Yellowjacket wasps look distinctly like bees, this is not specifically intentional but it is an evolutionary advantage. Most people are aware that bees can only sting once and then die so bees are less likely to want to sting someone unless they are truly threatened. However, the wasp has no such issue. Female wasps can sting as many times as they like and in fact, use their stinger to incapacitate food for themselves and their children to eat. They can also sting you more than once and believe me, you will feel it because their stings are some of the most painful of all the wasps. Now, these insects do not make large nests, they are ground-dwelling wasps which mean they dig holes in the ground to find grubs, they then sting them to paralyze them and lay an egg beside the grub. They repeat this a number of times to create dozens of new wasps who will mature and start laying their own eggs. It can quickly become a pandemic of wasps around your home with no sign of where they came from.
A yellow jacket nest will look somewhat like a soccer ball. It is an open nest in a hole or most often a disused rodent burrow and will be made of a paper-like substance made of wood fibre and wasp saliva. The nest is made up of hundreds of tiny paper cups that connect into an octagonal hive. This is not like a beehive, however. A beehive is made from wax made by the bees. It is not made from paper. The nest can be in other places, underground is their natural way of living but human homes are also commonplace for them to live. The most common situation is when a wasp queen builds a nest inside of a wall, entering through a hole in the mortar of a brick house. So common is this that it has its own specific treatment process in professional extermination. You can treat the nest as well. If you wait until night time, something the professionals do not have time to do you can catch the wasps while they are sleeping. You will need multiple cans of the most powerful wasp spray you can find and you need to empty every can, two at a time, into the mortar hole. This will fill the nest with pesticides and kill the wasps. Removing it would be costly so sealing the hole once you are sure the wasps are dead would be a good solution. Do not seal the hole if living wasps are going in and out. They will panic and chew through your walls and enter your home.
Yellowjackets, at the beginning of the summer and late spring, eat generally other insects. This actually makes them very beneficial and helpful to gardens and even large farms. But as the season changes and they stop laying eggs they get hungry and worried about the winter. They start looking for sweet food, rotting fruit and vegetable and of course, sugar in any form they can get it. They will start hanging around people with food, picnickers, backyard BBQs and anywhere else food may be found. And they will definitely be swarming your garbage. The best way to handle them is to take away their food sources. The early spring will be hard because they eat insects, but making sure not to leave any food outside during the summer will help get rid of these little guys later in the months. Make sure to store garbage in a tightly sealed container in your garage and don’t drip sweet things like sugar and fruit juice and ice cream outside because it will attract wasps, among other things.