What’s black and yellow and stings all over? If you’re thinking of one of the many species of this flying insects, you may have just gotten a shiver down your spine. Yellow jackets are known for building nests in all kinds of places depending on their species: trees, shrubs, man-made structures, and even holes in the ground.
Most people think of yellow jackets as one species of wasps, although there are actually ten notable species of yellow jackets from two different genera; some species are native to North America, while many of them are not. The common species of yellow jackets include the following:
- European yellow jackets, also known as the German wasp, appeared in Ohio in 1975. This species dominated some other native species, and are often confused for paper wasps or honey bees. Their characteristic rapid side-to-side flight pattern prior to landing is a dead giveaway.
- Common wasps.
- North American yellow jacket.
- Eastern yellow jacket.
- Western yellow jacket.
- Prairie yellow jacket.
- Southern yellow jacket.
- Bald-faced hornet. While all hornets are wasps, not all wasps are hornets. Hornets like the Bald-faced species look similar to yellow jackets, but hornets have bigger heads and larger eyes.
- Aerial yellow jacket
- Tree wasps.
Bald-faced hornets, aerial yellow jackets, and tree wasps create exposed aerial nests that are easy to spot. Other species build concealed wood-fiber or paper-like nests, usually underground. Unlike some insect species, yellow jacket colonies are annual, meaning they will die at the end of the year. Only the inseminated queens will overwinter, prepared to begin a new colony at the start of the spring season.
The Dangers Of The Yellow Jacket
Female yellow jackets are capable of stinging with their barbed stingers, repeatedly jabbing at a victim until their retreat. Occasionally this stinger can become lodged and pull free of the wasp’s body. The venom in their stings is only dangerous to humans who have bee allergies or who have been stung many times over, warranting immediate medical care.
Both male and female yellow jackets behave more aggressively during the fall. Worker yellow jackets will be busy collecting food for the next generation of queens, the only insects in the colony to survive the winter. After a few hard months, the rest of the colony will perish around mid-November. Southern yellow jacket species may create larger perennial colonies, but this is not a reason to treat them any differently.
Be A Hero With Innovative Pest Control
DIY methods for any species of yellow jacket is a bad idea. For assistance with yellow jackets or removal of their nests, contact Innovative Pest Control and request professional pest control services today.
- Wasp Prevention,
- Yellow Jacket Identification
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