Yellowjacket Control in Sacramento

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Yellowjacket commonly found in Sacramento

Yellowjacket Control

There are three main species of yellowjackets that are found in the Sacramento area: Western, German, and Prarie. The Western and German are known for nesting in the walls or ceilings of homes. They can be very destructive of drywalls type walls. They commonly will grow their nests until they reach the wall and then they will burrow through the wall. Usually when someone calls me, they have already burrowed through and stung and bit the home owners. They can be extremely vicious and aggressive. I highly recommend a professional for yellowjacket control, because of their aggression and high numbers within a nest.

The Prarie Yellowjacket is known to burrow in the ground. Although they look like the others, they are usually much more aggressive. Also since their nests are below the dirt, they usually attack the ankles first. I have to fully suit up for this type, because of their persistence in entering any opening in my clothes.

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Because our Sacramento company is a small family owned business, there is not a lot of overhead. You will see that our prices are much less than other companies.. We use the best insecticides available for control of yellowjackets.

yellowjackets in ground

Cutaway view of underground yellowjacket (Prairie) nest
(Courtesy Arthur Antonelli, Washington State University)


Yellowjacket in Sacramento

German Yellowjacket — Vespula Germanica

The German yellowjacket is an introduced species, probably from Europe. It has been found in many states since the 1970s, and has been in the West since about 1993. The worker is about 1/2-in. long and has yellow and black stripes on its abdomen. The queen is about 3/4-in. long.

This species features yellow and black stripes and very little hair. Black spots are present on at least one abdominal tergite. The lack of barbs on the stinger allows them to sting repeatedly. The mouthparts are developed to capture and crush prey, while the tongue is used to suck fluids. German yellowjackets are scavengers as well as predators.

Like all pestiferous yellowjackets, the German species is a social one, with unique castes. Each nest has reproductives (the queen and males). Sterile workers (females) gather food, care for the queen, protect and expand the nest and care for the young.

Colonies are annual, with inseminated queens overwintering. During this time, they hibernate in protected places such as woodpiles, leaf litter, within soil and in structures.

The queens emerge in the spring and build new nests. Queens and workers chew wood fibers mixed with their saliva to create a gray, paper-like pulp. Nests are soccer- or football-shaped, and are located underground or inside buildings. They each contain about 30 to 50 cells, with completely enclosed immatures.

The queen must feed her first brood alone. By mid-June, the first brood matures into workers and takes over all the duties of the nest. In warmer parts of the country, the first brood matures a few months earlier.

The queen will now remain in the nest and reproduce until her death. Workers chew up meat and feed it to the larvae. The larvae process the meat and return a fluid-like sugar material to the adults.

German yellowjacket nests usually contain about 1,000 to 3,000 workers, 10,000 to 15,000 brood cells, and are between 18 to 30 inches in diameter at their peak.

However, enormous colonies of more than 50,000 cells have been found in wall voids and attics in the fall. In very cold area, the nests die out by themselves, however, in the Sacramento area the yellowjackets usually survive the winter with their nests. I have pulled nests as large as 30,000. Normally the nests that I control are about 1,000 to 3,000.


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