jackets if it is inside a moving Vehicle
There have been situations when the yellow jackets have entered moving vehicles. Though it might sound funny, it can result in quite a dangerous situation. If at all this occurs, the drivers should carefully halt the vehicle on the roadside, and the passengers should get down. The driver should also make sure that all the windows and doors are left open, so that the insect can exit. Usually, the flying yellow jackets get out of the vehicle instantly.
However beneficial these Yellow Jackets are to your garden, it is definitely a threat to humans living around. So it is always best to prevent the infestation by taking the necessary precaution.