Yellowjackets are predatory social wasps. Yellowjackets are mean when they are hungry. They fight you for your food especially at the local picnic area. And if you don’t give the food up, they sting you to remind you that food is theirs. They are passionate about eating meat, sweets, ripe fruit and garbage.
Yellowjackets usually live in the ground for those who have never discovered it by accidentally stepping on their nest entrance. You will never forget the mistake you made. There is also another type of yellowjacket that builds large basketball sized wasp like paper nests in the trees. They defend their nest entrance vigorously and if the place is in your yard either in a tree or worse yet, in the ground, it doesn’t take you long to decide they have to go.
So how do you get rid of them?
First…cover and remove the garbage can, pick up spilled food and fruit that dropped from the trees. No food they will likely relocate.
Second…trap them with a commercial trap designed for them or build your own. Suspend a fish over a can of water filled with a soapy mixture. The yellowjackets will take a piece of fish and fall down before they can fly and when they hit the soapy water, their newly wet wings no longer allow them to fly and they drown. There are many other homemade traps and many commercial traps as well available locally.
Lastly, pour a mixture of liquid or dust insecticide down the hole. These products are available in your local stores or from and will show they are for yellowjacket applications.
For a paper nest in a tree or in the ground, aerosols are available to spray the nest. We recommend that you take these actions at dusk or night when they are dormant. Use a flashlight with a red lens to see what you are doing.