Summer is coming to an end and so is Yellow Jacket season. It’s now that time of year to put away your traps until next Spring.
The Yellow Jacket Cycle (a.k.a. Why You Should Set Traps Every Year)
By mid-summer, the first adult Ywllow Jacket workers emerge and assume the tasks of nest expansion, foraging for food, care of the queen and larvae, and colony defense.
From this time until her death in the autumn, the queen remains inside the nest, laying eggs. The colony then expands rapidly, reaching a maximum size of 4,000 to 5,000 workers and a nest of 10,000 to 15,000 cells in late summer. At peak size, reproductive cells are built with new males and queens produced. Adult reproductives remain in the nest fed by the workers. New queens build up fat reserves for winter. Adult reproductives leave the parent colony to mate. After mating, males quickly die, while fertilized queens seek protected places for winter.
In the spring, the cycle is repeated; weather in the spring is the most important factor in colony establishment.
The clear message here is to make sure you set out your traps in early Spring to stop the above process from happening at all.
Don’t Throw Them Out!
Yellow Jacket traps are reusable, so empty them out, clean them with soap and water and then store them in a dry spot until next Spring. Hardware stores sell refill packs that include cotton balls and the attractant, so all you have to do is reset the traps next Spring, hang them and you’re all set for the season.
As always, if you have any questions about this or any other pest control issue, call us at (408) 866-6609 – we’d be happy to help!