Are Yellow Jackets Dangerous?

Are Yellow Jackets Dangerous?

Insects buzz around the yard, and, in most cases, they’re not a threat. Yellow jacket wasps, also known as just yellow jackets, are a threat and do need to be managed. They can be dangerous, especially if someone is allergic to their stings, and the stings are painful. Learn more about the danger of yellow jackets as well as how to handle them in your yard.

Yellow Jackets are Aggressive

Yellow jackets are known for being aggressive. Unlike bees, they do not lose their stinger once they sting prey. Instead, they can sting numerous times, even unprovoked, and can bite as well. These pests will often bite down to get a better grip while they sting, allowing them to easily sting you repeatedly.

They Defend Their Nests

Wherever there’s a nest, there are guards to protect the nest. If someone comes too close to a nest, the guard sounds the alarm, and hundreds of yellow jackets can appear and attack. Since the nests are usually underground, any vibrations can also cause them to appear. During the summer, be careful mowing, as the vibrations from the mower can cause yellow jackets to appear and attack.  You can often find yellow jacket nests in structures such as wall voids, attics or crawl spaces.

They’ll Sting for No Reason

Just staying away from nests isn’t enough to stay safe around yellow jackets. They don’t really care if you’re far away from the nest and not paying attention to them. If they spot you, they might sting. They’ll often sting even if they’re unprovoked, which means if they’re in your yard, you are at risk of being stung.

When Seeing Yellow Jackets is a Risk

Yellow jackets, as mentioned, may come out and attack if they feel vibrations in the ground, such as from a lawnmower. They are also scavengers, so they are common at outdoor activities where there is meat or sweet foods. If you’re having a picnic in the yard or entertaining guests, be aware that yellow jackets could show up if they’re in the area. Keep all food covered and dispose of food properly to try to keep them away. If they are a known risk, talk to a professional before the event to get help with prevention and removal.

Preventing Yellow Jackets

The best way to avoid stings from yellow jackets is to prevent them from showing up instead. Keep all food and drink covered whenever possible if you’re eating outside. This goes for pet food as well if they’re fed outside. Make sure the garbage can lids are on tightly and avoid any standing water on the property, as both can attract yellow jackets.

Prevent Stings

It’s a good idea to stay as far away as possible if you do notice them or a nest. If they are flying nearby, do not swat at them, as they might decide to sting. Walk away quickly and take the proper steps to remove the yellow jackets safely. Do not throw anything at the nests, as the nest likely won’t be knocked down, but the yellow jackets will be angry. If you do have to go outside and there are yellow jackets, avoid wearing yellow and other bright colors or using scented body care products, as these can attract yellow jackets.

Trapping Them

Trapping can be a great way to kill off yellow jackets that may appear in your yard. Traps can be purchased online or made carefully at home. It is important to use the right bait for the trap so that it attracts and kills the yellow jackets. Once they are trapped, put the yellow jackets in the freezer or in a bucket of soapy water to kill them. Remember to empty and refill the traps at least once a week, so they continue to help catch yellow jackets.

Removing the Nests

While trapping does effectively reduce the numbers, yellow jacket nests will need to be removed. This is incredibly dangerous, as the guard will notice and will send out other yellow jackets to attack whoever is attacking their nest. It is crucial to have a professional handle this job, as they have protective clothing and can prevent stings while they’re removing the nest. There are various ways to remove the nest, depending on the type of nest.

Yellow jackets can be dangerous, especially if you or a loved one is allergic to them. Prevention is the best way to avoid stings, but if you have noticed them flying around the yard, there are steps to take to get rid of them. If you have a problem with yellow jackets near your home, contact a professional right away. They’ll remove the nest and trap any other ones flying around, so you and your family will be protected from the stings.

Contact Us Today! - Serving Lake County IL, Eastern McHenry County and Northern Cook County

14 + 2 =

Tips to Handle Mice Infestation in Your House

Tips to Handle Mice Infestation in Your House

Mice often move into a home searching for shelter, warmth, or food. Once inside, mice can reproduce quickly, which means that most homeowners will be actively searching for the answer to how to get rid of mice infestation fast.

If mice take up residence in your home, they can cause damage and spread disease.  Also, mice are going to leave traces of their presence, and these often contain viruses and bacteria that are harmful to people and pets.  For those who need tips dealing with mice infestation, keep reading.  Some helpful tips can be found below.

How Do Mice Get Inside?

People often ask us how a mice infestation happens.  The truth is that mice can get in through tiny, tight spaces because they are so small.  Cracks that are as small as a quarter of an inch should be sealed.  Mice also love attics, and can often go unnoticed and cause extensive damage.  It is necessary to get to know the most common mice infestation signs and what locations mice prefer.  With this information, it is possible to combat the problem.  

Get a Cat

If no one in the house has an allergy to cats, getting one may be the best way to eliminate a mouse problem.  If a cat is not an option, purchase cat litter and put it in the locations where mice are most commonly found.  This will serve as a deterrent.  Make sure that the cat litter stays out of reach of any children or other pets.

Consider Using Essential Oils

Clove oil and peppermint oil are effective at repelling mice.  To use these oils, saturate cotton balls with the essential oils and then place them in a location that will attract mice, such as home entryways, cupboards, and drawers.  While the smell will not eliminate mice alone, it can complement some of the other methods on this list.

Use Humane Traps

A humane trap will catch the mice and keep them alive, which lets them be released in the wilderness.  Put traps in parts of the home that are most frequented by the mice and be sure to check them daily.  Usually, mice will come out and search for food at night.  Some of the foods that will attract mice to the traps include buttered popcorn, cheese, and peanut butter.

Make sure that, when the mice are released, they are let go a minimum of a mile from the house.  Also, release them in an area that is not inhabited by other people.  Never touch mice directly. This will help ensure that potential diseases are avoided.

Consider Using a Hot Pepper Solution

While poison may seem like a viable option, it also presents a risk.  Poison could make kids or pets ill.  A better option is to use hot pepper. This is a nonpoisonous option.

Call a Pest Control Specialists

A pest control specialist can handle your mice issue and ensure that proper mice control steps are taken to make sure they do not return.  Keep this in mind to ensure that mice are eliminated for good and that they never come back.

Contact Us Today! - Serving Lake County IL, Eastern McHenry County and Northern Cook County

14 + 15 =

What Can be Done About Skunks Digging Up Lawn

What Can be Done About Skunks Digging Up Lawn

Many homeowners spend a ton of time working on their lawn to make sure it looks fantastic. However, they may wake up one morning to find the lawn has been damaged and they will need to spend quite a bit of time to get everything back in shape again. Though most wildlife that passes through will not leave serious damage to the yard, there are some animals that will. Skunks are just one example of the animals that can destroy a gorgeous lawn overnight.

Why Skunks Dig in the Ground

Skunks that are digging in the lawn are often doing so because they’re looking for food or shelter. When there are huge chunks of grass that seem to just be pulled right out of the dirt, it may be from skunks eating grubs that can be found in the ground underneath. They pull the grass out of the way to get to the grubs that are found just below the top layer of dirt. When there’s a whole family of skunks in the yard, they can actually tear up quite a bit of grass in just one night looking for any grubs and other insects that might be hiding.

Other Issues Caused by Skunks

Skunks can damage the home trying to find a place to burrow and can damage plants around the yard when they’re looking for food. They can also spray pets or people in the yard at nighttime, and it can be difficult to get everything cleaned up after that. Plus, skunks can carry diseases and may bite if they are trapped and spraying doesn’t give them an escape. This or the droppings from the skunks in the yard could cause diseases to spread to those living in the house.

How to Tell if Skunks are Causing the Issue

Skunks aren’t the only animals that can cause damage to a lawn, so how can homeowners tell if they are the problem? If the homeowner doesn’t actually see the skunk in their yard, they can look for other tell-tale signs that it’s skunks digging up lawn instead of a different animal. If there are tracks, looking at them and comparing them to skunk tracks can help the homeowner figure this out. Another way to tell is how they smell. If the skunk decides to spray in the yard, it sprays a unique smell that’s impossible to miss and that’s a sure sign that there are skunks in the area.

Tips to Get Skunks Out of the Yard

Homeowners who have had their yard torn up from skunks will likely want to know how to stop skunks from digging up lawn. One of the best ways to deter skunks is by using light. Skunks come out during the night, so a motion-activated floodlight that turns on when they’re near may scare them away. Predator urine can also be sprayed around the outside of the yard to discourage skunks from the area as can spraying a mix of dish detergent, water, and castor oil. If all else fails, homeowners can have a professional trap and release the skunk or skunks found in the yard. This must be done by a professional to ensure they are trapped safely and relocated to somewhere they won’t cause any issues. In some places, it’s also illegal for a homeowner to trap and release on their own.

Keep Skunks Out of the Yard

Once the skunks are gone, the homeowner may want to use some preventative measures to ensure the skunks will not return and damage their lawn further. The best way to do this is to make sure the yard is properly cared for so there aren’t any grubs under the grass. There are treatments that can be sprayed on the yard that will help with this. Another way is to look into fencing for parts or all of the yard. This has the benefit of keeping other types of animals out of the yard as well.

Despite how much care you put into your yard, skunks digging up lawn can lead to serious damage that will take time to repair. If you’ve noticed damage to your yard because of skunks, try out some of the ways to get them out of the yard and to keep them out once they’re gone. If they are still coming back despite trying the methods above, contact Animal Control Specialist so they can help you solve this issue once and for all.

Contact Us Today! - Serving Lake County IL, Eastern McHenry County and Northern Cook County

3 + 9 =

Birds that Nest in Vents can be Troublesome to Homeowners

Birds that Nest in Vents can be Troublesome to Homeowners

Birds are often beautiful, but they can easily cause problems, as well. A bird’s nest built in a pretty tree might make for a pleasant addition to a property, but a difference of location can make for a truly troublesome experience.

Some birds, for example, end up building nests in various types of vents or other openings that are found in most homes. When that happens, problems can arise quite quickly. Bird prevention specialists can help in any such situation.

Many Homes Include Exposed Holes That are Attractive to Certain Types of Birds

All species of birds have their own preferred nesting locations and approaches. A few types of birds habitually build their nests on the ground, while many more like to construct theirs in trees.

Quite a few kinds of birds seek out sheltered, elevated spaces when the time arrives to build a new nest and start a family. Many homes include features that can be almost irresistible to such species, like:

  • Laundry vents. The hot air generated by laundry dryers needs to be allowed to escape into the outdoors. Exposed, exterior vents that are attached to laundry rooms often prove especially attractive to birds that prioritize warmth when selecting locations for their nests.
  • Bathroom vents. Most bathrooms include vents which are designed to allow humid air to flow out, often when propelled by a fan. A bathroom vent can make for the perfect-seeming place for a bird to build its nest.
  • Kitchen vents. The odors and heat produced by cooking are most often directed outside through purpose-built vents. Once again, the warmth of a kitchen vent outlet can make it particularly appealing to birds.
  • Chimneys. Certain types of birds are notorious for building nests in chimneys, where the associated dangers are often particularly high. Simply installing a chimney screen can prevent damage to your home.  Quickly seeing to bird removal from chimney crowns and flues will always be the best policy.

A Nest in Any Vent or Opening Can Become Problematic

Some birds build nests in residential vents or openings that never even attract notice from the occupants of a home. Many more, though, end up causing problems that need to be addressed right away. Some of the issues that most often arise after a nest is built by a bird in vent or chimney openings include:

  • Insects. Many birds are chronically infested with parasites like ticks, fleas, or mites. When birds build nests in the external openings of homes, these little insects often find their way inside.
  • Odors. Nests built in vents and chimneys subject birds to dangers that many are not well equipped to face. Some birds end up dying near their vent-based nests and producing objectionable odors as they decompose.
  • Fire. One of the most important reasons to see to bird removal from vent or chimney outlets is to avoid the risk of a fire. Nests themselves are often quite flammable, and the heat flowing through such passages can set them ablaze.

Experts are Ready to Help

Fortunately, dangers like these can easily be avoided simply by seeking out help as soon as a problematic bird’s nest is discovered. Professional bird removal specialists have the tools, skills, and knowledge needed to safely remove nests that could otherwise prove problematic.

Animal Control Specialists can quickly solve all your wild bird problems.

Contact Us Today! - Serving Lake County IL, Eastern McHenry County and Northern Cook County

6 + 5 =

Learn About and Prevent Wildlife Problems in Spring

Learn About and Prevent Wildlife Problems in Spring

Spring is the season of love. Snow starts to melt, trees and flowers start to bloom, and new baby animals are born. Springtime, however, is also a common time for homeowners to have problems with local wildlife. Since springtime is when many new animals are born, there will be a lot of new animals to watch out for around the home. Check the tips here to learn what you can do about wildlife problems in spring and how you can keep wild animals out of your home.

What Animals to Watch Out for During Spring

Homeowners may see a lot of wild animals during spring close to their home. When they get a little too close, it can be a huge problem. Some of the animals homeowners will want to look out for include the following.

  • Raccoons – Raccoons are typically very smart and will find a way into the trash. If possible, they’ll get into a home to try to find something to eat. Raccoons can carry rabies and can attack if they feel they’re cornered.
  • Squirrels – Squirrels are going to be more interested in getting into a bird feeder or getting any fruit that’s growing. They can chew their way into the attic if they’re looking for a safe place to live.
  • Bats – Bats can get into tiny spaces and find their way into an attic. They can carry a variety of diseases, which can be transmitted through their droppings. This can be a health hazard for anyone inside the home.

Preventing Wildlife Issues During Spring

Many pests can be stopped from getting into the home to try to nest during the spring months. Understanding wild animal behavior during spring and what wild animals might look for can help homeowners prepare their home so pests cannot get inside. A few tasks to do include the following.

  • Trim Branches – Trim tree branches so there’s not an easy way to get from the tree to the top of the home and into the attic.
  • Clean the Gutters – Clean the gutters so they work properly and do not look like a good place for an animal to nest.
  • Fill Any Holes or Damage – Any holes or damage can be an easy way into a home for wild animals. Fix any holes or damage found to make it more difficult to get inside the home.

What to Do About Wildlife Issues During Spring

Despite the homeowner’s best efforts, it’s still possible for wild animals to get inside the home or to get close enough to the home to become a nuisance. At this point, it’s a good idea for the homeowner to contact a wildlife removal specialist. This specialist understands how to remove many different types of wildlife quickly and safely. Whether it’s bats that have taken up residence in the attic or a hungry raccoon underneath the front porch, they’ll be able to relocate the animals to a place that’s safer for both humans and the animals.

Never try to handle wild animals on your own. This leaves you susceptible to injuries and diseases. Instead, if you have any wildlife problems in spring, contact a wildlife removal specialist right away. They can help you remove the wild animals from in or around your home and ensure you won’t have to deal with the animals getting back into your home. Contact us today to learn more about how to protect your home from wildlife during spring.

Contact Us Today! - Serving Lake County IL, Eastern McHenry County and Northern Cook County

9 + 1 =

Wildlife Control in Winter

Wildlife Control in Winter

Many species of birds fly South for the winter, but most animals do not migrate. The small and large creatures that can be a nuance in the spring and summer are the same wild animals during the winter that can cause damage to property and buildings. The cold weather will alter the activity of some animals but will do nothing to eliminate the diseases they carry.

People who do not want to deal with Wildlife Control In Winter can call a humane animal control company and arrange to have the property and home animal-proofed before the cold weather sets in. If wildlife does become a nuance in the cold weather, animal control experts will be familiar with their habits and can set out bait and equipment for humane trapping. It is important to know what to listen and look for to determine if animals have invaded the home for warmth.


Squirrels are very active all year around. They are not seen as much in the cold weather because they store grains, berries, nuts, and seed in multiple caches for nourishment. This means they can stay in one place for a long time, or at least until the food runs out. The problem is that many squirrels store food in attics.

Once the weather turns chilly, the attic becomes attractive to them. Homeowners may hear noises in the attic or in the walls. If the stored food runs out, they will retreat to another nest somewhere else in the yard. In the interim, squirrels can do extensive damage to the structure. Insulation will be ruined, the wood can become saturated with urine, and debris from the nuts and seeds will attract insects.


These wildlife critters do not fully hibernate, contrary to popular belief. They can lower their body temperatures and metabolism to conserve energy for several days or up to a week, which is called a torpor stage. Once that time is up, skunks will leave dens to search for food. Footprints can be seen coming from under porches, decks, and stoops if skunks have burrowed under the ground.

Skunks in the winter practice social thermal regulation. This means they live and sleep in large groups for warmth. It is possible for homeowners to go through most of the cold weather without noticing the skunks, but the damage and odor will be extensive once thawing begins. It is wise to place netting or chicken wire around any open spaces that skunks can hide and dig before the ground freezes.


It is unlikely that Wildlife Control in Winter will be required for chipmunks. They become less active in the winter and rarely leave their burrows that consist of a series of tunnels underground. They gather food like squirrels, but do not stash them in several places. Food, sleeping space, and room to move around is all available via the underground tunnels. These wild animals appear to be smarter and more efficient than their counterparts.

Be Aware

Homeowners must be aware that larger and more savage animals may also be around during the winter. Food becomes scarce, temperatures in some climates are getting colder for longer periods of time, and coyotes, deer, and raccoons may approach the property for warmth or nourishment. If larger tracks are noticed, place a call to animal control just to keep them abreast of the situation.

Contact Us Today! - Serving Lake County IL, Eastern McHenry County and Northern Cook County

1 + 12 =

National Pest Management Association


View our Privacy Policy

Designed By Tributary Group, Inc | Copyright © Animal Control Specialists

Angie's List Reviews