When Are Wasps Most Active

In late summer and early fall, it may become necessary to control wasps (including yellow jackets) in your yard. It is good to take care of the menacing insects before finding one inside your soda can as you are about to take a sip!

In August and September, these yellow stripey bugs can become aggressive scavengers. They are especially drawn to dead animals, fallen tree fruit, and picnic food. This may threaten outdoor activities including barbecuing and gardening.

Honey Bees vs Yellow Jackets vs Wasps 

The first thing to do is correctly identify the insect you are dealing with. Wasps have a slender body, cylindrical legs, and appear to have shiny, smooth skin. Yellow jackets are a different kind of the same variety of wasp. They are typically more aggressive, though their sting hurts less. Bees are full-bodied and very hairy compared to yellow jackets. Their hind legs are flattened for collecting and transporting pollen. (Try to leave the bees alone so they can do their pollinating!)

wasp vs bee comparison chart

Courtesy of Brett Jordan on Flickr

How to Get Rid of Wasps and Yellow Jackets 

We recommend using Wasp Rescue Traps. They work like a charm for yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets (read instructions carefully when dealing with nests and insects). At our Portland garden center, we carry the traps to meet your needs, and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.


How to Keep Yellow Jackets Away from a Picnic

there’s nothing worse than having a beautiful picnic ruined by pesky wasps or yellow jackets


If you are heading to a picnic or camping trip, we have a wasp solution for you! Rescue makes a small, flat trap that is easy to pack with you. Camp dinners will be more enjoyable with one of these traps hanging from a nearby tree.


When Do Wasps sleep? 

wasps sleeping

Remember to be careful when dealing with stinging insects. It is best to set up traps in the evening when the temperatures cool and wasps slow down. Always read and follow instructions carefully.

A lifelong Oregon resident, Drake has been passionate about plants since childhood, beginning with propagating and growing flowers at his grandfather’s nursery. He opened Drake’s 7 Dees in 1974, while earning degrees in Business and Horticulture from Oregon State University. He later expanded into the design/build side of the industry, allowing him to combine his passion for plants with his love of family by maximizing the quality of family time spent outdoors.

Drake is co-founder of the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association and is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager (LICM)—a designation that less than two percent of landscapers have attained. Additionally, Drake serves on the Board of Directors for the Portland Japanese Gardens, widely regarded as one of the seven best Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

Drake is married to former Oregon Speaker of the House, Lynn Snodgrass. Together, he and Lynn received the Farm Bureau President’s award in 1999 for their service and dedication to agriculture in the state of Oregon. Drake and Lynn have two wonderful daughters, two talented son-in-laws, and seven grandchildren. In his spare time, Drake enjoys camping, water and snow skiing, reading, and of course, gardening.