One of the most common summer pests we deal with are yellow jackets. Yellow jackets are an aggressive type of wasp that make nests in all sorts of places. Decks, eaves, soffits, gutters, and even holes in brick can become places where yellow jackets will infiltrate to set up nests.
Yellow jacket nests can become quite large; if you don’t believe it, check out this article on seven gargantuan yellow jacket nests. If yellow jackets can get inside a place where there is enough room to grow, they can get pretty enormous. Our article linked above demonstrates this with pics of abandoned cars and completely taken over by yellow jackets. However, for the regular homeowner, this is most likely to happen when yellow jackets get into a wall space or into the attic. In these dark, dry, usually undisturbed locations, yellow jackets can build their nests in relative privacy until they become so large that the homeowner begins to notice.
Creature Control’s technicians run across some of these every season. This fall we ran across a particularly massive yellow jacket hive in a customer’s attic (pictured above left). The customers had noticed an unusual amount of yellow jackets in the home and had heard a crunching, crackling sound coming from the attic. These sorts of sounds – made by the yellow jackets working on their nest – are a tell-tale sign of a big problem.
When our technician Josh got into the attic to investigate, he found the mammoth sized nest you see above. Typically, yellow jackets will die off seasonally, so it is not common for a nest inside a home to get this big. This one, however, managed to survive over multiple seasons because of its location against a knee wall. This location ensured the nest was able to maintain a sufficient minimum heat to keep it active over several seasons, growing each year.
Fortunately, Josh was able to treat the hive and neutralize the danger to the homeowners. The lesson is that sometimes by the time you realize you have a yellow jacket problem, it can already be well advanced. If you notice an unusual number of yellow jackets in your house, hear crunching or crackling sounds coming from the wall or ceiling, or notice discoloration on a wall or ceiling near such crackling noises, please contact a pest control professional right away. These signs (especially taken together) indicate the presence of an already advanced yellow jacket nest.
For more on yellow jackets, check out our informational article on stinging insects; to contact Creature Control, please call 800-441-1519 or click here to contact us by email.