Of all the stinging pests out there, yellow jackets may be the most annoying. Sure you have fire ants, which are more aggressive, but yellow jackets are more common in home infestations. They are also more in your face. A fire ant will rarely come up to you when you’re having a meal outside with your friends and family, and then try to taste the food and buzz around your head. So why exactly are yellow jackets so “in your face?” Well, as it turns out, their behavior is heavily influenced by the weather.


The cold of the winter is deadly for yellow jackets – quite literally. The majority of the colony will be dead by the time winter comes, and only the queen will survive in hibernation. However, some yellow jacket nests manage to survive the winter by building their nests inside temperature-controlled environments, such as the attic, garage, wall voids, or a heated shed. If the nest does not die during the winter, it will continue to grow, and you may end up with a super nest on your property.


When the weather is warm enough during the spring, the queen will come out of hibernation and start a new nest by herself. It may also choose to nest inside an existing colony structure that has been abandoned. However, this season can be dangerous to the queen because of cold snaps, which will kill it.


Summer is yellow jacket season. The colonies are growing in numbers, the metabolism of the wasps is getting stronger, and they spend their time looking for food and taking care of the young. This is the season when you are most likely to encounter and be stung by yellow jackets. Their diet consists of proteins and sugars, so they are very much drawn to our garbage containers, our picnics and our sodas.


As the weather starts to get colder, wasps become more aggressive in their search for food. Soon enough however, most of them will die once the temperatures reach a certain threshold.

Should you wait for a yellow jacket colony to die off

Waiting for a yellow jacket colony to die off is not the best solution to an infestation. First, it’s risky to have a nest on your property, because the wasps will get very aggressive if you or your pets go near it. Second, when the queen emerges from hibernation it is likely to build its new colony on your property once again. The best way to deal with a wasp nest is to call over a pest control pro who will remove it for you. Contact us today if you have a wasp colony on your property that needs to be removed.