The Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District is available to assist in the removal of Yellow Jacket and wasp nests. The BCMVCD Entomologist is available to assist in the identification of insects. For assistance please call our District Office at (530) 533-6038 or (530) 342-7350.
Yellowjacket or yellow jacket is the common name in North America for predatory social wasps of the genera Vespula and Dolichovespula. Members of these genera are known simply as "wasps" in other English-speaking countries. Most of these are black and yellow like the eastern yellowjacket Vespula maculifrons and the aerial yellowjacket Dolichovespula arenaria; some are black and white like the bald-faced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata. Others may have the abdomen background color red instead of black. They can be identified by their distinctive markings, their occurrence only in colonies, and a characteristic, rapid, side-to-side flight pattern prior to landing. All females are capable of stinging. Yellowjackets are important predators of pest insects.
Yellowjackets may be confused with other wasps, such as hornets and paper wasps such as Polistes dominula. A typical yellowjacket worker is about 12 mm (0.5 in) long, with alternating bands on the abdomen; the queen is larger, about 19 mm (0.75 in) long (the different patterns on their abdomens help separate various species).
Yellow Jacket Surveillance Program
The District’s entomology department (Lab) yellow jacket surveillance program has 12 sites that are checked weekly. During the months of April to early June, the lab staff will use juice traps to collect the queen yellow jackets. From June to November the protein traps are used as lure traps to collect the worker yellow jackets.