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Aerial Yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria)

They nest in the air with the greatest of ease.

Geographic Region

Aerial yellowjackets are found in the Western U.S. and Rocky Mountain states, as well as the upper Midwest and Northeast. They are also found in most of Canada and Alaska.

Natural Habitat

Aerial yellowjacket nests are constructed off the ground, in trees or on structures such as houses, sheds and garages.

Weather Conditions

Aerial yellowjacket colonies get established and thrive in warm, dry weather.


Aerial yellowjackets are not typically “picnic pests”, but may be attracted to sugary foods such as fruit and soft drinks. They have been known to follow humans around, though not with the intent to sting. This species will forage only for live prey such as grasshoppers, leafhoppers, tree crickets, flies and spiders.

Unique Characteristics

Aerial yellowjackets are bright yellow and black. They are most easily distinguished by their nests, which are paper-covered and football-shaped,and have a single opening.