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Color of a yellowjacket

The most common yellowjacket you'll see is banded black and, yes, yellow. However, other species boast their own colors – black and white, and sometimes with red markings.

Where found

Throughout the world. In the U.S. there are 16 species. At least as many schools use the yellowjacket as their mascot.


Construction queen: these ladies have no problem getting down and dirty building a nest for their colony. The queen overwinters and begins the nest, laying her eggs. The nest is made of chewed cellulose and will eventually consist of 30-50 compartments, surrounded by a paper 'envelope'. The combs are just like little apartments in an upside-down high-rise; each egg gets its own 'apartment'.


Yellowjackets enjoy meat (other insects) with a cool drink of nectar. They also love any sugary or high-carb foods we're picnicking on.


Yellow is the new black. These insects, being extremely social, can't get enough of showing off their trendy, yellow jackets. New queens who have mated emerge from their winter hibernation and begin the nest, laying eggs. There are female workers that do not reproduce and males that emerge in late summer, which are both reared in cells previously used for workers. Queens get the roomiest cells, naturally. In fall, newly-emerged males and queens leave the nest and mate, leaving the rest of the colony to die.


Watch out! These wasps are well-known to pack a punch. They sting several times, so be warned if approaching the nest entrance – there sure isn't any honey in there. On the other hand, yellowjackets eat other bothersome bugs, too.


Luckily you don't have to worry about them mooching off your own house. They may be a pest, but they build their own nest. They can be on the ground, in shrubs, trees, buildings, garages, attics and sheds.

Good riddance

As these insects sting protecting their nest, special handling is required. In some cases, it is best to perform treatment at night when the insects are in their nest. Aerosol or dust products are the most effective. In some cases, the applicator should wear protective equipment, as poor technique can aggravate the insects and provoke them to sting. Sometimes the property owner may not be able to eliminate the nest, as it is generally inaccessible and contact with control material is necessary. Professional exterminators, however, are equipped with protective bee-suits, appropriate control measures and application equipment that ensure overall safety. Once the insects have been controlled, entry points in the structure should be sealed if nest was located there. If you attempt to control these insects and make an application, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.

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