4 Ways To Keep Yellow Jackets Out Of Your Fruit Trees

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44236368_sFruit trees are not only great for shade and clean air, but they are great for providing a fresh and delicious snack right in your yard. However, another popular summer pest that enjoys your fruit trees as much as you do is the yellow jacket.

The yellow jacket has a yellow and black body, which resembles them wearing a jacket, and they can be up to 16 mm in length. They are the more aggressive of all of the social wasp family, especially if they are protecting their hive. These pests will attack in a group if the signal is set out that there is a threat.

One of the big food sources for yellow jackets this time of year are fruit trees. The workers are out foraging for food as the weather gets cooler, and fruit trees provide plenty of sweet, rotting fruit, ripe for the yellow jacket to retrieve. If you have fruit trees in your yard, this could prove dangerous for you and your family.

Here are some steps that you can take to prevent a yellow jacket injury on your property:

  • Look for the signs. Yellow jackets nests look like they are made from beige paper. This time of year, the nest will be fairly large and shaped like an acorn. It will look like a piñata made from paper mache.
  • Clean up. Even if there is not a visible nest, but you have seen yellow jackets swarming around your fruit tree(s), the situation warrants some clean up. The yellow jackets are spending time near your trees because the ripe and rotting fruit is their preferred food source. Take some time each week to go out and scoop up any pieces of fruit that have fallen to the ground from your tree.
  • Dry up. Like all living things, yellow jackets need water in order to survive. Make sure to repair and replace all failing or leaking irrigation systems and components so there is not a water source to draw yellow jackets.
  • Get help. If you are particularly concerned about yellow jackets in your yard because of your fruit trees, contact a professional exterminator to discuss your options. Make sure to discuss with your tree care specialist any recommendations that the exterminator makes before carrying out the plan.

Yellow jackets in your fruit trees can be dangerous to you and your family. If you have a concern, make sure to follow these steps for addressing the problem. Talk with your tree care specialist about how to best preserve the fruit tree if chemical extermination is recommended.