Actual Size: ½” to 1”

Characteristics: Black or dark brown, usually with yellow markings.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Paper carton nests made up of chewed cellulose found in the ground, eaves, or attics


  • Tend to sting repeatedly when they feel threatened
  • Social insects that live in colonies with up to 4,000 workers
  • Most active and aggressive in late summer and early fall

Yellowjackets in El Paso TX and Anthony NM

Yellowjackets are aggressive stinging insects that are commonly encountered in the summer and fall. The coloration varies by species, but the most commonly encountered yellowjackets typically have abdomens that are banded with yellow and black. Their legs are yellow in color. They feed on insects including caterpillars, flies, and other flying insects. As colonies increase, they are attracted to sweet foods consumed by humans. These wasps can live in colonies with thousands of members. They are known to be a nuisance in residential areas, particularly when they build nests on or near homes and other buildings.

Yellowjacket Nests

Yellowjackets can be found anywhere humans are found, and nests are constructed of layers of comb made of tiny bits of wood fiber chewed into a paper-like pulp. Yellowjacket nests can be found in many different places in or around a home, including the ground, hollow trees, shrubs, bushes, or internally in attics, hollow walls or flooring, sheds, under porches or eaves of buildings. Unlike paper wasps who only build their nests above ground, yellowjackets will build both aerial and underground nesting sites. These underground nests can contain thousands of insects. When disturbed, yellowjackets are quite aggressive and can attack in large numbers.

Yellowjacket Habits & Dangers

Yellowjackets can be aggressive and will sting repeatedly due to their smooth stinger. They can be especially aggressive in the late summer and early fall months as they outgrow their nests and resources begin to dwindle. Some individuals are more sensitive than others, due to allergic reactions, and should seek medical attention when stung.

Sometimes yellowjackets living in wall voids chew their way through the drywall and enter the structure’s living space. Naturally, the presence of large numbers of wasps flying around the room can be alarming to homeowners. If you notice a yellowjacket problem in or near your El Paso area home, always contact your local wasp removal experts.