These social wasps live in colonies which may number in the
thousands. In northeastern Ohio we usually start getting
calls for yellow jackets after the 4th of July.
Each year about 500,000 people will enter the emergency room
with allergic reactions to venomous insect stings. Stinging
insects, including yellow jackets, paper wasps, hornets and
fire ants. Many people are allergic to bee stings. If you are
one of them please don't attempt treating yellow jackets.
In the northern temperature areas like Ohio they undergo an
annual cycle. Only queens mated from the fall survive to the
following spring. They spend the winter in protected areas
not which the least of which is your home or business. In the
spring these queens will lay 10 to 20 eggs they are also
soley responsible for the beginning of the nest construction
and foraging for food. With the production of the first brood
of workers all things are done for her except egg laying.
Yellow jackets commonly nest in the ground using an old
rodent hole. However, it is very common to find them nested
in a house soffit, hole leading to a void, under a porch or
siding. We have also found them in wood piles.
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