These wasps play a beneficial role in destroying many insects that attack our garden and garden plants. However, nests near homes may be a source of irritation. If the nests are large or difficult to approach, such as within the walls of a house, the safest method would be to hire a pest control service to eliminate the colony. Any attempt to remove or destroy nests by the layman should be done at night when nest activity is at a minimum.

It must be noted that no matter how inactive a nest might seem at night, any disturbance will result in instant activity by the colony. It is necessary to work cautiously but quickly. Protective clothing is recommended.

Yellowjackets are capable of stinging repeatedly and are especially provoked if there is a threat to the nest. Unlike a honeybee, which dies after it has stung a target once, yellowjackets can sting repeatedly. In fact, when a yellowjacket or hornet is injured it frequently releases an “alarm pheromone” which immediately causes aggressive, defensive behavior from other members of the colony.

To mitigate your chances of being stung or swarmed at your home, remove nests as soon as you notice wasps. Do not attempt to remove a nest yourself. The nest may be bigger than you realize and swarming can cause serious injury and even death when mishandled. 

If you need help with bees or any other pest problems, call Insect IQ (855) 930-2847.