Why Do You Have More Yellow Jackets in the Fall?

The golden hues of autumn foliage and the crisp coolness in the air often mark the beginning of a favorite season for many New York homeowners. But for some, the arrival of fall can also bring about an unwelcome guest–yellow jacket wasps.

These buzzing, stinging insects seem to be more active in the fall, leaving many homeowners puzzled. Read on as we buzz into everything you need to know about yellow jackets in the fall, like why their presence becomes more noticeable and what you can do to knock them out.

Understanding Fall Yellow Jackets Behavior

Yellow jackets are a type of wasp that belongs to the Vespidae family. These aggressive insects are known for their distinctive black and yellow markings and painful stings. They are social insects that live in colonies, with a single colony often containing thousands of individuals.

During the summer, yellow jackets are busy foraging for food and building their nests. They typically feed on sugars, nectar, and other insects. However, as fall approaches, their behavior undergoes a noticeable shift.

Reasons for Increased Yellow Jacket Activity in the Fall

There are several key reasons why you will see more yellow jackets in your yard this time of year, including:

Food Scarcity

In the fall, as temperatures drop and the days become shorter, the availability of yellow jackets’ preferred food sources, like flowers and nectar, dwindles. This scarcity drives yellow jackets to search for alternative food sources, often leading them closer to human habitats.

Protein Hunt

While yellow jackets are known to feed on sugars, in the fall, their focus shifts toward acquiring protein. This is when they become more interested in scavenging for meats and other protein-rich food. This change in dietary preference can make them more noticeable around outdoor picnics and barbecues.

Nesting Season

Fall is also the time when yellow jacket colonies reach their peak in size. This means that there are more worker wasps in a colony, increasing the likelihood of encountering them. Additionally, as the season progresses, the colony begins to produce new queens and male yellow jackets. These reproductives leave the nest to mate, further increasing their presence.

Late Season Sweets

While on the hunt for sugars and carbohydrates, yellow jackets may become attracted to fruits that are ripening in the fall. Fallen fruit in orchards and gardens can become a tempting food source for these insects.

Protecting the Yellow Jackets Nest

Yellow jackets are known for their defensive behavior when their nest is threatened. In the fall, with the colony at its peak, they become more protective and may react aggressively if they perceive any threat to their nest.

How to Prevent Yellow Jackets in the Fall

While the increased presence of yellow jackets in the fall can be a nuisance and pose risks of stings, there are steps you can take to minimize their impact:

Cover Your Food

When enjoying outdoor meals or snacks, cover food and beverages to prevent yellow jackets from being attracted to the scent.

Secure Trash Bins

Ensure that your trash cans have tight-fitting lids to prevent yellow jackets from scavenging for food scraps.

Seal Openings

Inspect your home for gaps, cracks, or openings where yellow jackets can enter and seal them effectively.

Remove Fallen Fruit

If you have fruit trees, promptly remove fallen fruit to eliminate a potential food source.

Seek Professional Help

Attempting to remove a nest without proper equipment and training can be dangerous. If you have a significant yellow jacket problem or discover a nest on your property, it’s best to contact pest control professionals like Knockout Pest Control. 

Get Rid of Fall Yellow Jackets with Knockout Pest Control

Yellow jackets’ increased presence this time of year can be unsettling, especially if you’re hosting outdoor gatherings or have children playing in the yard. But with the right precautions and professional assistance from Knockout Pest Control, you can ensure that these stinging insects don’t ruin your fall.

If you’re dealing with a yellow jacket nest or infestation, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced team specializes in New York pest control and is ready to help you knock out those early fall yellow jackets. Schedule an inspection now for complete peace of mind all season long.

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