Yellow jackets like all wasps and bees are typically beneficial
However, when they nest close to or in a structure they can become a problem for people and/or pets. They can be very aggressive if you come near their nests and they will attack.
Their diet consists of mainly insects but they are also attracted to human food, especially sweets and meat. A Yellow Jacket colony will remain active for only one summer and after that the fertilized queens will leave the colony to start more colonies. The remaining workers will die at the end of the summer and the nests will be abandoned after this point.
Yellow jackets can range from 5/8″ to 1″ in length and are either yellow and black or white and black. They usually nest in the ground but they can also be found above ground in voids in walls. These colonies are largest in size during the fall and the workers are often found foraging for discarded food around our trash cans or looking for insects in bushes.