Yellow Jacket invaion

Asked August 16, 2015, 6:22 PM EDT

Over the last few years there has been an increasing population of Yellow Jackets in the area. A neighbor gave me an insecticide to spray the opening hole of what was, assumably, an underground nest. I thought that got rid of them, but my lawn mower was just taken hostage by an entire yard full of them. What is causing this Yellow Jacket invasion and how can I safely rid my yard of them? I prefer not to use chemicals, but those things are vicious.

PS: My concentration is extremely limited, so if you could keep it as short as possible I'd be very grateful. Please hurry.....the Yellow Jackets are keeping me from my responsibilities.

Marion County Oregon yellow jackets horticulture

2 Responses

This is the time of the year when nests are at maximum size so worker activity is at maximum also. As the weather cools this fall the activity will decline. The best way to control certain species (there are several common species) is to use poison baits but this can be tricky and won't work for every species (google "yellowjacket poison bait" for more info). Another option is to treat individual nests as they are found with a "wasp&hornet" type insecticide spray.

In short, there are no really good options for area-wide control for all species so it may be best to just avoid areas where wasp activity is highest. Besides, it is too hot and dry to be cutting the grass!

It's never too hot and dry to comply with the law! I was hoping for some insight on why thousands of them decided to appear in my lawn, as opposed to zero during the first seven years I've lived here. The eighth year had one nest which I quickly killed off. I thought that might be due to the neighbors' newly aquired pool. The ninth year, just a few flew by. Their pool had popped. This year, I can't get out of my house without coming in contact with them. Is it because they have a new pool? Something's up.

I've already killed the only nest in my yard and have had two hanging bait traps for the last week or so. I'll need about 100 of those hanging in my limited supply of trees. I'm worried about the mailman and all the other passers by......and myself. I do have to leave the house on occassions.

Thanks for your help. I guess if you can't answer the question or tell me how to solve the problem, then likely no one can.