Yellow jackets receive their common name from their typical black and yellow colour pattern. Adult workers are about 3/8” to 5/8” long depending on the species. They have a distinct pair of longitudinal “stripes” on the thorax and can be easily identified by their black and yellow markings.
Yellow jackets are social insects and live in nests or colonies. Found throughout Canada, they construct both above-ground and underground nests. Their nests can be red to tan-brown and very brittle; or have a yellowish, tan, or brownish tint and fragile. Some nests are located underground, while others can be found in attics, wall voids in houses, abandoned cars, and even inside boat hulls.
Yellow Jackets scavenge for food, becoming a nuisance at outdoor activities and damaging commercial products. Some species have been known to fly almost 910 m from their nests in search of food.