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Dealing with Foraging Yellowjackets

Seeing yellowjackets and wasps around your yard does not necessarily mean that there is a nest on your property. Although there is no nest to remove, you may still be able to reduce the number of yellowjackets and wasps in your yard by removing what is attracting them there.

Foraging wasps and yellowjackets are often attracted to food, sugary drinks, and garbage with food residues. To minimize attractants:

  • Keep your food and drinks covered to keep yellowjackets from landing on them, and check your food or drink before bringing it to your mouth.
  • Keep garbage in closed containers.
  • If you have fruit trees in your yard, harvest or discard ripe fruit promptly.

Foraging wasps and yellowjackets are generally not very aggressive, but may sting in self-defense. DO NOT swat at them - remain calm and wait for the yellowjacket or wasp to fly away.

Yellowjacket traps and spray insecticides are not recommended for foraging yellowjackets; they are not generally effective.


Page last reviewed: September 20, 2023

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