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How to prevent yellowjackets outside your home

A local exterminator shares the signs of yellowjackets in your yard and how to avoid them.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The heat is bringing more than just sweat...yellowjackets are making an appearance.  

Peter Hodge, an exterminator with Crown Service Termite and Pest Control, says they can be dangerous.

"They have a pheromone to where usually they're not aggressive towards people…whenever they're attacking something they'll wind up dive-bombing the person and then releasing that pheromone and then so the other wasps know, 'hey go attack that person'...they light up like a neon sign."

But Hodge says to avoid swatting these bugs because they're not like your average honeybee. 

"They don't lose their stinger and they can actually bite as well so if you are wearing loose clothing and they don't have a good grip with their legs, they'll bite you to hold on and then just tag you as many times."  

He explains that yellowjackets are attracted to sugar. 

"A lot of times when you have excess fruit on the ground or your trash cans don't close. Sometimes if you wear real fragrant perfumes or you wear bright colors, you kind of invite them towards you but they are not aggressive that way."

Oftentimes yellowjackets will burrow in holly trees or even old cars. One old car had a nest that measured ten cubic feet in size.

They can also make a home on front porches, under old trailers and debris where they make their colony.

And some people do not even know they have them until they run over an area with a lawn mower.

So how does one avoid them?

Hodge shares through, "maintaining a good landscape, good storage practices, that's kind of the best way to avoid having the problem."

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