Yellow Jacket Populations Are at Their Height

Oct 9, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Fall brings many delights, cooler temperatures and colorful autumn leaves. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when yellow-jacket populations are at their peak and hundreds of workers are searching for food. Adults eat nectar and rotting fruits but also capture and partially digest insects which they feed to the developing larvae. As fall approaches, their natural food supplies dwindle and they become nuisances at picnics and outdoor events. Soft drinks, beer, and sugary foods draw them and they aggressively take their share of uncovered foods. Often picnic tables are near trash cans, and these containers may be swarming with these stinging insects that are eating discarded leftover. Try to picnic away from trash containers and keep your drink containers covered. I once took a sip of beer from a can and got a yellow jacket sting in my mouth.