We’ve been having a problem with yellow jackets this year. They’ve built at least two nests in the garden and have attacked us on two different occasions, perhaps when we got too close to the nests or stepped on the landscape timbers the nests were built into. Don’t confuse yellow jackets with other, much gentler bees and wasps that you might find in your garden.
The yellow jackets haven’t stung me, possibly because I usually wear jeans, long sleeves, and shoes. The most recent attack on my wife apparently injected bacteria (probably from her skin) into one wound that required a course of antibiotics to clear up. My daughter was also stung the same evening.
I’ve been planning to kill the yellow jackets and researching methods. A friend advised placing Sevin™ dust (carbaryl) around the nest entrance and inside it if possible using something like a turkey baster. I’m not too keen to try this however as it is likely to make the yellow jackets attack me.
Last weekend, when we were picking vegetables, I discovered that the problem had been solved for me.
Some animals find yellow jacket larvae and pupae quite tasty. I suspect my friendly insectivore was a skunk; I know we have skunks in the neighborhood. If it had been a bear, the nearby blackberries would have gotten some attention too.
The entrance to the nest was in the crack between the top landscape timber and the one beneath it; I assume the nest was in the middle of the excavated area. I could see only one adult yellow jacket and part of the nest remaining (bottom right in the photo above).
Now that’s pest control I can live with.