Why Are Yellow Jackets Worse In Late Summer?

08/16/2015


Stinging Insects   

If you have lived in Northern Virginia for any length of time, you have seen a yellow jacket. And you may have noticed that they start to become a real "pain"--pun intended--around the end of summer. This makes outdoor activities like grilling, swimming, and yard work, a crisis waiting to happen. Let's explore a couple reasons why yellow jacket activity is worse in late summer, and look at a few ways you and your family can safeguard against unwanted confrontation.

On average yellow jackets in Virginia are responsible for about half the insect stings treated, because they are aggressive when provoked, and can sting several times. If you happen upon a nest of yellow jackets, and give them a reason to think you are a threat, they will swarm, and they will pursue you. This makes them a threat any time of year, but as summer comes to an end, yellow jackets are maxing out their hives, and a couple things are happening. First, food sources are being shared by a much larger group, and the queen is building up fat reserves to leave the nest and find a place to overwinter. When she departs, many of the others will leave with her. That's 4000-5000 yellow jackets flying around homeless. Are you smellin' what I'm cookin'? There is nothing worse than a bad tempered, homeless, hungry, wasp. These hungry wasps go scavenging, and that will bring them in and around your outside garbage, near barbeque sauce laden steaks frying on the grill, and open soda. Wasps love sweet--and sometimes sickly--things. And these items will make you and your home a target.

When summer's end comes there are a few things you can do to stay under the yellow jacket's radar. You probably already guessed a couple. Cover and seal your outside garbage. Don't leave sugary food or liquid out on your porch. Refrain from wearing sweet perfumes. And if you see a yellow jacket, don't make any sudden moves that might provoke them.

Make sure to check your seat before you sit, and watch where you place your hands. Many stings happen from direct--and accidental--contact with a yellow jacket. It could be hiding between the sheets of your newspaper, or walking on the backside of your book. It might be on the lip or handle of your trash can, looking for a way to get in. Be careful, and be wary.

As for protecting your home, make sure all of your screens are in working order. Your windows are the first place they'll try to squeeze through. They also like squeezing under your door. Make sure the door sweep is making a good seal.

The best way to protect your home, and your family, is to find and eradicate yellow jacket nests before they can grow to maximum. Please don't do this on your own. Wasp nest removal is always a job for a professional team. Give us a call if you’ve found yellow jackets or any other stinging insects on your Northern Virginia property!






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