By Mark Hunter, LandMark Pest and Wildlife Solutions
Yellow jackets are notorious stinging insects that belong to the wasp family. They are identified by their black and yellow stripes and they are usually 3/4-1 inch in length.
Yellow jackets are social insects and they protect their nests fiercely! These insects will sting at the slightest provocation and they sting repeatedly. Reactions to the sting from yellow jackets can range from irritating welts to death!
The nests are usually built in piles of leaves, in trees, under eaves, on the ceilings of outdoor buildings or in the ground. In Middle Georgia, yellow jackets are typically seen from late August through December.
Underground yellow jacket nests are usually discovered by accident. A typical yellow jacket nest has more than one entry/exit hole. I found this out the hard way when I was about 10 years old! When I poured gasoline in one hole they simply flew out another hole and attacked me from the rear!
I must say I have been amazed at the yellow jacket colonies that have been living in wall voids of homes and other structures during 2013. In some cases I have had to actually cut the sheetrock wall out to remove all the hives.
For safety sake, please warn children about the dangers of stinging insects.