Honey Bee or Yellow Jacket?
A yellow-gold insect buzzes around your head and your first instinct is to swat. Or run. Or swat while running.
The fear of being stung can send me into fight or flight mode in seconds . . . and I’m a beekeeper. True story. No one likes being stung!
Honey bees and yellow jackets (a type of wasp) have some similarities, but their differences are what can keep you from courting disaster.
While yellow jackets are more active and defensive in the fall, this is the time of year when many people mistake them for bees if they are nesting in a wall cavity.
If you encounter a nest of yellow jackets, run at least 50 yards away or until they are no longer chasing you. And unlike the average honey bee, yellow jackets will chase any perceived threat.
Because yellow jackets eat insects, they are considered beneficial to the garden. However, if you discover a nest located close to play areas for people or pets, near walking paths, or in a structure, you will need to consider eliminating the nest.
In his Bug’s Eye View Newsletter on the topic, Dr. Blake Layton recommends working at night when yellow jackets are less active, and following label directions for approved aerosol wasp spray.
Get more information in Control Insect Pests In & Around the Home Lawn.
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