Handling A HUGE Yellow Jacket Nest

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.


About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. Pestcemetery.com was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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  • Stuto1

    6 years no stings, but I haven’t done a lot of bee jobs and I have a bee suite and use the Mongolian bee extermination method. I did get a warning shot to the forehead from a wasp one time.

  • James Butler

    Nice video. For me the count is two stings in seven years.  Both were yellow jackets.  Both were while I was treating for another pest and stumbled upon them. 

  • Suckers don’t give an ounce of mercy do they?

  • only your 6th year and you have a bee suit? You are much wiser than I ever was!

    What pray tell is the Mongolian method?  

  • Stuto1

    Mongolian method is where you run in spray like mad and run away very quickly, then repeat.

  • I guess then I’ve done the Mongolian method too… nice to put a name to it… 😉

  • Anonymous

    I found a couple of things that don’t actually get rid of the yellow jackets, but they make them passive.  One is passiflora, which I found makes the paper wasps nest so you can just pick them up with bare hands.  The other was a real accident, but I noticed that a fuchsia colored plant that I had (some kind of orchid-lily bulb) was the yellow jackets’ own plants.  They get along with dogs, but not humans.