SPOKANE, Wash. -- Scientists say the cold the temperatures this winter could mean we will see less yellow jackets this summer.
Last summer the Inland Northwest saw more wasps than normal.
Craig Bergmann goes on routine calls for Prime Pest Control. He said yellow jackets and hornets are especially annoying because they like to be where humans are and each wasp can sting more than once.
“Last summer was extremely busy. More hives than I’ve probably seen ever,” said Bergmann.
Experts on yellow jackets at the Washington State University Extension Center said last year’s early, mild spring brought ideal conditions for yellow jackets during the summer.
“Because we had a mild winter we had lots of other insects for them to prey on,” said yellow jacket expert, Tim Kohlhauff.
Most wasps die in the fall, but the queen yellow jacket will hibernate all winter in cracks and crevices. They can even get inside basements and attics to wait for spring to arrive.
“Wasp are actually able to inside them they create something like an anti-freeze they can live through extremely cold temperatures but if it stays really cold they might not survive,” said Kohlhauff.
If winter sticks around for longer than it did last year, it could mean fewer insects to deal with in July and August.