20
Sep

Taking the Sting out of Early Fall

Taking the Sting out of Early Fall

This time of year, we’re all anxious to get outside and enjoy the slightly cooler temperatures, the crisper air, and all the outdoor fun early fall has to offer. But if you’re trying to enjoy a picnic, mow the grass, or go for a hike, you may have noticed that this can also be the most aggressive time of the year for yellowjackets. These feisty little pests can ruin an outdoor event in an instant with their swarming and stinging, but learning why they’re so aggressive and how to keep them away can help save your late summer and early fall fun.

Yellowjackets Aren’t All Bad

While yellowjackets can be very hard to love, they make several positive contributions to our ecosystem that are often overlooked. The adult wasps feed their babies insects that can potentially damage crops and trees, and they also feast on houseflies, so when they nest in areas with little human or animal contact, it’s best to leave them be. However, when nests form in areas near your home, an intervention is usually necessary.

There’s a Reason They’re Ornery

Early in the year, yellowjacket colonies are small, and there’s plenty of food to go around - thus, the bees are relatively docile during spring time. By early fall, however, the colonies have grown large just as the yellowjackets’ food sources are diminishing. This leads to lots of "hangry" bees who are in a constant search for food, and they are highly irritated when they aren’t able to find any. They’re especially attracted to sweets and proteins, so they’re likely to ruin any watermelon, barbecue, or ice cream you might be trying to enjoy this time of year with their ravenous pestering.

Yellowjackets are Bee Bullies

Humans aren’t the only victims of a yellowjacket’s attacks: they’re also detrimental to the honeybee population. They target honeybee hives as a food source, and even eat the larvae of the bees, who are sluggish in early fall.

Also unlike honeybees, yellowjackets are able to sting repeatedly. Honeybees have barbs on their stingers that get stuck in their victim’s skin, but yellowjackets are barb-free and can sting and inject venom multiple times without physical repercussions.

In short, if yellowjackets are nesting in or around your home, it’s best to get rid of the troublemakers before they get comfortable.

It’s Time to Take Action

In the south, it’s common for warm early fall temperatures to linger, and yellowjackets are even able to stay alive longer in cooler temperatures than many other bees and insects can tolerate. They can prove to be an aggravation well into the fall season, but there are a few steps you can take now to lessen their provocations.

  • Avoid wearing perfumes, hairspray, or other strongly scented products.
  • Keep any food or drink covered as much as possible, and make sure your trashcan has a tight lid.
  • Try not to swat at yellowjackets, and never provoke a nest.

While these small steps may help slightly and temporarily, only a professional exterminator company can help eliminate a yellowjacket problem completely.

Leave the Treatments to the Experts

Getting rid of yellowjackets is a job the professionals at Thompson Brothers are trained for. We have the protective equipment, tools, and know-how to take care of your nests or infestations in a safe, effective manner. If you don’t want yellowjackets to put a damper on your outdoor fun, contact us today to set up an appointment. We’ll make sure you’re sting free and worry free all the way through fall and beyond!

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Thompson Brothers helps businesses and families with a wide array of services, from basement leaks, to invasive bugs, to termite services for new home sales.

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Thompson Brothers Exterminating and Waterproofing has been serving families and businesses in North Carolina and South Carolina for over 60 years, and we look forward to serving you. We are happy to provide free estimates with absolutely no obligation to you.

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