SPOKANE, Wash. - Warmer temperatures next week are likely to wake up the area's first wave of yellow jackets, so here's what you need to know to help cut back their numbers before they invade your barbecue later this summer.
Right now it's only the queens that are coming out of hibernation and they're looking for a place to nest and start laying their eggs. If you can catch a queen with a trap now you can really cut back on the number of hornets you'll be battling in the warm weather ahead.
Late last summer a lot of us were at war with yellow jackets.
"They got up over the 90's and that allowed the yellow jacket nests to increase in size and then of course they got aggressive going after meat and food at your picnics," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Control Products said.
As it turns out we could have cut down the number of these pesty party crashers if we had gone after the queen.
"They've been hibernating all winter, they're ready to emerge right now and start finding a new nest location," Cates said.
The queens could mistake your yellow jacket trap as a suitable nest especially if you use a Rescue attractant. Experts say if you start targeting these royal bugs now, you could have a big impact on their population in the future.
"If you catch a queen before she builds her nest, that represents several hundred to more than a thousand workers so that's a significant catch, even just one queen can mean a lot of workers that won't be around to bother you later on in the summer," Cates said.
So as temperatures near 70 next week don't forget to set your traps. Right now those queens are not looking for food but some place that smells like a cozy yellow jacket nest and that's why you'll want to get some fresh attractant.
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