These wasps are found throughout North America. They often arrive by the dozen (and without an invitation) at picnics and barbecues. Their sting packs quite a wallop, and unlike honeybees they can sting repeatedly.
The following tips will help you learn to live with yellow jackets in your backyard:
• Avoid wearing perfumes, suntan lotions, and hairsprays, as they'll attract these wasps.
• Try to do garden chores in the early morning or evening, when yellow jackets are less active.
• These wasps are attracted to protein and sweets, which explains why they attend picnics and barbecues whenever they can. Lure them away from your feast with a piece of fresh liver, ham, or something sweet.
• Cover your garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.
• If there are wasps on or near you, try to stay calm. They will only get cantankerous if you run or flail about.