Yellow jackets |

Yellow jackets

General information

Yellow jackets are social insects that live in a nest. They are medium-sized black wasps with yellow or white markings. They can build nests in trees, utility poles, the eaves of houses, rodent burrows, tree cavities and holes in the ground.


Yellow jackets use vegetable fibers from trees and shrubs to create paper-like material for nest construction. Inside a nest is a series of suspended combs containing cells where young adults are reared.


In late summer months when yellow jacket populations increase, they can create a nuisance by scavenging for food. They can cause structural damage to a home when they build nests in walls or attics.


If a person is attacked by yellow jackets, they should leave the area immediately, using clothes to cover his or her face and mouth. A sting should be washed with soap and water. Someone showing allergic reactions from a sting should find professional medical help and watch for breathing difficulties. For multiple stings, the victim should find medical help quickly and not wait for problematic symptoms to develop.

Source: El Dorado County Vector Control

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