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Too Early for Yellowjackets? Not Hardly

By Chris Williams on July 5, 2016.

My daughter was just stung by two yellowjackets in our yard! Isn’t it a little early for this? We normally don’t have yellowjacket problems until late in the summer. K. V., Lee, NH

It’s not too early for yellowjackets to be out and about, but it is early for them to be interacting much with people. A queen yellowjacket starts her new nest by herself in the spring. Eggs are laid, wasp larvae are fed, and new worker yellowjackets are added to the nest all summer. The maximum nest size of a few thousand wasps is reached in late summer/early fall. It’s obvious that the more yellowjackets there are, the more likely it is that we will notice them. Large nest size is one reason why yellowjackets are at their peskiest in late summer and why late summer is when we get most of our yellowjacket calls (see The Late Summer Yellowjacket Blues!).

This is why we always encourage people to search out and destroy yellowjackets early when nests are still relatively small (see Eliminate That Yellowjacket Nest Early in the Season). Although it may be a little more difficult to locate the nests when there are fewer wasps foraging, the bonus is that controlling a small nest is so much easier and safer.

To Eliminate Yellowjackets, You Have to Find the Nest

Because your daughter was attacked by two yellowjackets, I suspect that she was very close to a nest without realizing it. Have her carefully retrace her steps and actions before she was stung. If you look carefully in the area, you might see yellowjackets zipping back and forth and going into a hole in the ground that leads to an underground nest. Some yellowjackets build nests above ground in shrubs and other sites so that’s another possibility (see Where Do Yellowjackets Nest?).

If you find a nest opening, or even if you don’t find the source of the yellowjackets, give us a call. At Colonial Pest, we have technicians who are expert at tracking yellowjackets back to their nests. We can locate that nest and others in your yard and eliminate them before they get large enough to cause a real problem.

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