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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What insect is this? > Insects found indoors > Winged Insects - 1/4 inch up to 1/2 inch > Yellowjackets

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Vespula and Dolichovespula spp.


Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota Extension


Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota Extension

Description: 3/8 - 5/8 inch long (queens, sometimes seen from late summer to spring, can be almost as large as 1 inch long). Black and yellow striped insects; generally smooth without many hairs.

Where/When: Yellowjackets can nest on or inside buildings (they can also nest in other sites including trees and in the ground). Workers are active from spring until fall, although the presence of nests may not be detected until mid to late summer. Workers may be found indoors if there is a nest within the structure of a home. Yellowjackets queens may enter homes during the fall in search of overwintering sites.

Significance: They are a potential health problem because of their ability to sting. Occupants of nests do not survive freezing temperatures and nest are not reused.

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