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Eradicating Yellow Jackets Might Best Be Left to Professionals

Making It Grow! Minute logo

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Unlike the European honey bee which can only sting once, Yellow jackets, which are far more aggressive, have a smooth stinger and can sting you over and over again. Most yellow jacket nests are constructed in the ground, they chew fiber to make cells in which the queen lays eggs, and they are usually partially concealed under decaying tree roots or the protective structure of shrubs and bushes. When someone is cutting grass or weed eating and comes nearby, the nest erupts with vicious defenders that give chase. Eliminating these nests can be dangerous and perhaps best left to pest professionals. But if you want to try yourself, search Clemson Extension yellow jackets for a fact sheet that does give tips for the safest control methods. The colony will be killed with the first hard frost, only a mated queen overwinters. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.