There are so many things to love about late summer and early fall in Upstate NY, but stinging insects usually aren’t one of them.
Yellow jackets, in particular, are a big buzzkill this time of year. After spending the summer months building their nests, yellow jacket colonies are struggling to feed all those hungry mouths. Couple that with dropping temperatures and dwindling food sources, and yellow jackets become downright hostile. As an Albany pest control company, we receive numerous calls about aggressive yellow jackets every August and September.
Albany’s Angry Stinging Insect
In general, yellow jackets are angrier than other stinging insects. While honey bees will only attack when provoked, yellow jackets are naturally more predatory. If their nest is threatened, they will swarm and attack aggressively, and they have been known to sting even without provocation.
As summer comes to a close and fall arrives in Albany, yellow jackets grow even more agitated. Attracted to sugary drinks, fruit and anything sweet, they are frequently an unwelcome guest at picnics, barbecues, tailgate parties and outdoor weddings.
What’s worse is that yellow jackets can sting multiple times. Unlike their hairy friends, these shiny yellow and black wasps don’t lose their stinger, so they’re able to sting more than once without injuring themselves. For many people, the venom from a yellow jacket sting can be highly dangerous, and over time, a person’s sensitivity to the venom can heighten. Despite the lack of a serious reaction in the past, several people have experienced severe, even fatal complications after being stung.
What to do if confronted by a Yellow Jacket
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to leave yellow jacket extermination to the professionals. If you encounter a yellow jacket, do not strike at it or run, since quick movements can provoke an attack. Although they only have a top flying speed of 6 to 7 mph, you could suffer more than a dozen painful stings before you outrun a yellow jacket.
Never strike or crush a yellow jacket against your body, as it releases an alarm pheromone that can cause a frenzied attack. If confronted by yellow jackets, your best defense is to cover your face with your hands, your shirt or a towel and back away slowly. Make sure not to step on a ground nest and move indoors.
If stung, wash the site with soapy water to help remove the venom, and apply ice in a damp cloth to reduce swelling and ease pain. You may also want to take ibuprofen or Benadryl to relieve pain and itchy skin. Always consult a medical professional if symptoms worsen or an allergic reaction occurs.
Yellow Jacket Pest Control in Albany
While insect sprays and powders can be used to control nests in lawns, we highly recommend that you consult a professional Albany exterminator to eliminate these aggressive and dangerous pests, especially if you are planning a large picnic or wedding.
Yellow jackets also like to build nests inside your home. You may notice a lot of activity around attic space or a wall void as one yellow jacket enters the hole after another after another. By September and October, a nest can contain upwards of 40,000 workers!
If you have an issue with yellow jackets, please call our Albany pest control company. We wear protective gear and use specialized equipment and products to safely eliminate the nest. Call 518-745-5958 or request a free inspection.