Most of the time, yellow jackets aren't dangerous at all. In fact, they're beneficial insects that are good to have in your yard - as long as they're just visiting. Today, we're going to discuss why they're mostly harmless and give you some insight into the rare circumstances when they can turn from harmless to dangerous.
What You Might Not Know About A Yellow Jacket
When a wasp leaves its nest and goes looking for food, it is focused on that task. It isn't looking for someone to sting. If it comes into your yard, it may attack a spider or some other unwanted pest in your yard, but it isn't likely to attack you. If you stay calm and don't take a swing at a yellow jacket, it will probably leave you alone.
Some beekeepers have demonstrated that it is possible to be in the presence of hundreds of yellow jackets without being stung. This is because they are mostly docile toward humans when they are away from their nests. If you have an occasional yellow jacket visiting your yard, you should be in no danger. Let that wasp help with the pollination of your plants, and let it control some of the pests in your yard.
When Yellow Jackets Create A Nest
If you encounter yellow jackets that are near their nest, they're not likely to be docile at all. They have a strong nest-protection instinct. When disturbed, they will begin to release a pheromone scent into the air. This excites the wasps and causes them to swarm and attack. Even a small nest of wasps can be dangerous as each wasp can grip onto your skin and sting you several times.
Another problem that arises with yellow jacket nests is that they are established in voids, such as ground holes, objects in your yard, structures, and even inside the walls of your home. The worst-case scenario is when yellow jackets find their way into a storage area and begin to create a super colony inside stored furniture, or some other stored item that has a void within.
Here are a few more ways void nests can be tricky to deal with:
- If yellow jackets establish a nest inside your landscaping, it can be difficult to detect it. When you go to manage your landscaping, you could get a terrible surprise if you're not paying attention.
- If yellow jackets create a nest in a ground hole in your yard, this nest can be agitated by the vibration from a lawnmower, or by children running around.
- If yellow jackets create a nest inside a gap in your exterior walls, they could find their way to the interior of your home and suddenly appear in large numbers out of nowhere.
Yellow jackets are venomous insects, and like all venomous insects, it is possible for these wasps to present a serious danger to you. If you have an allergy to stinging insects, one sting could result in life-threatening symptoms. Fortunately, this is rare. But this is something to keep in mind. Stinging insect allergies can develop as you grow older, so you may not know you're allergic.
How You Can Keep Yellow Jackets From Being Dangerous
Nest establishment is at the heart of what makes these insects a threat to you and everyone living inside your home. The best way to mitigate the threat is to remove attractants that make your property interesting to wasps, and to perform routine inspections of your yard and look for wasp activity.
Quick Wasp-Prevention Tips
- Keep bagged trash in covered containers and remove trash weekly to avoid creating smells that attract wasps. These insects are drawn to the scent of decay as well as the sweet scent of flowers.
- Remove sources of standing water in your yard. Wasps need water.
- Fill in ground holes.
- Seal gaps, cracks, and holes in the structures on your property.
How A Pest Control Plan Can Help
Life gets busy. It can be easy to forget to do routine checks for wasps. If you invest in a residential pest control plan that gives you protection from property-damaging pests, such as termites and carpenter ants, and disease-spreading pests, such as ticks, mosquitoes, and cockroaches, your service will come with routine inspections.
A licensed professional knows where to look for the telltale signs of a yellow jacket nest. And, if a nest is discovered, a professional has the tools and knowledge to quickly and effectively deal with the nest. This helps to prevent yellow jackets from creating an unwelcome surprise. We also provide pest control for Denver businesses.
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