Appearance and Size Facts
- Black and yellow in color and are easily confused with bees
- Yellow jackets are actually wasps, not bees
- More distinct coloration of bright yellow and black, rather than the yellow-orange coloration of Honey bees
- The Yellow jacket has a smooth stinger that can be used to sting multiple times
- Size: Range from 1/2 to 1inch in length
Behavior and Habitat of Yellow Jackets
Yellow jackets are social insects that have a caste system, which is a division of labor between sterile female workers, males, and reproductive female queens. The queen builds a small paper nest and lays several eggs which hatch and mature into sterile female adult workers. Nests are constructed of several layers of comb made of tiny bits of wood fiber chewed into paper-like pulp. Yellow jackets build large paper nests in the ground, in tree stumps near the ground, or in openings into structures (attics, crawl spaces, etc...). These nests can be very large, containing thousands of wasps, which will forage out up to 300 yards away in search of food. Though the adults mainly feed on plant nectar, they will search for protein-based food sources, such as insects, small animals, or even human food, to feed to the larvae in the colony. In the fall, especially when temperatures begin to get cooler and days shorter, the Yellow jackets will begin searching for additional protein sources for the overwintering hives.
Signs of Infestation of Yellow Jackets
Rapid movement or vibration near a nest will alert "guards" who release an alarm pheromone, causing the nest to attack the nearby offender. Because Yellow jackets, 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).
Tips for Prevention of Yellow Jackets
Remove garbage frequently, keep trash cans covered, and make sure all doors and windows have screens that are in good condition. Also avoid wearing sweet-scented perfumes, which can attract and confuse the Yellow jackets.
Yellow Jacket Gallery
Latest Pest Control News
Although most south Floridians welcome the cooler weather, it may draw inside several unwanted guests. As temperatures drop, rodents are more likely to invade homes looking for warmth. We can't blame them, but we also do not have to live with them. Rats and mice can strike terror in even the most...Read More ›
Most South Floridians embrace the cool winter weather, if we are lucky. And just as we finish battling Chinch Bugs all summer long, now we have a new problem in our lawns: Brown Patch Fungus. If you notice large circular patches of brown grass in your yard, call Hulett Environmental Services today...Read More ›
Jan 22, 2020—Ants
Big Headed Ants are an invasive species that are common in subtropical climates, like we have here in south Florida. They can be particularly difficult to control due to a single colony having multiple queens, reproducing year round. Often, multiple colonies can completely take over a landscape,...Read More ›