Yellow Jackets are ground-nesting wasps. In spring and summer they feed mostly on insects but as the growing season progresses food sources become scarce and they turn to scavenging. Scavenging leads to pestering picnickers, and hanging around garbage cans.
Here are some general tips on avoiding insect stings:
- Don't swat at flying insects. If they land on you, gently brush them off, then walk away.
- Observe the flight pattern of insects to determine their nest site, and then avoid it.
- Avoid floral perfumes, lotions and hair products, which may attract insects.
- Yellow jackets are attracted to sugary sodas and may fly into the cans, so pour the drink into a glass so you can see it.
- Keep garbage cans and pet food covered.
Compost piles are favored for nesting, so if you don’t turn your compost pile regularly, they might build their nest there.