Yellowjackets are a particularly aggressive wasp species that are known to commonly build their nest underground and hunt other insects for food. However, one interesting fact about this species is that it becomes even more aggressive during the fall. Why is that?
Yellowjacket nests are usually started in spring, and they grow throughout the summer, with the wasps going out and hunting other insects. However, as the weather starts to cool off and the autumn rolls around, the food sources will begin to dwindle. The queen will stop laying eggs, and the wasps will begin to starve. As they are starving, the yellowjackets become frenzied in their search for food.
To make matters worse, a yellowjacket colony is largest during late summer and early autumn, right as the food becomes scarcer and scarcer. What you are left with is a lot of hungry, angry yellowjackets. Yellowjackets also have the ability to survive later into the fall than other stinging insects, with some of them managing to stay alive until late autumn. Eventually, the entire colony dies off, except for the new queen, which will go on to hibernate underground during the winter and emerge in spring to start a new colony.
During this time of the year, yellowjackets will adapt in several ways. First, they will include more carbs and less protein in their diet, switching to sugary foods rather than insects. They will also start targeting more honeybees if they are in the area. Honeybees become sluggish in the cold, which makes them easier targets. In fact, yellowjackets will go on to massacre entire beehives, eating all of the bees and their honey.
Invasive insect species also help out yellowjackets. The spotted lanternfly, which is native to China, Vietnam and Bangladesh has started spreading, reaching Maryland and Virginia. If these insects manage to grow their population considerably, they will be a plentiful food source for yellowjackets, which means that the wasps will be able to survive for longer during the year.
This is why it’s important to get rid of yellowjacket nests as soon as possible. If they manage to grow in size, you will only have more trouble later on. Contact us today if you think that there is a yellowjacket nest on your property and you would like to get rid of it effectively.