Yellowjackets are one of the worst stinging insects that you can have on your property. Not only are they more aggressive than paper wasps, they also build their nests underground, which means that they can be triggered into a frenzy by a lawnmower or by someone stepping in the wrong area. They are also able to live on a wide variety of foods, especially sweets and meat, and they will often bother people during backyard cookouts, picnics or any gathering where you have food and beverages out in the open.
Yellowjackets do not fare well during winter. Although they are better at staying active during lower temperatures than other insects, they are still quite susceptible to the cold of winter. However, nests may survive if they are built in areas where you have higher temperatures such as inside of a wall void, heated shed, garage or attic space. In this situation, the nest will continue to grow if it has access to food sources, eventually becoming a super nest.
In spring, as the weather warms up, new queens will come out of their winter hibernation and start setting up new nests. However, the fledgling nests are still vulnerable to cold snaps, which can instantly kill a colony.
If a colony has survived the spring, it will thrive during the summer. Hot weather gives the yellowjackets more energy and more food sources, with flowers blossoming and insects buzzing about. Yellowjackets are less aggressive during this season because they have access to plenty of food, but they are much more numerous. Rains can still be a hazard however, because most yellowjackets build their nest underground, so there is the risk of flooding.
After the boom of summer, comes the crash of autumn. As the temperature drops, other insect populations do as well, leaving the yellowjackets with fewer food sources. This makes them more aggressive as they search for food. It also forces them to change their diet, relying more on sugars instead of protein to get the sustenance they need.
Dealing with a yellowjacket infestation
Yellowjackets can be a pest all year round, but they are especially dangerous during the summer and autumn. If you have a yellowjacket infestation on your property, the best way to deal with it is to get in touch with a pro who will come over and remove the nest. Contact us today and we can help you with your yellowjacket infestation.