Great Gray Owl Pest Control

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Yellow jackets (Vespula spp.) are paper wasps of the Family Vespidae. The smallest (about 1/2 inch long) of the common paper wasps, their nest is typically an underground structure. The nest itself is of the typical paper type and is usually started in an abandoned mammal nest or in a similar underground cavity. The nest is expanded initially to fill the cavity, and from that point on the cavity may be enlarged as the colony develops. As many as 10,000 workers may be produced in a colony in one season. The workers feed the young protein materials and in return receive sweet secretions from the young. As the colony matures in late summer, the workers run short of sweets and begin to forage extensively for nectar and other sources of sugar.

Particles of earth and small stones may be piled up around the opening of a burrow which houses a large colony. Yellow jackets will also utilize other openings at or near ground level. Situations are known in which yellow jackets have built extensively within the wall voids in concrete block foundations.

The workers tend to be somewhat unpredictable in their response to humans who approach the nest. The intruder may be completely ignored or he may be subjected to a massive assault and severely stung. Humans are usually ignored when the worker is away from the nest. It is the opinion of some experts that yellow jackets are the most dangerous of the social Hymenoptera in North America.