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Yellow Jackets Swarming in Large Numbers in Sacramento County

ELK GROVE -- Yellow jackets have been swarming earlier and in larger numbers this year, making it dangerous for residents in Sacramento County to enjoy outdoor summer activities.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District told FOX40 it is not the worse yellow jacket swarming they've seen, but it's certainly one of the earliest.

For Doug Gibson the yellow jackets are usually just a part of life in southern Sacramento County.

"It is worse this year, usually we have them later in the year, more towards August, so this is the earliest we've had them," Gibson said.

The district is encouraging people who have noticed an increase of yellow jackets on their properties to call them. Field technician Kevin Valone said the sheer number of yellow jackets this year is impressive.

"On one piece of property we found almost 90 nests, and if you consider each nest could have thousands of yellow jackets per nest, we're talking big, big numbers," Valone said.

Valone said the yellow jackets love tall grass, something heavy rains this year have left plenty of.

Those without protection can get stung hundreds of times and even go into anaphylactic shock and die.

"A lot of people cutting trees, mowing lawns, children playing in the yard, they happen to stir this nest up, they come out and attack in great numbers; it's definitely a concern for us," Valone said.

Vector Control said there will only be more yellow jackets as fall nears.

Be sure to cover garbage cans and open containers and ensure they are emptied regularly. Commercial traps are available to control yellow jackets. For more information on how to get help removing a nest visit the Vector Control website.