Are you prepared for the early arrival of Yellowjackets?
Nice weather this spring has allowed for yellowjackets to start building nests earlier this year in the Portland and Vancouver area. This means you may notice some larger than normal nests once August arrives. Until then, diligence is the best defense, so here’s what you need to know to keep them away from your home this summer.
How to Keep Yellowjackets Away
A quick walk-around inspection of your home will catch yellowjackets before their nests get too big.
Don’t Leave Food Out
During a BBQ or picnic, make sure to cover all of your food and drinks. Yellowjackets are drawn to proteins and sugars so if they’re left out, they’re sure to swing by.
Seal Garbage Bins
As mentioned above, yellowjackets feed on protein and sugar, making your garbage can an attractive food source. Make sure the lid is always tightly sealed to help deter yellowjackets. If you want to take it a step further, you can store your garbage bins in a shed or garage.
Eliminate Standing Water
Along with food, yellowjackets also need water to survive. Bird baths, clogged gutters, and other sources of standing water give these stinging insects the water they need.
Seal Cracks and Crevices
Inspect the soffits on a regular basis. Make sure to seal up any holes that would allow the yellow jacket access to a wall void.
Adjust Your Wardrobe
Yellowjackets perceive dark colors as a threat and are attracted to flowers so consider wearing light-colored clothing with simple patterns to avoid attracting these pests.
If you’ll be spending a lot of time outside, consider skipping scented soaps, lotions, and perfumes. Yellowjackets are attracted to sweet-smelling scents.
Plan Your Garden Carefully
Planning to incorporate flowers or fruit trees to your landscape? Blossoming flowers are very attractive to yellowjackets and other stinging insects. Consider planting your bright colored flowers away from the home and refrain from using other brightly-colored decor.
Yellowjackets will also visit plants that have aphids for both the honeydew as well as the aphids themselves so make sure you don’t have aphids.
Note, before working among bushes or other landscape it is recommended that you stand back and observe the area for a moment. Look for yellowjackets that are flying directly into the area. Yellowjackets that are returning to a nest know exactly where they are going and do not hesitate to go straight to the entrance.
This flight pattern will look different from a yellow jacket that is visiting a bush because of water or food. If you see a yellowjacket fly straight into a bush without stopping. Continue to watch it, if additional yellowjackets are taking the same flight path coming or going, then you most likely have a nest in that area and it would be wise to contact a pest control professional.
Yellowjacket Removal Services
We hope these preventive measures work, but if it’s too late and you find a nest on your property, don’t attempt to remove it on your own. It’s best to contact a licensed pest control professional like Pioneer Pest Management. These stinging insects are notorious for being aggressive and inflicting some serious pain. Even scarier–a group of them will convene and attack multiple times. We can safely remove the nest and relocate it to another area so you can get back to enjoying your summer.