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How To Avoid A Yellow Jacket Problem

Pest Control and Exterminators
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The yellow jacket is a wasp that is common to many parts of the United States, especially in late summer and early fall. During this time their normal source of food -- nectar, tree sap, and fruit -- diminishes and they often turn to human food like meats, sodas, and sweets. They can be a nuisance at a picnic or other outdoor gathering as they swarm around food, but there is a more serious threat from their tendency to sting multiple times. A yellow jacket sting can cause pain and swelling, especially in people with allergies.
Here are some ways to avoid a yellow jacket problem.

  • Cover food outdoors. Open food or drink containers will attract yellow jackets. If you are having a picnic or an outdoor gathering, keep your food and drink covered as much as possible. Yellow jackets will crawl inside soda cans to get at the sweet drink, and people sometimes get stung when they drink from a can that has a yellow jacket inside it. To avoid this, check your soda can before drinking from it.  
  • Move garbage cans away from eating areas. Yellow jackets are attracted to garbage cans, so make sure you keep your garbage cans away from areas where people gather.  
  • Get rid of standing water. Pools of water are another attraction for yellow jackets. Dripping faucets, open containers, and puddles will all draw yellow jackets, so try to eliminate these factors.
  • Do not disturb a yellow jacket nest. Yellow jackets are very aggressive when their nest is disturbed, so do not provoke them by poking around at their nest. You will usually find yellow jacket nests in hollow trees or under roof eaves, although some yellow jackets build nests in the ground.
  • If you get stung, remove the stinger, either by hand or with tweezers. Remove the stinger right away, before the area gets inflamed or swells.
  • Apply disinfectant and ice. Hydrogen peroxide works well as a disinfectant. Apply ice to reduce swelling. To alleviate the pain of the sting, use a mixture of baking soda and water.
  • Monitor your condition. If you get stung and have difficulty breathing, dizziness, cramping, vomiting, or irregular heartbeat, you may be having an allergic reaction. In a small percentage of people a yellow jacket sting will cause a severe allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis. If this occurs, you should get medical attention immediately.

If you follow these steps you can avoid turning a yellow jacket nuisance into a yellow jacket problem.

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