During the summer months there is one predator you can be sure you will run into and that is the yellow jacket. A yellow jacket is normally found near water which includes pools, lakes and rivers. They stay near the water to drink and will make home on a tree or wall near the water source. This also means that in the summer months the contact between humans and yellow jackets is much higher. Spending time swimming or laying out in the sun can put you right in harm’s way. Be prepared to treat a sting of a yellow jacket by removing the stinger and cleaning the area that was stung. A antihistamine cream can be rubbed into the area to relieve some of the pain and itch. Following are some interesting facts about yellow jackets that you may not have known.
Where Do Nesting Yellow Jackets Live?
Yellow jackets usually stay around an 1100 foot range from the nest. This means that all the areas that they will travel to forge for food and water can be further than you may have thought. The furthest that they have been known to travel from the nest is 1800 feet. Is some areas yellow jacket colonies have been known to reach up to 5000. This would be a horrifying swarm to come upon when out for a nice summer day. Most colonies are not this big, but the fact that they can get this big means you need to watch out for them this summer. Many of the yellow jackets are actually good to have around. One of the many food groups that they feed on are other insects like flies, webworms and caterpillars. They also will feed on garbage left in trash bins and any dead animals that might be left around. You wont always see them up in a tree or on a wall. Some colonies will make a nest in an abandoned burrow of another animal. They can be seen nesting in the ground, up a wall or make their way into an attic. You may want to watch your step when outside this summer.
What Attracts Yellow Jacket Wasps?
Some of the ways that people attract yellow jackets is the use of hairspray, perfume and bright colored clothing. The best colors to wear to not attract the yellow jackets are white and light neutral colors. You can also pass on the extra smells that may be what is attracting them to you and putting you in their stinging zone.