The kids are going back to school. The days are growing gradually shorter. Nighttime temperatures are turning cool. Fall is coming and the final days of summer are upon us.  Families throughout New Jersey are making burgers and firing up the grill, determined to enjoy a few more barbecues while they still can. Unfortunately, NJ pest control services warn, so are yellowjackets.

Yellowjacket wasps are the bane of late August and early September barbecues and picnics. About 1/2 inch long with black and yellow markings, yellowjackets can be distinguished from bees that have similar coloration by their nipped-in “wasp waist” and smooth, hairless bodies. The most aggressive stinging insect in New Jersey, yellowjackets live in large social colonies that can number in the thousands. Most of the life-threatening stinging attacks in the U.S. are caused by attacking yellowjackets. Like other wasps, yellowjackets have straight stingers and can sting their prey multiple times. When disturbed, they release pheromones that incite their hive mates to join the attack. Swarms have been known to follow and continue attacking their prey over long distances.

NJ pest control professionals warn that yellowjackets have two habits that bring them into frequent contact with humans and increase the danger of being stung:

  • These wasps frequently build their nests underground in abandoned animal burrows in areas frequented by people. Easily disturbed, yellowjackets can be provoked to attack by the sound of a lawn mower or a running child inadvertently stepping on a nest entrance.
  • While yellowjackets feed primarily on other insects and spiders, they are also attracted to sugars and are frequently seen buzzing around trash cans at picnic sites. Their aggressive nature makes yellowjackets a serious problem at late summer barbecues and picnics. Dangerous stings have occurred when these wasps crawl into soda cans.

Don’t let yellowjackets ruin your final summer barbecues; contact a NJ pest control company, like ChemTec Pest Control, for safe elimination of these dangerous pests.