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Keep yellow jackets away from your next outdoor meal.
Their hum is annoying, they steal your drink, and they can ruin a good outdoor meal quicker than rain. What are we talking about? Yellow Jackets. One of many stinging insects, yellow jackets are currently annoying outdoor diners more than any of the others. Why, and why weren’t they so annoying during the spring? To answer these questions, it’s important to know a little about a yellow jacket’s lifecycle.
Most yellow jackets only live from late spring to early fall. The only ones who survive the winter are queens. In late spring, queens emerge from the protected places where they spent the winter. They build a small nest and lay a few eggs. These eggs hatch and mature into workers. These workers take on the responsibility of expanding the nest and acquiring food for the colony. Once the colony has reached its maximum size, larvae become males and queens that will continue the yellow jacket population next season. In late summer, colonies are at their maximum size and are producing males and females that leave the nest, so during late summer, there are more yellow jackets than any other time of year. Yellowjackets feed on sugary and carbohydrate-dense foods. During the spring, these are easy to find, since there are many flowering plants and fruits available. But as the growing season comes to a close, food becomes harder to locate.
Yellowjackets are drawn to the sugar in our food and drinks.
This is when (and why) yellow jackets come to dinner, but how can you keep them away? Remember that yellow jackets love sugar, and sodas and juices are filled with it. Keep your drinks and food covered until it is time to serve them. This way you will have at least a little time eating before they find you. As a safety precaution, serve drinks in glasses or cups rather than cans or bottles. Yellowjackets often crawl into these containers, and stings inside the throat can be life-threatening. While yellow jackets will still crawl in glasses, they will be easier to spot. Be aware of your surroundings. Decks, especially, create sheltered areas that yellow jackets may find suitable for nests. They are particularly aggressive when protecting their nests. When they sting, they mark their victims with a chemical that other yellow jackets identify as a threat, causing others to attack. Additionally, swatting and rapid movement are interpreted by yellow jackets as aggressive. So often, our natural reactions to them contribute to stings.
The best way to ensure that your barbecue, clambake, or party is yellow jacket-free is to call us. Our barrier spray effectively controls yellow jackets and repels them. Don’t let stings, or worse a trip to the ER, ruin your next outdoor dining event. Contact us today.