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YELLOW JACKETS AND OTHER WASPS

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hornet nest in shrubsFlooding during the summer and early fall may leave wasp colonies disrupted and homeless. Fallen trees may contain baldfaced hornet (image at right) or European hornet nests. Paper wasp nests may be found on eaves, roof overhangs or under porches and other protected areas of buildings. Hornet nests may also be found in shrubs (photo at right). Numerous adults will be seen flying around the nest site and may also be attracted to any outdoor foods and exposed trash. Yellow jackets are often attracted to freshly cut and broken wood for the sap or as nesting material. Be cautious when cutting trees. Watch for yellowjacket nests in the ground. Normally, unless a nest is right nearby, the wasps are probably out foraging and are less likely to sting. However, they may become entangled in your clothing or you might grab one accidentally when handling limbs. In these situation, they might sting you. As with summer and fall picnics, beverages along with food being cooked or consumed outdoors also attract wasps. Here are some other suggestions for dealing with wasps:
  • Do not swat insects that land on you. Instead, flick them off. Avoid wearing perfumes or colognes that might attract them. Insect repellents are usually ineffective against stinging pests.
  • When eating outside, keep all food and drinks covered while they are not being consumed. Dispose of food scraps and beverage containers in trash bags or trash cans. Keep trash covered.
  • Protective clothing such as gloves boots, hat and long pants may be uncomfortable but are highly recommended when doing storm cleanup.


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