By Chris Williams on July 10, 2017.

Did you know that if you have a lot of yellowjackets around your property this summer, you’re likely to have even more next summer?

That’s because in the fall each yellowjacket colony produces a number of “queens-in-waiting” as the rest of the wasps die off. These future queens spend the winter in a protective place. Not all of the queens would survive the winter but we probably have more survivors these days since we have warmer winters.

The queens don’t travel far to spend the winter or start new nests so it’s likely that the queens exploring around your house in the spring came from nests in your yard the previous year. Each of these queens will start a nest somewhere in the immediate vicinity.


Strangely enough, rodents can also be a factor in the prevalence of yellowjacket ground nests. Most yellowjackets nest in the ground and most ground nests begin in an abandoned rodent burrow, usually one that belonged to mice or voles. The burrow itself is repurposed and enlarged to accommodate the growing yellowjacket nest.

So, come next spring you may have a lot of surviving queen yellowjackets looking for a new nest site. If you also have lots of rodent burrows, you have set up the ideal situation for a heavy yellowjacket summer on your property.

How can you avoid this scenario? While we don’t advocate routinely killing off wasp nests (they are beneficial for the most part), if wasps are interfering with your family, or pets, or your enjoyment of your deck or property, control is justified. Every nest that is eliminated means that many fewer queens to start nests next spring. The best approach is always to eliminate new nests in spring before they produce large numbers of wasps. That’s easier said than done since yellowjacket nests are not usually noticed until they reach a critical number of pesky wasps. Nevertheless, the earlier you control the nest, the better, since that nest still has another month or two to grow.


Give Colonial Pest a call if you are plagued by yellowjackets or other wasps. If you know the location of the nest or nests, that’s great. If not, we can often track the yellowjackets to their nest or can sometimes trap or bait them as an alternative. Controlling yellowjackets now will make your late summer much more pleasant and hopefully, will mean fewer yellowjackets next year. And don’t forget about the mice and voles that are digging burrows right now. We can take care of the rodents as well!

For more on yellowjacket prevention, see these Colonial blogs:

Photo Credit : By FamartinOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link



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