Physical Characteristics

The yellowjacket is a social wasp species whose workers measure approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inches in length, with an abdomen that’s more elongated than it is rounded, like a honeybee’s is, with alternating bands of bright yellow and black coloring.

Carpenter Ant

Yellowjacket

Behavior

The common yellowjacket will nest in abandoned tree trunks, and is more often found away from urban areas and in higher elevations. Like other wasps and hornets, it has a beneficial function, because it kills other insect pests, then chews up those pests to feed to larvae in the nest. It will defend its nest when threatened, although perhaps not with the aggressiveness of other species of wasp.