Yellowjackets receive their common name from their typical black and yellow pattern. They are worldwide in distribution with about 16 species occurring in the United States

Adult workers about 3/8-5/8” (10-16 mm) long depending on the species, with their respective queens about 25% longer.

Depending on the species, the overwintered queen will usually select either a subterranean or aerial nesting site. Most of the pest species are ground nesting. However, the German yellowjacket usually nests in buildings in the United States, the western yellowjacket occasionally nests in buildings, and the aerial yellowjacket commonly attaches its nest to shrubs, bushes, houses, garages, sheds, etc.

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