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W*H*Y Wednesday: The Common Yellowjacket

Today's featured species is Vespula Vulgaris -- the Common Yellowjacket.

Vulgaris_Common_YJ As its name suggests, the Common Yellowjacket possesses all the most common features of yellowjackets: stout body, roughly 1/2 inch in length, yellow and black coloration, yellow legs and black antennae.

As for their habits, Common Yellowjackets will scavenge for protein and are attracted to meats and sugary foods. They are often pests around trash cans and picnics. Colonies will last for one year.

The highlighted portion of the map below shows where Common Yellowjackets are found in the U.S.:


Common Yellowjacket nests are typically constructed in logs, rotting stumps, and in the soil. They are alos commonly found in between the walls of structures. Nests are very brittle and are red to tannish-brown in color.

Nature toward humans: Common Yellowjackets are "picnic pests" and quite annoying to humans. They are also a stinging hazard if agitated while they are scavenging, or if the nest is disturbed.

WHYTR_200dpi Good news if you have this species in your backyard: The new W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets from RESCUE! will catch the Common Yellowjacket!

December 17, 2008 in Entomology, Science, WHY Trap, Yellowjackets | Permalink


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