Causes more deaths by far than spiders, snakes, and other venomous insects combined
in Northern Illinois, and the USA. At only 1/2” its nature is “unpredictable”. Seen by the hundreds, in August - October, they commonly share the same lawns and parks with us and our children without incidence. When away from the nest they rarely sting unless trapped under clothing, or accidentally swallowed. However when the nest is threatened, yellow jackets near the nest communicate with those inside and they will strike in force. A typical nest will have 2000-4000, although some nests can be much larger. Sometimes the nest is seen in trees, but more commonly the nest is under the siding, walls, or eaves of houses. DO NOT APPROACH THE NEST
. Just a few stings can be lethal for very sensitive individuals, and 500-1500 stings are usually fatal for those who are not sensitive.
The most dangerous yellow jacket is the GROUND NESTING Yellow Jacket
, because it is difficult to see the nest before stepping on, or mowing over it. When yellow jackets or other hymenoptera are seen flying into and out of the ground the location should be ‘marked' with a large heavy object, so that the location can be avoided by children or mowers.