Yellowjacket Control Guide: How To Manage Yellowjacket Pests In Gardens

by johnah on November 4, 2020

Yellow Jacket Trap

The Yellowjackets are small yellowish insects with a long body and two wings. They have white spots on their bodies and they have black markings on their wings.

Their wing pattern resembles that of a bee but it’s not sure if these wereps are related to bees or not. There are several species of Yellowjackets, all of which belong to the family Apidae (Apis).

The Yellowjackets are most common in the spring and summer months. They usually come out at night when they feel threatened, like a predator.

After they land on your plants, they will stay there until morning. You may see them flying around your plants from late afternoon to early evening. They don’t sting unless you disturb them or try to catch one of them with something like a net or stick. If you want to kill them, just shake the plant gently.

You can control Yellowjackets easily using a trap made of paper or cardboard. Just place the trap near where Yellowjackets are found and close it up after a few days.

You can use different types of traps; some work better than others. I recommend that you use one made of paper because it’s easier to clean and less likely to fall apart during cleaning. To make this trap you will need:

1. One cup of brown sugar

2. Three cups of water

3. One and a half tbsp of honey

4. One large bowl (or cooking pot) big enough for the Yellowjackets to drown in

5. A rectangular piece of cardboard (from a box) or thick paper that can act as a boat (make sure it fits inside the bowl and that there is some room above it for water).

Yellowjacket Control Guide: How To Manage Yellowjacket Pests In Gardens |

6. Scissors or a knife (to cut the cardboard or paper)

How to build and use the trap:

1. First cut the rectangular piece of cardboard or paper into a 1 inch wide and 4 inch long strip (width and length).

2. Take the strip of cardboard or paper and put it into the bowl so that one end is under the water but the other end is NOT submerged (leave about an inch above the water level).

3. Place some honey into the middle of the strip of cardboard or paper (just a little bit).

4. Turn the bowl so that the honey end is facing an area where Yellowjackets are flying around.

This will act as bait.

5. Yellowjackets love the sweet honey and will land on it to eat some.

However, as Yellowjackets cannot swim they will immediately drown in the water.

Once you have caught the wasps in this simple trap, remove the strip of cardboard or paper and put it in a plastic bag, tie the bag up and throw it away. You can either leave the Yellowjackets where they are or dispose of them.

If you want to dispose of them, just place the whole bowl outside (away from your home) so that other animals cannot get to it.

If you prefer, you can also use a jar instead of a bowl. Just poke some small holes in the lid, place some honey or jelly at the bottom of the jar and wait for Yellowjackets to fly inside.

You can then close the lid and dispose of them later. Using a jar will probably catch more wasps but it might also scare them into attacking because they will be trapped inside with no way of escaping.

Hornets and Wasps can also be caught by placing a sweet drink like Kool-Aid or Coca-Cola into a jar (you can add a little sugar if you wish) and screwing on the lid. The insects will be attracted by the sweet smell, fly down into the jar and drown in the liquid.

You can then dispose of them later.

You can also use a dust called D-Con to poison Yellowjackets, Hornets and Wasps. The dust is made up of a poisonous chemical and should be kept away from children.

Follow the instructions on the packet for details.

Alternatively, you can contact a professional pest control company to handle the Yellowjackets for you. It is far more convenient to hire a professional as they have the correct equipment to do the job.

Costs will vary depending on where you live and the size of the area that needs to be treated but it will be cheaper than replacing all your food that Yellowjackets have eaten!

Whatever you do, don’t ignore a Yellowjacket problem or think that it won’t happen again. Take care of the problem as soon as you can before it gets out of control.

Yellowjackets can become a real pain if you let them!

Yellowjacket Control Guide: How To Manage Yellowjacket Pests In Gardens |

If you find Yellowjackets swarming around your home, don’t panic or run for the insect spray. There are several simple and easy ways that you can catch and safely remove Yellowjackets from your property before they become a threat to you, your family and your pets.

The first thing you need to do is remain calm. It may be tempting to just reach for the nearest can of bug spray and empty it at the invading Yellowjackets but this is not a good idea.

It is best not to use sprays indoors because the chemicals can be harmful if used for an extended period of time (especially in a closed area). Also, sprays don’t always kill on contact and Yellowjackets are very determined little insects.

They don’t give up easily! If you do use a spray, make sure you aim carefully as a stray shot could find its way into your eyes or those of a family member or pet.

So what can you use?

Well, you are going to be very pleasantly surprised to learn that your home provides you with everything you need and the Yellowjackets will never even know what hit them!

The first thing you need to do is find out where the Yellowjackets are entering your property.

Are they coming through a hole in the wall? Down the chimney? Up through the plumbing?

Once you know this you can take steps to seal off the area.

If they are entering through a crack in the wall then you can use a flexible sealant and a putty knife to patch up the hole. It is best to do this with the Yellowjackets outside as it can be a messy job.

If they are entering down the chimney you need to cover the top of it with wire mesh (usually sold for just this purpose) and secure it firmly in place with concrete or mortar. Alternatively, you can block the flue.

This is usually located on the floor below the chimney and has a flap that opens and closes to allow air in to fuel the fire. Block the flap and the Yellowjackets will be unable to enter.

If they are entering via the plumbing, you can place insecticides down the drain but this will only kill those that enter the plumbing system after the chemical has been applied. It won’t do much good if a nest has already been set up inside.

Yellowjacket Control Guide: How To Manage Yellowjacket Pests In Gardens on

You are better off using one of the other solutions listed above in this case.

Once you have secured your home, it is time to take the fight to the Yellowjackets.

Have you ever seen a Yellowjacket nest?

If not, you might be surprised at just how big they get. They can be as big as a basketball and almost as hard! This is their nest.

It is important to locate the nest before you does anything else because this will determine how best to proceed with your attack plan. As I mentioned earlier, Yellowjackets aren’t very smart.

They do not like fire and will flee from it or any other open flame. This means that you can use a flame thrower on their nest if you have one (you would need a very large can of fuel to get through with one though).

If you don’t have access to a flame thrower (and who does nowadays?

) then you will have to resort to using a pack of firecrackers. Light the fuse and toss it onto the nest. The noise and distraction of the firecrackers should be enough to scare away or even kill most of the inhabitants of the nest. Take advantage of their confusion and wipe out any survivors with a can of bug spray (or a broom if you don’t have anything else).

If you don’t have access to fire or explosives, then you will have to rely on physical attacks. Don’t try to punch or kick the Yellowjackets because they will easily see this coming and take control of your arm, making you hit yourself in the face.

This is bad. A much better approach is to use a longer weapon such as a broom handle or a piece of lumber. Keep your arm rigid and swing with all your might. The Yellowjackets will not be prepared for this and it will take quite a few hits for them to gain control of your muscles. Once again, wipe out any survivors with the can of bug spray.

Once you have cleared your home of Yellowjackets, find the nest and dispose of it properly. Remember, these are wasps we are talking about so treat the entire area as if it was poisonus.

Once you have taken care of this current batch of Yellowjackets, you will probably have quite a few wasp nests around your home. As I mentioned earlier, the Yellowjackets return to the same place every time.

Take this opportunity to destroy their homes before they recolonize and invade your home once again.

Good luck and happy exterminating!

Here are a few more tips:

– If the Yellowjackets have invaded your home through the chimney, you can try to pour a little bit of liquid insecticide down it. (Make sure you’re wearing gloves).

This will kill most of them before they get a chance to come inside.

– If you see one Yellowjacket, there is bound to be a nest somewhere close by. If you wipe out the one you see, there won’t be many left in the immediate area and other types of wasps may move in.

Be careful and try to locate the nest before taking action.

– If you have a pet cat, this is a good time to let it outside. Kitty will probably take care of any straggling Yellowjackets looking for a place to land.

– Watch out for cars when spraying wasp killer or firecrackers. Also, make sure you’re a safe distance away in case the spray canister or firecrackers fail to work as expected.

– Don’t use insecticides like Raid or other products that are not designed for this purpose. You will probably end up hurting yourself more than the Yellowjackets and you won’t be able to get rid of them.

– Before you start trying to exterminate Yellowjackets, make sure you aren’t allergic to bee or wasp stings. If you don’t know, find out before you make the attempt.

– If you DO know that you are allergic to stingray bites, keep a supply of your medication on hand.

– Don’t be afraid to call a professional if the situation seems too dangerous or if you are unsure about what to do. Yellowjackets can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

– Be careful where you step or put your hands, Yellowjackets like to make their homes in dark places under stones and logs.

Yellowjacket Control Guide: How To Manage Yellowjacket Pests In Gardens at

– If you’re allergic to stingray bites, you should probably keep a supply of your medication on hand. Check the expiration date and replace it when necessary.

Wasps In The Kitchen

Wasp infestations are not only a problem for the yard and garden. Unexpected wasp nests in the house are not uncommon.

In the summer months if you have open beverages out they will often times fly into them. This including soda, beer, fruit juices and the like. They can also be a problem around garbage cans or dirty kitchens.

The garbage situation is a little different because they are attracted to the smell. If you have a lot of over ripe fruit, greasy pizza boxes or things like that the situation can get out of hand in a hurry.

You should also keep the kitchen clean. Grease build up on the walls and in the cracks of the floor where they hide is a big no no.

These are just some of the reasons why Yellowjackets are attracted to your home. If you keep up on the cleaning they should not be a problem.

Wasps In The Basement

If you notice a lot of wasps or Yellowjackets in the basement you need to take steps to eliminate the problem. This especially true if you have food stored in your basement.

Wasps will swarm around the food and try to get into it if possible.

You should also pay extra attention to areas where you store garbage. As mentioned above, wasps are naturally attracted to garbage and over ripe fruit.

The smellier the better in that case.

Yellowjacket Control Guide: How To Manage Yellowjacket Pests In Gardens - Picture

Wasps living in your basement is more common than you think. They will build their nest just about anywhere so you can’t just blame the garbage.

Make sure you clean up the basement as best you can and keep an eye on it to make sure you don’t have a return visit from the wasps.

Yellowjackets In The Attic

If you haven’t had a wasp or Yellowjacket infestation in your home, consider yourself lucky. If you already have, then you know how bad it can get.

These pests can set up shop in the walls, floors or ceiling of your house. They like dark, warm and sheltered areas and residential houses are the perfect place for them to thrive.

Sources & references used in this article:

Pests of landscape trees and shrubs: an integrated pest management guide by SH Dreistadt – 2016 –

The organic gardener’s handbook of natural pest and disease control: a complete guide to maintaining a healthy garden and yard the Earth-friendly way by FM Bradley, BW Ellis, DL Martin – 2010 –

Avoidance of bee and wasp stings: an entomological perspective by A Greene, NL Breisch – Current opinion in allergy and clinical …, 2005 –

A pocket guide: common natural enemies of crop and garden pests in the Pacific Northwest by MD Ambrosino – 2007 –

1988 insect pest management guide: home, yard, and garden by R Randell, P Nixon, F Miller – Circular/University of Illinois at …, 1987 –

Protecting Honey Bees from Yellowjacket Wasps by C Breece, D Wyns, RR Sagili – 2018 –



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