Yellow Jackets & Bald-faced Hornets
Yellow Jackets, including “Bald-faced Hornets*,” are some of the most notorious stinging pests, causing a great number of trips to hospitals due to the proteins in their venom. Yellow Jackets, depending upon the species, are either predators-eating spiders and/or other insects, or scavengers-eating carrion (dead animal or fish flesh.) In nature they make up an important part of the balance of nature. However, when their nests are located near, on, or in our homes they can cause significant human harm. Part of the problem stems from the fact that they are so extremely defensive of their territory, attack in numbers, and can sting repeatedly. Some species immediately think they own whatever food they find or land on, even if it is our dinner!
“Picnic” Yellow Jackets are often small, unusually aggressive, black-and-yellow wasps. They are not at all intimidated about landing directly on the food we are preparing, serving, or trying to eat. Many people get stung while eating outdoors each year. However, the presence of their nests poses an even greater hazard, housing up to 5,000 workers they can inflict an enormous amount of pain and venom. In one Seattle case, when a small boy and his dog came across a ground nest, the dog was killed and the boy, unconscious, had to be rushed to the hospital. This group of yellow jackets consists of species that nest in the ground; inside hollow logs, stumps & landscape timber; paper nests hanging from trees or under roof eaves, or within house wall voids or within attics. When their nest is unprotected outdoors, they build a paper envelope around it with an entrance near the bottom. for more information or to schedule a treatment.
*Bald-faced Hornets are actually not a true “hornet,” but a type of Yellow Jacket that nests only in shrubs and small trees. Since they always build their nest unprotected outdoors they build a paper envelope around it with an entrance near the bottom. They are unusually large, and colored black-and-white, and only eat live insects so they don’t bother us when eating outdoors. These yellow jackets become a problem when they nest in our yards and other locations that conflict with us, often resulting in numerous painful stings and periodic allergic reactions. C