Are you enjoying the warm fall weather? So are the yellow jackets

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Summer may be over, but the warmer weather has stuck around for a while. And while most people have been outdoors enjoying the last remnants of summer, they also must share the outdoors with an aggressive insect – the yellow jacket.

While honeybees and yellow jackets look similar, they serve very different purposes. Honeybees are pollinators, and vital in producing the food people eat. But yellow jackets do not pollinate and mainly eat insects. Honeybees are docile, and only sting if provoked. Yellow jackets enjoy stinging and can do so multiple times.

The owner of Terhune Orchards in Princeton says that business has been up due to the warmer weather. But he says that the yellow jackets have been a pest.

“We have traps we put out, we also cover everything. We make sure our compost piles are covered. When we collect extra lettuce, we put them in trash cans with lids,” co-owner Pam Mount says.

While a sting from a yellow jacket is an annoyance for most of us, for those who are allergic it can be deadly. CDC numbers show an uptick in sting related deaths, with 2017 numbers being the highest in 20 years.

Yellow jackets are most attracted to sugary drinks and foods. Finishing food indoors is the best way to avoid them.

 

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