Yellow Jackets and Hornets

Yellow Jackets and Hornets are of the same family of wasps and have many similarities. Both build large, football-shaped paper nests, are very aggressive when disturbed by humans, and can inflict serious stings (sometimes requiring immediate medical treatment). These wasps are most active during sunny days and return to the nest after dusk.

Identification: Yellow jackets can be divided into two categories: ground and aerial nesters. Ground nesters build their carton-type nest in abandoned rodent burrows, while aerial nesters build the same nest in wall voids, attics, crawlspaces, etc. While these nests differ in location, they are alike in the fact that they are not built in visible areas. Hornets on the other hand build nests either in trees and bushes or attach them to the side of a structure, making them readily visible. These are the classic, football-shaped paper nests you will see hanging in trees after the leaves fall. Most people encounter underground yellow jacket nests and aerial hornet nests by accident, while either mowing the grass or doing yard work. Once the nest becomes disturbed these aggressive wasps will attack in great numbers.


Control: If you plan on trying to mitigate a yellowjacket or hornet nest by yourself there are several precautions to keep in mind:

  • Workers return to the nest by dark, making it the best time to treat them.
  • Wear Protective clothing such as rip-stop nylon, a bee bonnet or veil, and heavy gloves.
  • Tape wrists and ankle cuffs to keep insects out of sleeves and pant legs.
  • Move slowly and with caution. Quick movements will be met with aggressive behavior!
  • Make sure to have enough materials on hand to complete the job the first time, keeping in mind a nest may consist of thousands of hornets or yellowjackets.

As previously stated, these insects can be very dangerous.  If you would like guaranteed results with no risk to yourself, call us at Monroe Pest Control Inc.

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