Yellow Jackets and Wasps – are they ruining your outdoor fun?

The busiest outdoor season for everyone is between summer and fall. Outdoor activities increase bringing everyone out of doors for some hiking, camping, bicycling, swimming, and for ballgames. The longer daylight hours encourage using spare time to enjoy the outdoors. Usually, folks combine their sports outings with picnics and barbeques for additional fun. Increased outdoor activity and attractive food sources increase the chance for an undesirable encounter with a swarm of wasps. Constructive outdoor control of recreational areas can help eliminate stinging bugs from ruining those great picnics.

The defensive nature of a stinging Waspwasps and yellow jackets can ruin outdoor fun in your backyard

After the long winter, social wasps like yellow jackets diligently maintain a highly efficient colony system. The worker bee’s primary responsibility is to care and feed the queen and other young members of the nest. Yellow jackets are remarkably protective of the Queen of their colony. These insects are extremely sensitive to their environment and if they feel threatened in any way, they will become aggressive and swarm easily. During the construction of the nest, if they conceive that their queen or colony is in danger their defensive nature heightens rousing the swarming instinct to attack both pets and people. The aggressive nature of wasps should never be underestimated; they can swarm without any perceptible motive. Developing a practical outdoor control plan can lessen chances of encountering an angry stinging insect.

Protective Nature of Yellow Jackets

Various species of insects are known to move in swarms. When yellow jackets swarm, it can be extremely dangerous because these stinging bugs threaten campsites, ball fields, and picnic sites. If someone disturbs a nest, whether hidden in the ground or in a tree, it can set off the instinctive protective nature in the members of the nest. They become aggressive in order to defend the continuation of their colony. The yellow jacket has the capacity to continually sting their victims. Unlike other stinging insects who have barbed stingers that leave the stingers in their prey, the yellow jackets stingers are not barbed, allowing them to sting repeatedly until they feel secure again. Their aggression is due to the abundance of insects in their colonies. Waving arms or swatting at a flying wasp should be discouraged. Respecting and avoiding a stinging bug is suggested to deflect any confrontation with this group of insects.

Survival instincts of Yellow Jackets and Wasps intensify at the end of the summer

As the wintry weather approaches, scavenger members of the nest are responsible for locating a protective winter nest for the overwintering (hibernating) queen of the colony. The collection of the needed protein and sugar for the colony’s needs for survival through the winter begins. It is a major chore of the scavenger wasps during the final months of summer and throughout the fall. They forage for food and then store it in the nest to feed the queen and future workers of the colony.

How to limit confrontations with scavenger Wasps and Yellow Jackets with proper outdoor control

  • Inspect and set up an effective outdoor control plan for safety around stinging bugs.
  • Modify areas in the vicinity of businesses and homes to decrease the amount of suitable locations for stinging bugs to build their nests
  • Avoid stinging wasps by removing food, cleaning foodstuff from tables and place it in covered trash receptacles in local picnic areas, ballparks, park benches
  • If flying yellow jackets are spotted; do not engage with them; respect them and calmly move away, and find shelter away from these stinging intruders

Yellow Jackets and Wasps – End of summer swarming in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

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