(Vespula and Dolichovespula spp.)
Yellowjackets are black and yellow in color, and are easily confused with bees. The yellowjacket has a smooth stinger that can be used to sting multiple times.
Range from ½ to 1-inch in length.
Yellowjackets are social insects that have a colony division of labor between undeveloped female workers, males, and fully developed female queens. The queen builds a small paper nest and lays several eggs which hatch and mature into adult workers. Nests are constructed of several layers of comb made of tiny bits of wood fiber chewed into paper-like pulp.
Yellowjackets build large paper nests in the ground, or in tree stumps near the ground. These nests can be very large, containing thousands of wasps who will forage out up to 300 yards away in search of food. Though the adults only feed on plant nectar, they will kill other insects or small animals to feed them to the larvae.
Rapid movement or vibration near a nest will alert "guards" who release an alarm pheromone causing the nest to attack the nearby offender. Because yellowjackets, as with all other wasps, do not lose their stinger after stinging, an attack by several thousand insects can be extremely painful (even fatal to persons allergic to wasp venom).
Do you live in South Florida and think that this pest may be invading your home or yard? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty pest control treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!