european yellowjackets #357309 - Ask Extension


european yellowjackets #357309

Asked August 28, 2016, 11:44 AM EDT

We have a "swarm" of what i think are European yellow jackets. I am working on getting a picture. They are in a lilac bush next to our driveway and are quite large, at least 1 to 1.5 in. and sort of fat, with a black medallion about midpoints and yellow and black down the rest. . The bush has some dead wood in the center which I assume is where the nest is because they don't seem to be leaving the bush but are eating something on the limbs. A website said report these insects but not where to report. I will also send this to the University of Kentucky extension. We are in Shelby County in central Ky - in a rural area. Lots of insects this summer but had never seen critters like these - very mean too. I'm staying away. How common are these in our area? Do we need to call and exterminator or should we try to wait them out?

Shelby County Kentucky

Expert Response

There are yellowjackets and there are hornets. It sounds like what you have are hornets. Yellowjackets nest in the ground. Hornets make a large nest that looks like paper mache and you should be able to see it. There are also paper wasps that make the type of nest that hangs in the corners of barns and so on. Sometimes they nest in shrubs. You can get rid of them by dusting the nest with Sevin if you can see the nest, but do it only after full dark. Do not shine a flashlight on the nest or they will attack. You can also spray with a wasp and hornet spray, but again do it at night.
Walt Reichert Replied September 01, 2016, 12:47 PM EDT

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