Now that September has arrived and everyone is thinking of the cold weather ahead. Don't forget that yellow jackets are still quite active and more agressive!
During the summer yellow jackets are more docile because the colony stays busy collecting insects and rearing larvae. In the fall the workers change their foraging behavior bringing them into contact with people and pets more frequently. No longer are they feeding on insects such as spiders, caterpillars and flies. Their diets turn to sugary food sources such as fruits, ice cream, flower nectar, beer, and soft drinks, to name a few. Because supplies are limited they also become very aggressive and will sting more willingly. The reason for the need to feed on sugary substances is to supply the developing queens back at the nest with food so they can mate and over winter.
Most often homeowners have several nests on their property. Depending on the size of the nest, it could actually have as many as 50 to 100 queens that will venture out in the spring starting new nests in the same area as the original nest because conditions are quite favorable for the new colonies to thrive.
Keep in mind that yellow jackets are most often ground nesters and sometimes the only way that you realize that you have a problem is when you come into contact with them. They are usually discovered during lawn maintenance and in some instances the swarmers will attack if provoked.
Now is the time to get rid of the old nests. By removing or destroying any active nests in the fall you are eliminating the developing queens from starting new nests and colonies in the spring.
To insure that the nests are destroyed properly contact your local pest control company and schedule an inspection.