The worst guest at an outdoor food event, the Western Yellowjacket is infamous for its painful stings.
Attracted to sugars in beverages and desserts, the Western Yellowjacket makes itself the worst kind of pest during cookouts and outdoor gatherings. Females have stingers and they are not afraid to use them. This species aggressively defends its nest, and exterminators can remove one from areas where people may come into contact with it. Under no circumstances should a nest be disturbed. They are often built on or near the ground.
Western Yellowjackets have black eyes that are surrounded with yellow. Each segment of the yellow abdomen has a central black spade or diamond-shaped mark that is flanked by a black spot at the top. Legs are yellow. As with any type of yellowjacket, keep a wide berth and do not provoke it.
Scientific Name: Vespula pensylvanica
Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
Size (Adult; Length): 8mm to 15mm (0.31in to 0.59in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Ant, Bee, and Wasp Anatomy
Antennae: Ants and Bees both have a pair of antennae on the head that senses their surroundings.
Head: The head contains the insect's compound eyes, antennae, and mandibles.
Thorax: Contains various vital parts such as the aorta and nervous system.
Abdomen: Contains various organs including the heart, gut, venom glands, and anus.
Legs: Ants and Bees have three pairs of legs attached to the thorax (center-body section).
NOTE: Ants, Bees and Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order because they share many similarities.