Wasp nests have a very limited existence. They start out in the spring, flourish in the summer, and start to die in the fall. By the time winter comes, a majority of the drones are dead, and the queen is in hibernation if she survived. This life cycle creates behavioral patterns that can be observed as the seasons change. Let’s take a look at how these behavioral patterns manifest themselves.
As spring rolls around, the queen comes out of hibernation and sets out to start a new nest. It may choose to build a completely new one, or it may resettle one that remained intact past the winter. This is a perilous time for the queen, because a cold snap could kill it at any moment. Once it finds a suitable location, it goes to work, building pens for the larvae, going out and foraging meat, and extending the nest as needed. As the larvae morph into adults, most of the maintenance duties are passed on to the drones, and the queen focuses on reproduction.
By this time, the colony has grown quite a bit, and the summer is in full swing. The metabolism of the yellow jackets starts to ramp up, and they are out and about looking for sugars and protein. They will find some of these foods in nature, but they will also be drawn to humans, who might be enjoying a coffee outdoors, or they might be having a picnic. The wasps are also more aggressive and more numerous than they were in the spring, and they have a lot more to lose if someone threatens their nest.
Soon enough, we reach summer’s end. Temperatures start to drop, and the food sources become more scarce. This makes the yellow jackets more desperate and more aggressive. Luckily, this phase does not last very long because the temperatures reach a point where it is impossible for the wasps to survive outdoors. Most of the colony will die off, and the queen, if she survives, will find a nice hidden spot to hibernate.
So theoretically, you could wait until the nest dies off if you have a yellow jacket infestation on your property, but that can be dangerous and you will still have to deal with a lot of yellow jackets buzzing around all the time. The best solution would be to call a pest control professional who will remove the infestation for you. Contact us today if you have a yellow jacket infestation and we will help you get rid of it.