Yellowjacket

Actual Size: ½” to 1”

Characteristics: Black or dark brown, usually with yellow markings and yellow legs.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Paper carton nests made up of chewed cellulose found in the ground, eaves, or attics

Habits:

  • Queen yellowjackets live through the winter to start new colonies in the spring
  • Social wasps that live in colonies with up to 4,000 workers
  • Most active and aggressive in late summer when colony populations peak

Yellowjackets in Central Florida

Yellowjackets are aggressive stinging insects that are commonly encountered in the summer and fall. Yellowjackets vary in color but are most commonly yellow and black stripes with yellow legs. They feed on a number of insects, including flies and other flying insects. As their colonies increase in size and they become more aggressive in the fall, they will be attracted to sweets often found in human food. These wasps can live in colonies of thousands of individuals. They tend to be a nuisance to residents here in Central Florida particularly in the late summer as they become more frequent and their nests pop up near residential areas.

Yellowjacket Nests & Habitat

Yellowjackets can be found anywhere humans are found. They construct their nests out of layers of comb made of tiny bits of wood fiber chewed into a paper-like pulp. Yellowjacket nests can be found in many different places in or around a home, including the ground, hollow trees, shrubs, bushes, or internally in attics, hollow walls or flooring, sheds, under porches or eaves of buildings. Unlike paper wasps who only build their nests above ground, yellowjackets will build both aerial and underground nesting sites. When they feel their nest is at threat, yellowjackets are quite aggressive and can attack in large numbers.

Yellowjacket Behaviors & Threats

Out of the social insects, yellowjackets are considered to be one of the more aggressive types. Because they lack a barbed stinger, they are capable of stinging more than once. Especially in the late summer and fall, these insects will attack in large numbers, especially if they feel their nest is endangered.

Sometimes yellowjackets living in wall voids chew their way through the drywall and enter the structure’s living space. Naturally, the presence of large numbers of wasps flying around the room can be alarming to homeowners. If you notice a yellowjacket problem in or near your property, always contact your local wasp removal experts.