9 Top tips for dealing with wasps and yellowjackets

wasp on side of a glass - San Francisco

In summer, we all like to take advantage of the good weather to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.  But often stinging insects such as wasps, bees and yellow jackets can ruin even the most idyllic day.  Here are nine top  tips for dealing with wasps and yellowjackets so you can enjoy the summer without suffering from the sting.

Wasps and yellowjackets are more than just annoying pests

Wasps play an important role in the garden by eating   plant destroying pests such as caterpillars . In fact it’s estimated that a typical wasp colony will eat around two pounds of insects in a decent sized yard.

So indiscriminate eradication is not advised and if you can find a way to live and let live you’ll be benefiting the whole ecosystem.

In spring and early summer wasps are looking for protein sources to feed their young.  At this stage they tend to be a little less bothersome.

As summer progresses and their young mature they begin to look for sources of sweet energy.  This is why they are attracted to sugary drinks such as soda and fruit juices. It is at this stage that they are at their most annoying and dangerous.

Tips for dealing with isolated yellowjackets

  1. First up, try not to swat at them or flail your arms about as this can just aggravate them.  Instead, it’s best to calmly walk away and leave them to it.
  2. And if you do manage to swat one it is likely to release alarm pheromones which will alert any nearby friends to come to its aid.
  3. Avoid wearing strong scents and bright clothing which are likely to attract them to you.
  4. Remember that they are likely to be looking for a sugar fix so keep all drinks and foods covered.
  5. It’s also a good idea to drink out of clear containers to avoid the risk of accidentally taking in a wasp as you drink.
  6. You can further reduce the chance of a wasps encounter by making sure that you have a close fitting lid on any trash bins. And avoid picnicking near fruit trees.

Tips for dealing with wasps nests

wasp nest on BBQ - San Francisco

Dealing with isolated foraging wasps is one thing but what if they’ve decided to build their nest in your yard close to an area where people or pets congregate? 

Here are three tips to deal with a troublesome nest:




  1. First, prevention is better than cure so make sure to seal all cracks and crevices and regularly inspect around house’s perimeter for nests.  It can also help to rub the area with dish washing detergent or soap.
  2. If they have already started to build their nest you have a short window of opportunity to disrupt and discourage them before they get fully established.  Don’t get too close and use something like a garden hose to blast away the nest.  They’ll get the idea that they aren’t wanted and move on.
  3. If the colony is already established however be very, very careful. Wasps and yellow jackets can be particularly aggressive and their stings can be life threatening to some people.  The last thing you want is an angry swarm attacking you to defend their nest. In these circumstances, it’s best to contact a professional exterminator who has the right equipment and experience to deal with the problem for you.

With a little bit of thought and a few simple precautions there won’t be a nasty sting in the tail of your long hot days of summers.

For a speedy and professional response to all you pest problems in San Francisco contact  pestresponders.com

How to protect yourself against the world's deadliest pest

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