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Gardening in Washington State

Yellowjackets! Ouch!

Yellowjackets and paper wasps may become aroused and attack in defense of their nest when disturbed and can be pests when they build a nest on or near your house.  Nests of most species are placed underground in rodent burrows or other soil cavities and colonies attain maximum size in August and September. Worker yellowjackets, then at their peak, become pestiferous.


Common yellowjackets from trap
Photo by Dave Pehling, WSU Extension, Snohomish County

Yellowjackets may be attracted in large numbers to food at picnics, to honey bee colonies, and to garbage cans.

For additional information about yellowjacket wasps and paper wasps, see the WSU publication “Yellowjackets and Paperwasps” and “Managing yellowjackets” from WSU Pestsense,

Submitted by: Dave Pehling, Octobr 23, 2017.


2 comments on “Yellowjackets! Ouch!”

  1. Deb S. said on February 1, 2021:

    On this page,, the links to “Yellowjackets and Paperwasps” and “Managing yellowjackets” (WSU publications) are broken. I could not find them in a search.

    • Chalker-Scott, Linda K said on February 2, 2021:

      Please just go to the home page, then use the left menu to find publications. WSU has made changes to publication URLs and it’s easier just to look at the web page.

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