(WHTM) — You might be having a barbeque with family and friends right before kids go back to school or for labor day. But, sometimes, you may get an unwanted guest at these events.
The yellow jacket.
These pests are very aggressive during the spring and summer. But, they tend to be really angry and aggressive during the later summer months and into the fall. So, why is that?
Well, they are “hangry.” (No, really. They are).
According to the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association, most yellow jacket colonies grow the largest during late summer and early fall, just when their food sources begin to diminish. Just like humans, when they are not eating and are hungry, they get frustrated and aggressive.
During the spring, there are fewer yellow jackets, and that allows food for the bugs to be plentiful.
Yellow jackets are not only aggressive to humans, but they are known to target massive honeybee hives for food, eating the bees and their larvae.
Not only are the yellow Jackets annoying, but their sting packs a punch. All yellow jackets can sting multiple times. This is because yellow jackets lack a barb on their stinger. Bees have this barb, which causes the stinger to be struck in the skin of a human. Yellow jackets can sting numerous times, all the while injecting the victim with venom.
If you are stung, WebMD suggests the following:
- Remove the stinger. As mentioned before, most of the time, these bugs don’t leave a stinger.. But sometimes they do break off. Use a fingernail or credit card and gently remove it if it is embedded.
- Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.
- Use a cold pack
- Pain medicine, as well as a 1% hydrocortisone cream, may reduce the pain of the sting
The good news is by the middle and end of fall, all yellow jackets die off and will be gone until the following spring.
So what can you do to prevent these little hangry flying creatures from running your next outdoor event? Medicinenet.com has a few tips.
- If a yellow jacket lands on your skin, do not panic. Stay as still as possible and gently brush it away
- If you see a yellow jacket on the ground next to a hole, do not disturb it. This may be a sign that a nest is inside the hole.
- If a yellow jacket is in your car, do not panic. Pull over and roll the windows down to get it out
- Cover any type of food, including pet food.
- Keep sugary drinks covered.
Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid these annoying creatures next time you see them.