UC Cooperative Extension Ventura County
669 County Square Drive Suite 100
Ventura CA 93003
Monday - Thursday: 8 am to 5 pm
Friday: 8 am to noon or by appointment
Summer and fall is yellow jacket season almost everywhere. There are several wasps, which are very active provisioning the nests and feeding their young. Yellow jackets and paper wasps are very common on the Central Coast. These insects usually eat worms and plant nectar, but are readily attracted to meat and sweets. Paper wasps hang their nests from bush or tree limbs in a protected site. Yellow jackets usually nest in the ground or a hollow space such as a log or house wall. If you can find the nest, the wasps can be controlled with soapy water (the detergent acts as a wetting agent, and the wasps drown) or any of several insecticide bombs or sprays. Control is best done at night when the air is cool, all the wasps are at home and are reluctant to fly. For picnics, meat traps can be placed around, but away from the picnic site, so the wasps are drawn to that source of food rather than your hamburger.