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 Stinging Insect Facts 

Paper Wasps, Hornets, and Yellow Jackets

Paper wasps, hornets and yellow jackets are a potential health threat to everyone.  Hundreds (perhaps thousands) of people in the United States die every year from an allergic reaction to the venom of these insects. Most wasps, hornets and yellow jackets can be more dangerous and very unpredictable.  Honey bees and carpenter bees usually will not bother you unless you bother them. As a home owner you should not treat honey bees, if you are bothered by a hive of honey bees, call your county extension agent for a recommendation on how to have them removed.  As with the paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets, they should be treated with respect; nests should be eliminated with great care and in a specific manner.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps, hornets and yellow jackets construct nest of a paper-like material which is mixture of finely chewed wood fragments, and secreted saliva of the wasp. Paper wasps will typically build their umbrella-shaped nests under your homes eaves, ledges, and decks. These wasps are not as aggressive as yellow jackets or hornets, still be very cautious around them. Whitmire Wasp Freeze will usually make short work of them (don't use around vinyl siding).

You need to wait for about a day after treating the nest to ensure that the colony has been destroyed. Then scrape or knock down the nest, and once the nest is down destroy it. This will prevent secondary problems from carpet beetles, ants, and other insect scavengers.


Hornets are far more difficult and dangerous to control that paper wasps. This is why A & E Pest Control recommends you hire a professional to eliminate the nest. The nests resemble a large, upside down tear-drop shaped ball, and some can be as large as a basket ball.These nests are typically attached to tree limbs, in a bush or on the side of a building. Hornet nests may contain thousands of wasps which will be extremely aggressive if disturbed. These nest can often be located very high in a tree totally out of reach of the home owner. Removal is be accomplished by a professional pest control company.  

A full wasp suit sealed at the wrists, ankles and collar is recommended when disposing of a hornet nest. Treatment can be accomplished by applying a Whitmire wasp freeze, Delta Dust, or D-Foam directly into the nest opening. Hornet nests only have the single opening, normally located towards the bottom, where the hornets enter and exit. It is very important that the paper construction of the nest not be broken open during treatment or the very mad hornets scatter and attack anything or anyone in the area..  

Following treatment, wait at least a day before removing the nest to ensure that all of the wasps are killed. If hornets continue to be observed, the application may need to be repeated. Experienced pest control operators will sometimes remove a hornet nest which is attached to a branch by slipping a plastic garbage bag over the intact nest and clipping it at the point of attachment. This technique should not be attempted by anyone else and should only be done at night with a wasp suit.  

Yellow jackets

Yellow jackets seem to be more common than hornets, and can be very aggressive especially in the fall. Here at A & E Pest Control we here about more people being stung in the fall by Yellow jackets than any other time frame. Nests are more often located underground: in old rodent burrows, beneath a landscape timber, or in a rock wall or wall of a building. We find many retaining walls made with railroad ties to have at least one nest. One thing different about Yellow jackets than Hornets is the Yellow jacket nest may have an exit hole with a single guard, If you try to treat the main entrance that you can see you may be in for a rude surprise. If the nest can be located, it can usually be eliminated by carefully applying a wasp spray insecticide into the nest opening.  One trick we have here a t A & E Pest Control is to use a flashlight at night, place the flash light near the nest opening at the same place the flash light can cast the beam to the side to illuminate the nest indirectly. When you treat the nest opening, do so from the other side of the opening. This seems to make any Yellow jackets that escape the treatment go for the light. This has worked for us on numerous occasions.


Remember If You Do Not Feel Like You Can Do the Job,

Please Call a Professional Pest Control Company,

This May be The Safest Method.

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A&E's Do It Yourself Pest Control    |    Winder, GA    |    1-800-607-0701    |

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