Yellow jackets are a type of wasp that are known for their yellow and black stripes. They have narrow midsections, with smooth and slender bodies.
These insects, while smaller than bees, are notoriously aggressive and unpleasant to deal with – especially when on the hunt for food.
Like bumblebees and honeybees, yellow jackets also pollinate(see also: Are Yellow Jackets Pollinators?). However, they are considerably less efficient at it.
To find out more about jello jackets, including how to get rid of them naturally, keep reading! We will cover everything you need to know about them in the sections below.
About Yellow Jackets
A yellow jacket is a unique-looking insect. They have six legs, elongated wings, a very thin waist, and a striped body split into segments.
The long antennae and colorful appearance make this a very recognizable creature, and they grow to be between ⅜ to ⅝ of an inch when mature.
It is common for yellow jackets to be aggressive towards people when they feel threatened or irritated. Some sounds can trigger them, and they are known to attack in swarms.
Unlike honeybees, yellow jackets can sting multiple times – and their stings hurt a lot more than a bee’s. In most cases, you will be left with a painful red welt.
If you do get stung by a yellow jacket, make sure that you immediately leave the area. Pheromones are released when one of these insects sting, and other yellow jackets will be attracted.
This can result in a swarm and many more stings.
How To Get Rid Of Yellow Jackets Naturally
If you would like to get rid of yellow jackets in the area naturally, there are a few good ways to do this. You can cover the nest (which will, unfortunately, kill them off), or find other ways like using peppermint oil.
We will discuss some good options for you to try out in the sections below. See which one works best for you!
Cover The Nest
If you would like to get rid of the yellow jackets for good, the most foolproof way would be to kill them.
This is an unfortunate reality, but sometimes it cannot be helped, since these insects can be dangerous – especially if you have pets or young children.
You can kill them without using pesticides or poisons by simply covering the exits and entrances of the yellow jacket nest. This will trap the insects inside and eventually kill them as they will starve to death.
Any insects that are not inside when it gets shut off will build a new nest somewhere else – hopefully it won’t be on your property!
Depending on the location of the nest, you may use a box, bowl, or something similar. Just make sure that you block off all exits and entrances to the next, or else you could be dealing with very angry insects.
If you want to repel yellow jackets without hurting them, you can try using peppermint oil!
All you need to do this is get some peppermint oil (make sure it’s pure peppermint oil), and combine it with a couple of tablespoons of dish soap, and warm water.
Add everything to a spray bottle, then spray the active yellow jacket nest(see also: What Does A Yellow Jacket Nest Look Like).
Be very careful, and spray the nest and around the entrance. You will need to do this every few days, but make sure you are protecting yourself! Keep doing it until the nest is empty and all the wasps are gone.
You can keep reapplying the solution to the nest even after that, or destroy the nest altogether. This will prevent the wasps from coming back.
This is another method you can use that will slowly kill off the yellow jackets. Since these insects are always on the prowl for protein, you can use this to your advantage!
Hang some protein like liver, fish, or chicken over a bucket full of soapy water, and leave it out for them.
The hope is for the insects to grab pieces that are too heavy, and drop into the bucket of water. Since it is common for insects to falter like this, it could work!
Just make sure to place the trap far away from your house.
There’s a good chance that a yellow jacket will move their nest if they notice another one in the area.
They prefer to have their own territory, so if you purchased a fake nest and hung it near the problem nest, you may easily solve your problem.
Preventing Yellow Jackets From Making Your Property Home
Prevention is better than cure, and this is certainly the case for yellow jackets and any other insect infestation. You can try to prevent yellow jackets from infesting your property by doing the following things:
- Seal gaps and cracks in your house to prevent them from getting inside
- Get rid of standing water on the property
- Remove trash and wood piles prom the property
- Do not use heavily scented soaps
- Do not leave sources of food (especially protein and sugar) out where they can access it
- Use peppermint scented things or diffuse peppermint essential oils in your house, if it is safe to do so (not all especial oils are safe if you have children or pets)
If you can prevent yellow jackets from making your property their home, you will have a much easier time. As long as you take preventative measures, you are unlikely to experience issues with these insects.
It is worth noting that many of the aforementioned tactics are far more effective when you use them in conjunction with one another.
Pair methods together, or do several at a time, and you are likely going to see results much faster.
Do not forget the importance of taking preventative measures, too. You can save yourself a lot of pain by simply taking steps to prevent these insects from making their home on your property.