Yellowjackets are among the stinging insects that Hilton Head homeowners may have a problem with when it’s warm outside. These wasps aggressively defend their nests, which can put homeowners at risk of being stung multiple times. Learn more about why you should immediately hire a Hilton Head yellowjacket exterminator if you have these pests around.

What Yellowjackets Look Like

It’s easy to confuse yellowjackets with other stinging insects in SC, but there are some differences in the way these insects look. Yellowjackets are typically yellow and black, although some can have reddish or white markings on their abdomen. They tend to have a smaller waist compared to bees. Their bodies are also hairless unlike honeybees and bumblebees.

Yellowjacket Nests and Colonies

Yellowjackets are social wasps, which means that they live in colonies. During cold weather, the queen survives and the rest of the colony dies off. The queen then starts a new colony when spring arrives. Yellowjackets build nests in the ground or in higher areas, depending on the species. Some places you might find a yellowjacket nest include trees and bushes, as well as roof eaves. Yellowjacket nests have a papery appearance.

Yellowjacket Diet

What kinds of foods do yellowjackets eat? Adult yellowjackets are similar to other stinging insects and prefer feeding on nectar and other sweet foods. They’ll also eat fruit that grows on fruit trees, and they’ll go after human foods and drinks that are sugary. When yellowjackets are in the larval stage, they feed on sources of protein. Adult yellowjackets bring protein sources, such as other bugs, to the larvae for them to feed on. In this way, they can actually help homeowners by eliminating other insect pests.

How Yellowjackets Behave

Yellowjackets are commonly feared due to their ability to attack in numbers and sting multiple times. They can deliver highly painful stings to anyone who gets too close to their nest. Yellowjackets usually won’t sting unless their nest is threatened. Keep in mind that some colonies can be large, which means that disturbing it could lead to a number of very painful stings.

For those who are allergic to yellowjacket venom, stings can cause potentially life-threatening reactions. Other people can develop a sensitivity to this venom after being attacked by yellowjackets. This means that they could end up having a severe reaction if they’re stung again.

How to Deal with Yellowjackets

SC homeowners who find a nest on their property should let a Hilton Head yellowjacket exterminator handle its removal. Trying to get rid of a yellowjacket nest on your own can be highly dangerous. Exterminators know when and how to remove these nests from residential properties as safely as possible to avoid being stung. It’s important for homeowners to have a nest removed as soon as possible to reduce the risk of being attacked by these insects.

Yellowjacket Prevention

How can you prevent yellowjackets from being a problem on your property? Seal up any holes or cracks around your home to stop them from being able to get inside. This can make it harder for queens to survive the winter, and it stops them from building a nest inside walls or attics. If you have fruit trees, you should pick up fruit that falls instead of letting it rot on the ground and attract yellowjackets. Keeping your garbage can lids sealed and covering empty rodent burrows in your yard can also discourage them from coming around. Hanging up a fake yellowjacket nest might also stop them from visiting your property and looking for food and nesting places.

If you have a yellowjacket problem at your home, contact Island Pest Control. We can have a Hilton Head yellowjacket exterminator visit your home and safely get rid of the nest for you.