Yellow Jackets unlike Honey Bees will sting over and over again. Last fall my wife and I were sitting in a winery courtyard enjoying the warm sun. The only problem was that, so were the Yellow Jackets. Simple things can be done to get rid of these pesky insects that sting so easily.
First, keep lids on all trash cans. Yellow Jackets feed on proteins and sugars. Leftover sandwiches and sweets including soft drinks attract Yellow Jackets. Keep trash cans covered and they will look elsewhere. If you have an outdoor eating area, use trash cans with the spring back doors on them. Then you don’t have to worry about the lids being off and their stinging ability.
Second, if you have a compost area, keep it far away as possible. Yellow Jackets are attracted to warmth and material inside the compost. Especially keep meat and bone products out of your compost area. Rotten fruit in the compost area will also attract Yellow Jackets.
Third, build some traps. These are very easy to do and can trap many of these little pesky insects. This is how you do it. Take an empty two liter bottle of soda. Drill a small hole into the top of the bottle. You can put sugar water in it or even leave a little soda. Tie a sting around the neck area of the bottle and hang it away from your outdoor area. You might consider hanging it in a tree. Put these out in early summer before the queen starts to look for a nesting area.
Yellow Jackets will find their way in because they are attracted to the sweetness. Once inside, they can’t find their way back out. These also work good in the fall as the weather starts to change. The sunlight will warm the inside of the bottles.
You can also buy traps at Lowe’s , Home Depot or any insect control store. When you are done with these traps, just dispose of them. Place some tape over the hole. This way they won’t escape and sting someone else.
If you find their nests, it is best to have a professional handle it. They can be found in the tops of trash cans, logs, under old down trees, and just hanging in plain site.
If you decide to go after them yourself to save me money, dress for battle. You will need a very good spray that kills on contact, proper clothing, gloves, sharp knife, and heavy duty plastic bag. Follow the directions on the spray can. Do Read Them. Once you have applied he spray, watch for their quick reaction. Cut down the nest quickly and place it in the bag and tie it up. Spray the area where the nest was one more time. Now vacate the area for several hours.
Attacking the problem early can make for an enjoyable summer.