- Yellow jacket nests are often difficult to see, you may walk by a nest repeatedly and not see it
- Nests are usually found in eaves on the north side of a house, in a crack in siding, or in a hole in the ground
- By fall, a Yellow Jacket nest can support several hundred active wasps, which become increasingly aggressive before they retire for the winter.
Nothing gets my heart rate going faster than hearing the loud hum of a nest full of yellow jackets or bees. Recently, I was inspecting the exterior of a home for Carpenter Ants. And while looking up, I inadvertently stepped on a Yellow Jacket nest’s opening in the ground. I was stung several times before I even saw them coming or heard the buzzing.
Yellow jacket nests are often difficult to see, and even as the nest grows larger through the summer, you may walk by a nest repeatedly and not see it. The first indication of a stinging pest comes from the homeowner who has seen them flying in and out from the soil, wall, or a nest up on a house, shrub, or tree.
Most yellow jackets and bees around the yard are just doing their job – finding food and pollinating flowers and trees in the process. If you see a few, I recommend the same advice my mother gave me, “Leave them bee and the bee will leave.” However, if you see a large number congregating in a single spot, steer clear and call in a pest control company. I can’t tell you the number of stories I’ve heard over the years of the do-it-yourselfer taking on this job themself, and going badly. In the ground or on the house, yellow jackets and social bees will protect the nest at all costs. If disturbed, it can trigger the alarm response and send several or hundreds of workers out to defend the nest.
A yellow jacket nest too close to people can be a problem. Before you start projects around your home and in your yard, be wary of your surroundings. Places to check are: under the eaves, around the chimney, any small opening in the siding, or where wood siding meets brick. Pay particular attention to areas on the north side of the house. And keep a watchful eye for them in the yard flying in or out of holes in the ground. A pregnant female will overwinter in an abandoned rodent burrow and begin building her nest in the springtime. By fall, a Yellow Jacket nest can support several hundred active wasps.