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Here's A Quick Way To Prevent Yellow Jackets From Invading Your Owensboro Lawn

a yellow jacket eating spilled food

We’re entering the time of year when spending time outdoors is especially pleasant. Temperatures are warming up, and once we hit the heat of summer, the cooler evenings are something to look forward to after a hot day. However, if yellow jackets invade your Owensboro property, being outside can quickly become quite unpleasant. Here's everything you need to know about yellow jackets, including some quick ways to prevent them from invading your Owensboro lawn.

What Do Yellow Jackets Look Like?

Yellow jackets get their name from the coloring on their bodies. They have yellow and black heads and yellow and black patterned abdomens. Yellow jackets have six long, thin legs and a pair of antennae that are slanted straight down in front of their face. Their abdomens slope to a pointed end where their stinger is located. Yellow jackets have a set of thin, transparent wings.
As a member of the wasp family, and with many similar characteristics to bees, yellow jackets are often mistaken for other insects. Correctly identifying a yellow jacket is important. These stinging insects have their own set of behaviors. Methods of removing them from your property will vary from other pests.
Although yellow jackets and bees usually share the same general colors, they can be distinguished. You can usually tell them apart due to the lack of hair on a yellow jacket, as well as its more wasp-like appearance. Bees tend to be rounder and have less pointed ends than yellow jackets.
Telling a yellow jacket apart from other wasps can be much more difficult. Hornets are also in the wasp family and tend to be larger than yellow jackets. They also can be white and black. Paper wasps can have brown coloring or the standard black and yellow, though they tend to be smaller than yellow jackets.

Are Yellow Jackets Beneficial?

Believe it or not, yellow jackets aren’t all bad. We typically think of the benefits of stinging insects in terms of pollination, but yellow jackets aren’t big pollinators. They may visit a flower here and there, but their lack of hair makes it difficult for them to pick up pollen and transfer it from place to place.
However, they contribute another benefit to the ecosystem. Yellow jackets keep many other pests under control. They feed themselves and their young on aphids, caterpillars, and other insects that damage gardens and crops.

What Problems Do Yellow Jackets Cause?

Unfortunately, yellow jackets aren’t simply content to help our gardens thrive. Of all the wasps, yellow jackets tend to be the most aggressive. If they feel threatened, or if you get close to their nest, they will sting with a vengeance. Yellow jackets are able to sting multiple times. They will also sometimes bite in order to get a better hold while they sting. 
Many people are allergic to yellow jacket stings. Receiving multiple stings on one occasion can cause severe, and sometimes fatal, reactions. Furthermore, after being stung the first time, you can develop a sensitivity to yellow jacket stings. This makes subsequent episodes even more dangerous.

How Can You Prevent Yellow Jackets From Invading Your Owensboro Lawn?

Luckily, there are several quick steps you can take to prevent yellow jackets from invading your Owensboro lawn.

Yellow jackets die off every winter, leaving only the queen to survive. If you pay careful attention in the spring you can notice when the queen comes out to start building her nest and laying eggs. Then you can take care of your yellow jacket problem before it has a chance to begin.

  • Keep your outdoor garbage bins tightly covered and empty them frequently. Yellow jackets enjoy eating meats and sweets. If they have a chance to grab a meal from your garbage cans, they’ll want to stay close by.
  • Avoid using scented perfumes, lotions, and soaps. Yellow jackets are attracted to sweet smells.
  • Check your doors and windows to ensure that all screens are in place and undamaged. Even small holes or tears could allow yellow jackets to get into your living space.
  • Thoroughly clean up after an outdoor meal. Leaving scraps of food out will encourage yellow jackets to spend time on your lawn.

What Should You Do If Yellow Jackets Have Already Invaded Your Owensboro Lawn?

Sometimes despite your best efforts, yellow jackets will still find a way to build a nest on your property. Since one nest typically yields thousands of yellow jackets, this is a big cause for concern. Trying to eliminate them yourself can be extremely dangerous due to their aggressive nature and harmful stings. If you find a yellow jacket nest on your property, contact Action Pest Control. We have the knowledge and tools to eliminate your yellow jacket problem safely and completely. You should be able to enjoy time spent in your own yard. Contact Action Pest Control to help get your yellow jacket problem under control.