Back to School Time is also Peak Season for Dangerous Yellowjackets

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Protect against yellowjackets this fall with RESCUE!®’s new line of eco-friendly and decorative traps

A yellowjacket

Up until now yellowjackets have had plenty of food, but towards the end of the season...they will do anything to fill their cravings

By early fall, and just in time for the new school year, yellowjackets are at peak numbers. Mean and aggressive, these stinging insects are looking for something sweet to eat, such as sodas, fruits, juices, candies, cakes, and even vegetables.

Angry yellowjackets can ruin outdoor activities and even send some to emergency rooms. Unlike mild-mannered bees, they don’t die once they attack and can sting multiple times. Children are at risk when underground nests are found near schools.

For some people, these painful stings are deadly. According to the University of Illinois, 40 to 50 people die in the United States from yellowjacket stings each year, often as result of an allergic response known as anaphylactic shock.

“Up until now yellowjackets have had plenty of food, but towards the end of the season, there are more hungry larvae and workers and less food to keep them satisfied. At this time of year, they will do anything to fill their cravings,” explains Dr. Qing-He Zhang, director of research at Sterling International Inc., developers of RESCUE!® Yellowjacket Traps.

Yellowjackets travel as far as a mile to find food rich in protein, sugar and carbohydrates, often feeding at picnics, barbecues and concession stands, where humans and pets are vulnerable.

RESCUE!®, the leader in environmentally responsible insect control, offers tips and tricks to protect against these aggressive pests.

Tips to avoid yellowjacket stings:

  •     Stay calm. Don’t swat at a yellowjacket or flail around. This just makes them more aggressive.
  •     Look before sipping. Yellowjackets love sugary sodas and sweet beverages and could hover around straws, bottles or even in soda cans.
  •     Keep trash covered and away from outdoor activities, such as barbecues and picnics.
  •     Avoid smashing or crushing a yellowjacket – doing so causes them to release an alarm pheromone that calls others to attack.
  •     Be bland. Avoid using scented perfumes, lotions or hairspray, or wearing bright colors as these all attract yellowjackets.
  •     Do not pick up a dead yellowjacket. It can still sting until rigor mortis sets in.

What to do if stung:

  •     Wash the area with soap and water
  •     Apply cold water or an ice pack
  •     Take an antihistamine to reduce swelling
  •     Apply a calamine product to reduce itching
  •     Don’t drink alcoholic beverages
  •     Seek medical attention immediately if swelling is severe, breathing is difficult or a dizzy feeling occurs

Trapping Yellowjackets:

  •     Disguising itself as a garden accessory, the OrnamenTrap™ does double duty catching yellowjackets. RESCUE!®’s newest design is an attractive solution to control pests while enhancing the backyard.
  •     Catch up to a dozen species of yellowjackets with the RESCUE!® Reusable Yellowjacket Trap. The exclusive scent lure lasts weeks without daily maintenance and can be refilled and reused for multiple seasons. A disposable version is also available, which is ideal for camping trips or picnics.
  •     To catch wasps and hornets in addition to yellowjackets, Dr. Zhang recommends the RESCUE!® W•H•Y® Trap. Baited with three attractants, the W•H•Y® Trap works from summer through fall.
  •     For underground yellowjacket nests, Dr. Zhang suggests the all-natural RESCUE!® W•H•Y® Spray. The spray coats, penetrates and destroys the nest with all-natural plant oils. It also repels insects from returning to the treated nest.

This fall, fight back against aggressive yellowjackets with one of RESCUE!®’s traps. Protect schoolyards and enjoy autumn activities without unwanted guests. All RESCUE!® products are safe around children and pets and made in the USA.

Established in 1982, Sterling International, Inc. offers RESCUE!® traps and attractants for stink bugs, wasps, hornets, yellowjackets, flies, Japanese and Oriental beetles and more. These products are prominently on shelves at home improvement centers, hardware stores and lawn & garden retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information and great tips, visit You can also follow RESCUE! ® on Facebook and Twitter.

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Wendy Scott
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