Yellow jackets are a type of social wasp that belongs to the family Vespidae, which is one of the largest families of wasps in the world. They are also known as paper wasps or hornets and are characterized by their black and yellow striped bodies, smooth wings, and a distinctive thin waist. Today, we at A Five Star Termite & Pest Control would like to discuss the basics of yellow jackets.
What is a Yellow Jacket Colony?
There are several species of yellow jackets found in North America, with the most common being the western yellow jacket and the eastern yellow jacket. These wasps are known for their aggressive behavior and can sting multiple times in defense of their colony. Yellow jackets are social insects that live in large colonies. Each colony is headed by a queen, who is responsible for laying eggs and producing new workers. The workers are all females and are responsible for foraging for food, caring for the young, and defending the colony.
Where Do Yellow Jackets Make Their Nest?
Yellow jackets build their nests out of paper-like material that is made by chewing wood fibers and mixing it with saliva. The nests are typically found in the ground, in trees, or on structures such as buildings or fences. The size of the nest can vary, with some colonies containing just a few hundred individuals while others can have several thousand.
What is a Yellow Jackets Favorite Food?
Yellow jackets are omnivores and feed on a variety of foods. They are known to prey on other insects, including caterpillars, flies, and other wasps. They also scavenge for meat and are attracted to sweet foods such as fruit and soda. Yellow jackets are also known to be attracted to human food and can be a nuisance at outdoor events or picnics.
Why are Yellow Jackets So Hostile?
Yellow jackets are best known for their aggressive behavior, particularly in defense of their nest. If a yellow jacket perceives a threat to the colony, it will sting multiple times in rapid succession. Yellow jacket stings can be painful and can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. In extreme cases, a yellow jacket sting can be life-threatening. To avoid being stung by yellow jackets, it is important to avoid disturbing their nests. If you need to remove a yellow jacket nest, it is best to hire a professional pest control company to do so safely. When outdoors, it is also a good idea to keep food covered and to avoid wearing bright colors or floral patterns, which can attract yellow jackets. If a yellow jacket is chasing you, run as fast as you can away from the yellow jacket.
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Ultimately, yellow jackets are a type of social wasp that live in large colonies and are known for their aggressive behavior. They build their nests out of paper-like material and are omnivores, feeding on a variety of foods. To avoid being stung by yellow jackets, it is important to avoid disturbing their nests and to take precautions when outdoors. If you suspect yellow jackets around your San Antonio, Texas home or business, contact A Five Star Termite & Pest Control and let us take care of you!