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Often mistaken for bees, due to their yellow-and-black coloring, yellow jackets are actually wasps. At about 1 1/2 inches long, they triple the average honey bee in length. Although the end of the warm-weather months means larvae production stops and males die off after mating, the yellow jacket is at its most active during the late summer in Wisconsin.

Yellow Jacket Fall Frenzy

Food becomes scarce as flowers are no longer in bloom. Like us, wasps get cranky when they’re hungry. They become more aggressive, stinging with even the slightest provocation. In their desperate search for food, they explore every possibility — including the folds of human skin. The yellow jacket will sting, often multiple times, when a victim bends a limb and squeezes the insect at the crook of an elbow or behind a knee. The wasp’s sting is very painful, not to mention dangerous to those with sensitivities. Anaphylactic shock from bee and wasp stings kills as many as 50 people in the U.S. annually.

Yellow Jacket Nests

Of the two varieties of yellow jackets in the state, the German yellow jacket prefers to construct its nests inside building walls. Yellow jackets nests are at their largest at summer’s end and can also be found in trees, shrubs, or underground. Indoor nests, which are especially tricky to remove, allow these wasps to remain active through the end of the year. And while yellow jackets don’t reuse their nests, instead building new ones in the spring, it’s important to get rid of them. Old, abandoned yellow jacket nests attract other kinds of pests.

Don’t Let a Yellow Jacket Attack Ruin Your Outdoor Fun

As fall approaches, the yellow jacket starts craving sweets over meats. Whether you’re having a late-summer barbecue or roasting marshmallows at your fall bonfire, those goodies could spell disaster for your outdoor gathering. These easy preventive measures can help:

  • Avoid wearing yellow, pink, and lime-green clothing.
  • Don’t wear perfume or use scented items.
  • Pour beer and soft drinks into cups so guests can see what they’re drinking.
  • If a yellow jacket gets into an article of clothing, be careful not to tighten the item and smash the wasp.

Avoiding yellow jackets can be difficult, especially when they’re most active in the late summer and early fall months. If you do find nests on your property, contact your trusted pest control experts in Wisconsin to protect your family and guests.

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