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Return to mapYellowjackets
Photo of a German yellowjacket Vespula germanica (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

Yellowjackets are increasingly a health hazard and nuisance in urban and suburban America, especially the German yellowjacket Vespula germanica (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Heptyl butyrate is an effective attractant for the western yellowjacket, V. pensylvanica, but is ineffective for Vespula spp. in the eastern U.S. ICEL research on eastern yellowjackets showed that the main pest species (including the German yellowjacket) use (E)-2-hexenal with either a-terpineol or linalool as a kairomone to find prey, probably because this chemical mixture mimics the odor from damaged leaves associated with potential prey. We continue to test combinations and new formulations of these compounds at BARC, and have promising new leads for yellowjacket attractant blends.