Participants completing all 10
sessions will then be considered interns, with the expectation
of 60 hours of volunteer service to be completed within program
guidelines within the next two years. After the internship, the
expectation is a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer service and 10
hours of in-service education.
Cost for the training will be $100 per person for those
volunteering time through the Logan County group, with
supplemental funding of approximately $50 per person being
sponsored by the Logan County Master Gardeners. Noncompliance
with the volunteer service requirement will result in a bill to
recoup the actual cost of the training. The cost to those from
other Master Gardener programs will be $150.
Don Miller in the Logan County Extension office will serve as
the coordinator. If you are interested in joining, contact him
With the fall festival season comes the onslaught of
yellowjackets, and the calls have been rolling in to the office.
Yellowjackets are beneficial insects in the sense that they
pollinate plants and feed other insects and carrion (dead meat)
to their larvae. Many times they will prey on insects that we
identify as pests. Unfortunately, their ability to sting makes
them a considerable health concern.
Yellowjackets alone are responsible for about half of all
human insect stings. The stings of social wasps, such as
yellowjackets, have evolved as a defense mechanism. The only
purpose for the sting is to inflict pain. Yellowjackets are
easily provoked and, unlike honeybees, can sting more than once.
They will attack in force if their nest is disturbed. Unless a
person is allergic to yellowjacket venom, stings are rarely
Yellowjackets are most frequently encountered when they
scavenge for food. Their habit of feeding on nectar and sugar
can create a nuisance. Yellowjackets are attracted to open cups
and cans of soda and other sweet liquids. They are also
attracted to open cans of garbage, brightly flowered clothing
and floral-scented perfumes.
Contact with the wasps can be decreased by reducing these
attractions at picnics and other outings. All outside garbage
cans should be kept clean and well-covered. In situations closer
to home, eliminating overripe fruit from gardens and orchards
will dramatically decrease the number of scavenging
yellowjackets. Having gatherings indoors and using screens on
windows will also help avoid yellowjacket problems.
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A variety of traps that claim to attract yellowjackets are on the
market. These traps are baited with the scent of rotting fruit or
other odors equally as appetizing to the yellowjackets. It is
questionable whether these traps can out-compete the natural and
man-made attractants described above, although it is certain that through
proper sanitation and removal of natural and man-made attractants, yellowjacket contact can be reduced. However, in situations where
the potential for repeated contact exists, other management methods
may be necessary. These traps can also attract more yellowjackets if
placed close to the home or patio, so place them to attract the
insects away from where you’ll be.
Management of each species of yellowjacket differs because of
their nesting habits. Both species do not reuse their nests;
therefore, what was a problem this year may not occur next year.
Caulking cracks and crevices in structures in winter and early
spring, after the nests have died, will prevent German yellowjackets
from constructing nests inside buildings. Openings to active nests
should not be caulked.
Chemical control for ground-nesting yellowjackets consists of
drenching the exit hole with an approved insecticide, such as Sevin,
and plugging the hole with treated soil or cotton balls.
Yellowjackets that are not killed by the initial treatment will be
killed by chewing on the treated cotton ball or tunneling through
Yellowjacket entrance holes in buildings can be treated with
approved insecticide dusts. As the wasps walk through the dust, they
pick it up on their legs and transport it into the nest. When
yellowjackets groom themselves, they ingest the dust on their legs.
It may take up to a week for the colony to die and repeated chemical
applications may be necessary.
When the entrance hole of an active nest is in a building, the
hole should not be plugged with the insecticide or caulked. The
yellowjackets may decide to chew through the soft inside wall rather
than chew through the insecticide or caulking material.
Implement chemical control measures at dusk or dawn when the
wasps are in their nest. When attempting to eliminate the nests,
wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved jackets, gloves and
pants. Tape clothing to wrists and ankles to prevent the wasps from
getting underneath the clothes. A bee veil or other enclosed form of
face and neck protection should also be worn. Yellowjackets will
defend their nest, so to avoid being attacked, use a flashlight
covered with red cellophane when applying the insecticide at night,
since yellowjackets are unable to see red.
University of Illinois Extension, Logan County]