It is once again yellow jacket season, but what do we know about yellow jackets?
Yellow jackets are a bonus to have around if you have a garden. Actually, yellow jackets eat garden pests. Some of the pests they like to eat are caterpillars, aphids, flies, even spiders. The list goes on. What would our beautiful yards look like if there were no yellow jackets? Buggy!
Unlike their cousins, yellow jackets can and do sting multiple times. They even bite. This is done to protect their territory, not to begin a war.
Anyone who goes out of doors in the summer is sure to encounter a yellow jacket or a nest of them. Early summer they prey upon meat, like burgers and hot dogs from picnics. Late summer into early fall their diets change to sweets like juice or sodas.
If you have ever gotten too close and gotten stung by a yellow jacket, you know it burns for quite some time. Putting sting-eze or another type product does alleviate pain. A baking soda paste cools down the burn and offers some relief also. Tylenol can relieve pain and possibly reduce swelling.
Yellow jackets build their homes in other rodents’ abandoned homes. Ground holes, old logs, and stumps are all associated with these flying pests.
The preferred time to eliminate yellow jackets is in the spring before they multiply. Sprays do not usually affect them. However, tuna flavored cat food draws out these flyers. Locals also use bologna and apple juice as bait.
So the next time you venture out and see a yellow jacket, feel free to back away and let it clear your property of uninvited guests.