So why are those yellow jackets so mean?
In Ohio, most yellow jacket colonies are either dying out or are becoming extremely obnoxious, or both. In late summer and early fall, a yellow jacket colony is at its largest (1,000 – 4,000 workers) but its social structure is breaking down. Next year’s queens and males are produced and workers begin dying off.
So should you be concerned if they are going to die anyhow?
Well, there are some good reasons to eliminate yellow jacket nests, even late in the season.
Eliminating next year’s queens before they leave the nest will help eliminate future nests. These future queens don’t go far to overwinter and may start spring nests in the same general area.
And if yellow jackets are interacting with pets or people late in the year, they are likely to come into contact more often and the chance for a bad outcome increases dramatically. Leaving yellow jacket alone is never worth it if it may put sting-sensitive individuals at risk.