yellow jacket year again

laylaa(7b)June 5, 2009

for those of you in north GA who had a problem with yellow jackets last year, take care this season where you step. While working in a very small area of my woods - probably about 1/5 acre - I have run across 5 nests. Some are less than 10' apart, it's insane.

Of course the nests are still small but by the end of the summer they can be quite large. Dang! Last year was the pitts for yellow jackets.

Topic interests me so I will write to UGA Dept of Entomology and see if there is a reason for the invasion years. If anyone is interested in what I hear back let me know and I will post info.

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vicki7(z7 N.Ga.)

I would love to hear if you learn anything about this. It does seem like they were a lot more plentiful last summer. They're so aggressive and their stings are very painful, so any information we can get might be helpful. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 7:08PM
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Careful about your dogs with them cause I love seeing the Yellow Jackets get the best of the Dogs....bobby

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 7:36PM
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bobby - I am careful about my dogs. Neurotically. Feel sorry for my dogs having to put up with me.

Vicki - these yellow jackets don't seem too aggressive. I have never found them to be aggressive in general, and I've turned over a few nests by accident in my life. Maybe it depends on the colony? I know they have a rep for it. I was using a path 1' away from nests and dragging large yard trash limbs, wasps paid me no mind. Stood close and watched them at different nests, got zero attention from them. I am a huge, huge coward with wasp-y critters, and they didn't alarm me. The beau royally stirred up a nest and he kept stomping through their space until I saw it and panicked, but none stung him. He didn't even realize it was there (insert: MEN!). They were very agitated, flying about. Maybe they aren't that aggressive? I've found them to be easy to confuse, walk through them and they panic, fly in rapid circles, looking pissed off but actually just messed up. Not that I'll poke a stick at them or anything.

Found this gentleman: Michael Goodisman, Assistant Professor at Ga Tech, Wasp Guy. Will probably email this dept with a few questions after I am done reading his papers.

I just don't see how such a small area can support so many mini-predators.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 8:14PM
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I stepped on a yellow jacket nest last year and got stung several times. At first I thought I'd kicked a fire ant hill but finally saw what was stinging. The odd thing was, to me, that these yellow jackets were smaller than ones in years earlier. Even those I had seen hovering over grass during the summer were not exactly the same as in the past. Are pesticides changing them, I wonder. Even the stings, bad as they were, were less painful.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:56AM
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gmom74 - mine seem smaller as well. I don't know what species they are. We took out four nests last night, more to go, and agitated a lot of wasps. The nests are still small this time of year but we literally dug them out, went on to the next nest 10' away and no response from the wasps - they still haven't paid any attention to us. We didn't get stung at all. Very strange.

I'm just hoping my property isn't covered in nests. Normally I'd leave them be, but this is crazy and makes my property uninhabitable. I thing pesticides changing them in some manner is unavoidable - just clueless as to how.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 8:37AM
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