Los Angeles County West Vector & Vector-Borne Disease Control District
Yellow jackets are social insects that live in a nest. They are medium sized
black wasps with yellow or white markings. Depending on the type of yellow jacket,
they build aerial or subterranean nests. Aerial nests are built in trees, on utility
poles, or house eaves. Subterranean nests are constructed in rodent burrows, tree
cavities, or ground holes. When a nest is disturbed, yellow jackets can inflict
multiple stings that are painful and may be life threatening to individuals hypersensitive
to the venom. In late summer months, when yellow jacket populations increase, they
can create a nuisance in parks by scavenging for food from picnic areas. They can
cause structural damage to a home when they construct nests in walls or attics.
Adults of some species are beneficial to man because they prey on flies and other insects.
Yellow Jacket Control Program
In the summer months, foraging yellow jackets may become a nuisance in parks,
campgrounds, and other recreational areas. Yellow jacket populations have been
||Sanitation - This is the most effective method of controlling foraging
adults. Tightly covering all waste food sources and moving garbage receptacles away
from eating areas reduces food available to foraging workers. Eliminating standing
water sources helps to reduce the water available for cooling the nest and drinking.
Limiting the amount of food and water available to a yellow jacket hive will
drastically limit the size of the hive and its survivability.
||Trapping - Bait traps should be set in April to capture future queens
and limit the number of foraging adults. Many commercially available traps using
chemical lures to attract foraging yellow jackets are available. You should check
your local hardware store. Traps should be placed in areas away from food and
people. Currently, the District limits its trapping to schools, parks, and other
recreational areas. However, the District would be more than happy to provide
training, advice, and assistance in setting up a trapping plan for private residences.
||Nest Control - The District will provide
control for any
established yellow jacket nest that is not in or on a structure. If you find a yellow
jacket nest, do not try to take care of the nest yourself. Move away from the
and call the District. Our trained staff will come out and remove the
nest free of
charge. If we cannot remove the nest, we will provide you with a list of private
pest control companies who can.
The District also provides control for other wasps, such as, paper wasps and mud
daubers. If you find any type of wasp nest or bee hive do not try to treat yourself.
Call the District and allow our trained personnel to take care of the hive or nest