Why the Yellow Jackets Around New Castle Seem Mad Right Now
October 28, 2019
For many folks, fall is the perfect time of year, especially in New Castle. The foliage is gorgeous, the weather is comfortable, and there are no more bugs. Well... it would be nice if there were no more bugs! But the fact is, some bugs, such as yellow jackets, can be even more of a problem in New Castle, in the fall. If they seem especially aggressive, it’s because they are! Fall is their last chance to find food before the winter, so these pests get angry and protective each fall.
What Are Yellow Jackets?
Yellow jackets are stinging insects with black and yellow stripes. They’re often confused with paper wasps, honeybees, and hornets. You can tell a hornet from a yellow jacket because their head is larger than that of a yellow jacket. Plus, yellow jackets have a distinct side-to-side flight pattern before each landing. This pattern can help distinguish them from other stinging insects.
Some people think that yellow jackets are just a species of wasp. In reality, there are ten different species of yellow jacket, and they come from two different genera. These ten species are the European yellow jacket, also called the German wasp; the common wasp; the North American yellow jacket; the Eastern yellow jacket; the Western yellow jacket; the prairie yellow jacket; the Southern yellow jacket; the bald-faced hornet (which is in fact a yellow jacket despite its black and white coloring and its name); the Aerial yellow jacket; and the tree wasp.
Yellow Jacket Nests
In order to avoid problematic interactions with yellow jackets, be especially careful in looking for their nests. Yellow jacket nests can be found almost anywhere. Yellow jackets build nests in trees or shrubs, but they can also make homes on man-made structures such as sheds or the eaves of a house. Other species of yellow jacket build their nests underground. The bald-faced hornet, aerial yellow jacket, and tree wasp build exposed aerial nests. Most are made of a paper-like substance that’s actually wood fiber. These nests can be found almost anywhere on your property, so be sure to keep an eye out.
Southern yellow jackets create large perennial colonies, but most yellow jacket species only have annual colonies. The inseminated queens overwinter, but the other members of the colony die around November as the weather cools. This is why October is a time of extreme movement and aggression for yellow jackets. This is their last chance to collect food for the queen and her future colony.
How Dangerous are Yellow Jackets?
Yellow jacket females are capable of stinging. Their non-barbed stinger can sting repeatedly. If they feel threatened by your presence, you could be stung many times. The venom isn’t especially dangerous, but it becomes more dangerous the more you get stung. Yellow jacket stings can be extremely dangerous for people who have an allergic reaction. If you have a yellow jacket nest on your property, Moyer Pest Control can help with safe removal. Don’t risk repeated stings from these aggressive insects. Let Moyer take control.