Yellow jackets, a type of wasp, are social insects that live in large colonies of many thousands. These colonies are generally started by a single queen in the early spring. Though very small for the first couple of months, by midsummer a colony located on, or near, a house is usually large enough to become a nuisance. Yellow jackets will attack aggressively if their nest is disturbed inflicting painful stings. A single yellow jacket can sting many times, unlike honey bees which sting only once and then die. As scavengers, yellow jackets can be beneficial when located in a wooded area or field. A colony found on or near a house should be eliminated immediately due to the threat posed to people. Due to the danger involved in treating these nests only a professional pest control company should attempt to treat them.