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How Dangerous Is It To Have Yellow Jackets Around My Salem Home?


August 20, 2022

A discussion of summer pest control in Salem wouldn’t be complete without talking about yellow jackets. These aggressive social wasps are common all over the United States, and they’re among the wasps most frequently responsible for attacks on humans because it’s so easy to disturb their nests accidentally. Most of the time, these wasps nest in holes in the ground, so running them over with the lawnmower or disturbing them during lawn care is common. This is why yellow jacket control is vital during this time of year. 

yellow jacket  crawling on wood table

How Can I Tell If It’s Yellow Jackets Around My House?

Sometimes, it can be tough to tell if what you’re looking at is a bee or a yellow jacket. Similar in size, they both have black and yellow striped patterns and are both social. However, you can tell the difference between them if you look close enough. One big way to tell between a yellow jacket and a bee is to look for hair. Bees are incredibly fuzzy, while yellow jackets are hair-free. Yellow jackets also have much more cinched waist than bees, as well as narrower wings. 

How Dangerous Are Yellow Jackets?

As we mentioned above, accidentally disturbing a yellow jacket nest is incredibly easy. These social wasps are highly aggressive in defense of their territory. If they perceive you as a threat, they’ll swarm by the hundreds and even thousands, repeatedly stinging until they chase the perceived threat away. Unlike Africanized honeybees, they may pursue over short distances, but they won’t usually go very far. 

Also, unlike bees, yellow jackets can sting as many times as they want because they’re a type of wasp. Between the ability to inflict multiple stings and swarms of hundreds of individuals, it’s easy to see how you can wind up with dozens – if not hundreds – of stings. Theoretically, the sheer number of stings can kill a non-allergic individual by overloading the system with venom. However, this would take so many stings that dying this way is very rare. Still, yellow jacket attacks have landed non-allergic people in the E.R. – to say nothing of what they can do to allergic individuals.

What’s The Best Way To Get Rid Of Yellow Jackets?

Given their hostility and the ease with which you can wind up in contact with an underground nest, the necessity of wasp prevention measures cannot be overstated when it comes to yellow jackets. The good news is there’s plenty you can do in that department:

  • Cover outdoor garbage bins to avoid attracting these insects. 
  • Fill holes in the ground, so yellow jackets don’t set up shop in them. 
  • Plant herbs and flowers they hate, like peppermint, lavender, and rosemary.
  • Never leave sweet drinks or foods sitting out. 
  • Harvest any fallen produce from fruit trees before it falls to the ground. 

Following these pest control measures can go a long way to making your property less attractive to yellow jackets, but it still may not be enough.

How Can I Prevent Yellow Jackets From Coming Back?

If you wind up with a yellow jacket nest on your property, do not try to deal with it yourself. This could trigger an attack that leads to a dangerous number of stings. Instead, call us here at Kanga Pest Control. We deal with all types of wasps in Salem, including yellow jackets, so we know how to get rid of them safely and effectively. If you’re ready to get these dangerous and hostile wasps out of your yard, give us a call or visit our contact page today!

Tags: stinging insects | preventing yellow jackets | stinging insects in salem |

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