Yellow jackets are an incredibly aggressive species. Their top priority is ensuring the safety of their queen and her eggs, and they will attack anyone they deem a threat to their nest. When yellow jackets are in a high-activity area like the backyard, their protective behavior can present a major problem for homeowners.
It’s difficult to completely eliminate yellow jackets from your entire property, and ABC Wildlife does not advise attempting yellow jacket nest removal without professional help. However, there are some steps you can take to get rid of yellow jackets and make your yard a less appealing destination. Below are some dos and don’ts for yellow jacket removal.
Yellow Jacket Nest Removal Dos and Don’ts
- Assess the situation: While seeing yellow jackets on your property can be scary, if the nest is in an area of the property that sees little to no human activity, it may not be necessary to remove it. Yellow jackets help to control the population of pest insects like mosquitoes and may actually be doing you a favor.
- Act at night: If you absolutely must approach a yellow jacket nest, do so at night. They are most active during the day and return to their nest at night, which means the chances of being stung are reduced when it’s dark.
- Spraying yellow jackets: Spraying a yellow jackets’ nest with over-the-counter insecticide can be very dangerous. Not only can it anger the nest and provoke an attack, but nearly all of these sprays are contact insecticides, meaning the insect must come into direct contact with the product in order for it to be effective. If you spray into the nest’s entrance, it will become contaminated, and the yellow jackets will simply create a new entrance.
- Sealing nests: Never seal a yellow jacket nest. Doing so may force the hostile insects to find a new exit, which may very well be into your living space.
- Yellow jacket traps: It is possible to purchase commercial stinging insect traps, however they will attract additional insects to your property that weren’t there in the first place. Also, while you may catch several yellow jackets, as long as the queen is still in the nest, she will reproduce, and the yellow jacket population will continue to grow. Unless the queen is removed, the nest will remain active.
- Don’t tempt yellow jackets: Yellow jackets love a picnic, so do your best to eliminate potential food sources. If you keep garbage cans outside, be sure to cover them tightly with a lid. If you’ve had a party on your patio or deck, don’t leave any trash or scraps out. Seal away anything that might be sweet smelling. This is also useful advice for raccoon control and skunk control.
Call for professional help
If yellow jackets are truly threatening your family, call in the stinging insect specialists at ABC Wildlife. We are trained and well-equipped to handle your yellow jacket nest removal, and our Preventative Maintenance Treatments keep stinging insects from forming nests in the future. Contact one of our knowledgeable team members today for a free consultation at (847) 870-7175.
Image courtesy of Jayme Frye via Flickr Creative Commons