yellowjackets

Asked September 2, 2020, 2:43 PM EDT

A month ago, I found a yellowjacket nest in the ground by my house. I called an exterminator who came out that day and sprayed powder into the nest. A few days late, I mowed the lawn and everything was fine. Two weeks later, I went to mow again and was attacked by yellowjackets about 20 feet away from the original nest. I know they were from the original nest. I had already mowed the area where the original nest was with no sign of them, but after I ran over the second nest, I could see them swarming around both spots and going back and forth. The exterminator came back and resprayed the first nest but couldn't find the second one. Although we could see the yellowjackets swarming the area, they were not actually entering the ground. Because I'm allergic and was stung, I wasn't able to finish cutting the grass that day. Its been another 2 weeks since then. I tried to cut the grass again. No problems in the first spot. When I got to the 2nd spot, I did 1 pass and stopped a safe distance away. A single yellow jacket came out from the spot and went back and forth from there to the 1st spot. But when I got to another spot of the yard (about 20 feet from the original nest in the opposite direction) another swarm came out. I got away without being stung this time but had to leave my lawnmower behind. They were swarming around it when I looked back. Is this normal behavior for them to keep moving around the yard? And what can I do about it? I am allergic and am kind of scared to go outside now.
I should add that we have lived in this house for 35 years and have never had a problem like this. In all that time we had ground dwelling yellow jackets once and it was in a far corner of the yard we rarely go in, not like these ones in high traffic areas.

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

We cannot say for sure what you are dealing with. We don't know if they are flying in from another area or there is another nest.
Since you cannot leave the area alone (not a low traffic area), you will have to contact the exterminator to come out again and decide the best way to handle the situation or contact another pest control company. https://extension.umd.edu/learn/summer-stingers-%E2%80%93-eastern-yellowjackets-vespula-maculifrons
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/yellowjackets

Marian