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There are yellow jackets in my yard, how do I control them?

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Social wasps consist of three types --Queen, Workers and males.  The Queen over-winters in protected sites.  In the spring she builds a small nest and lays eggs, and as they hatch the colony increases and the nest becomes larger.  Adult wasps capture insects to feed the young during the summer, and in the fall other sweet foods are eaten.  All workers die prior to winter and the nest is not reused.  Yellow jackets usually build their nests below ground, and they are very aggressive in defending their nests.  Unlike honey bees these wasps can sting multiple times.  Aerosol sprays and traps are effective controls, if the nests are treated at night when workers are in the nest.
European paper wasps resemble yellow jackets but are not attracted to yellowjacket traps.

Posted on 13 Jun 2006

Karl Hauptfleisch
Salt Lake Master Gardener

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