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Northeastern Yellowjacket (Vespula vidua)

Geographic Region

Northeastern yellowjackets are found in the Upper Midwest, mid-Atlantic states, and the Northeastern U.S.

Natural Habitat

Northeastern yellowjackets commonly nest in high traffic areas such as yards and pastures, as well as some forested areas. Most nests are subterranean, but they can also be found in logs and manmade structures. Colonies are not large.

Weather Conditions

Like most yellowjacket species, Northeastern yellowjacket colonies get established and thrive in hot, dry weather.


Northeastern yellowjackets are not a serious stinging hazard unless the nest is disturbed. However, due to nesting habits in areas of human activity, the chances of stinging are increased.

Unique Characteristics

The Northeastern yellowjacket is most easily recognized by the thick black band across the upper portion of its abdomen. However, the Northeastern yellowjacket will never have the two extra spots through the black band, which are present on many forest yellowjackets.