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As Yellowjacket Populations Peak, Entomologist Urges Safe Co-Habitation

TJ Gehling

You may have noticed more and more yellowjackets hovering around your home, but an Oregon State University bug expert says to be calm, careful, and kind. KLCC’s Brian Bull has more.

A warm and dry spring often means large numbers of these wasps. Their population usually peaks in late summer. Most are seeking water, or defending their nests which may be in the ground or suspended in trees or houses.

Credit Librarianguish / Flickr.com
A yellowjacket nest in the Yakima, WA area.

OSU entomologist Gail Langellotto warns against going after yellowjackets, especially with pressurized chemical pesticides. Bees could be affected, or people can blast themselves, accidentally. It’s just better to wait.

“Yellowjackets do not reuse the same nesting site from year to year," says Langellotto.

Credit Oregon State University / Flickr.com
A wasp trap, with oodles of caught yellowjackets.

"They eventually take off in the fall-winter time period. They will get rid of themselves, if you can wait it out.”

Otherwise, Langellotto recommends wasp traps, available at gardening or hardware stores. However people approach these insects, she recommends caution. Unlike bees, yellowjackets can sting repeatedly.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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