Actual Size: ½” to 1”

Characteristics: Black or dark brown, usually with yellow markings.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Live in paper carton nests made up of chewed cellulose found in the ground, eaves, or attics


  • Their nests are not exposed and typically found in the ground or high up in a tree
  • High populations of yellowjackets are common in summer and fall
  • They will seek out fruit and sugar during the summer months

Yellowjackets in Louisiana

Yellowjackets are aggressive stinging insects that are commonly encountered in the summer and fall. The coloration varies by species, but the most commonly encountered yellowjackets typically have abdomens that are banded with yellow and black. Their legs are yellow in color. They feed on insects including caterpillars, flies, and other flying insects. As colonies increase, they are attracted to sweet foods consumed by humans. These beneficial wasps live in colonies with thousands of individuals. Yellowjackets are feared for their aggressive nature as well as the fact that they have a behavior of nesting in structural voids, attics, and cavities associated with landscaping features.

Yellowjacket Nests & Habitat

Yellowjackets can be divided into ground nesters and aerial nesters. Ground nesters often inhabit old rodent burrows as their nest. Above ground, nests can be found in leafy tree branches, shrugs, and even on homes or buildings. When yellowjackets build nests on buildings, it’s often inside wall voids, under eaves, or in crawl spaces and attics. A hole located at the bottom of a nest often indicates the opening through which yellowjackets travel. In the fall months, yellowjackets become extremely defensive when their nests are disturbed. In this instance, they will be more aggressive to protect their nest.

Yellowjacket Behavior & Threats

Yellowjackets are known as one of the more aggressive types of wasp and will sting at will if they feel threatened. This is especially true in the fall when yellowjackets become more aggressive as their resources dwindle. The most concerning thing about yellowjackets is that they can sting more than once. This is because a yellowjacket stinger is not barbed like a honey bee. Some individuals are more sensitive than others, due to allergic reactions, and should seek medical attention when stung.

If you notice swarming yellowjackets in or near your property here in Louisiana, always contact a professional wasp control company.