Should I Be Worried If I Spot Yellow Jackets Around My Tampa Yard?

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A lot of wasps and stinging insects look similar to each other. It can even be difficult to tell a bee and a wasp apart, but there are some visible distinctions. For starters, a yellow jacket has the characteristic waspish waist of its species. A waspish waist is a very thin connection between the thorax and abdomen, unlike the robust connection between the thorax and abdomen of a bee.

There are even different types of yellow jackets that can make it harder to tell them apart from other kinds of wasps and hornets. The most common species in Florida is the southern yellow jacket, which looks very much like a honey bee from the top. Its thick bands of yellow on the abdomen have black dots on either side and black arrows down the middle, making its thorax is more black than yellow. This species has thin, brownish wings that stand out from the side of the thorax.

Yellow jackets are also known for building their nests in the ground, but the southern yellow jacket builds both ground and aerial nests. Ground nests are hard to spot except for a large hole that may have previously belonged to squirrels or groundhogs. Because they are social insects, you may see several yellow jackets hanging out around the entrance of one of these holes. Aerial nests resemble bees’ nests. They look like paper and are rounder at the top than at the bottom, where they come to a point and house the entry and exit hole.

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Yellow Jackets

Without professional help, your options for getting rid of yellow jackets are limited. Without endangering yourself, the best defense against yellow jackets is prevention and preparation. It is not recommended to approach a yellow jacket nest on your own, as they are territorial and can sting multiple times.

To keep yellow jackets away, try these techniques:

  • Cover, clean, and store your outdoor trash can away from your home.
  • Clean up food or drink spills immediately.
  • Trim your grass often.
  • Don’t leave debris like leaf piles in your yard.
  • Repair any means of excess moisture around your home, including leaking pipes, blocked gutters, and landscaping issues.
  • Fill holes in the ground as you see them.
  • Don’t plant blue, white, or yellow flowers in your garden. Instead, opt for warmer colors.
  • Plant herbs like spearmint, thyme, eucalyptus, and lemongrass. These plants are also effective against mosquitoes.

Limiting attractions for yellow jackets is a far safer option than attempting to oust an existing population.

What Kinds Of Things Attract Yellow Jackets?

As carnivores, yellow jackets seek out sources of meat. They may eat well in a yard filled with other insects, but they’ll also do just fine on scraps dropped during a backyard gathering. They are also on the lookout for sweet things. This could include fruit and tree sap, honeydew, nectar, and spilled fruit juice or soda from your backyard garden.

Because their diet is made up of other insects, having an untrimmed yard can make it more habitable to yellow jackets. Having a thriving garden with certain flowers can also be attractive. Like most insects, yellow jackets are also attracted to water. Ponds, pools, or simply puddles of water will make your yard seem more suitable as well.

However, food and water are only two of the three most attractive things about a habitat. The last one is shelter. If you have unprotected eaves under your roof or patio, tree limbs, bushes, or abandoned holes in the ground, these make suitable places for building a nest.

How To Keep Yellow Jackets Away From Your Home For Good

Getting rid of yellow jackets may take a bit of teamwork between you and the residential pest control professionals at Haskell Pest Control. After providing an inspection, we can advise you on what is attracting yellow jackets to your yard and what can be done to prevent them from coming back. In addition, Haskell Pest Control’s professionals will take care of treating nests to keep you and your family members safe from stings.

Don’t risk your health and safety approaching yellow jackets that live in the ground or attempting DIY treatment. Call Haskell Termite & Pest Control today for fast, safe, and effective yellow jacket treatment.