Not to brag or anything but in almost 27 years of pest control I’ve only been stung by ‘stinging pests’ 6 or 7 times. Of those times 2 were by bees, one by a bald faced hornet (MAN DID THAT HURT) and the rest were yellow jackets. One of those times I was excavating an underground nest at night and flipped 5 or 6 of them onto my back with my shovel and oh yes–I got nailed by all of them, several times. So technically that shoots my count way up but over the years I’ve allowed my pride to rule the day and count that episode as just one. 😉 Not bad for a guy who for the first 20 years of battling wasps and the like, didn’t even own a bee suit.
My point is that yellow jackets are just mean sons a guns and they will bite and sting quickly if they feel they are threatened. The other thing about yellow jackets is that they almost always have more than one entry and exit in their nest. This is especially true as they grow in colony size. Bees, wasps and hornets as a general rule have just one maybe two when nesting in a void. So keeping track over yellow jackets coming and going can be rough and people can get overwhelmed quickly.
Recently I was called out to a home where a HUGE yellow jacket nest had been found high up in a palm tree. This nest had been passed by everyday all season but now in the late Florida summer this behemoth had grown to a size where it was no longer missed and couldn’t be ignored. This collection of paper nest and brood chambers was well defended and difficult to treat. In the end however I took down perhaps 10 or 15 pounds of nesting material and estimate there were close to 50,000 in number. The total job took an hour and a half and I’ve condensed that down to a short video to show you how I handled a HUGE yellow jacket nest.