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Experimental and Applied Testing of Yellowjacket Trapping Efficacy in Upstate New York; Summary of Work to Date

INTRODUCTION

Stinging insects, especially yellowjackets (Vespula and Dolichovespula spp.), are among the most frequent and persistent pest problems at schools, parks, and similar locations. Murray (2000) stated that they were the most important pests at Maine schools inducing the highest per cent of pesticide treatments. Braband et al. (2002) found that stinging insects were the second most frequently reported pests by NYS schools. Yellowjackets are also common hazards at late summer and early fall outdoor festivals.

One approach to reducing the risk is the use of baited container traps. Large numbers of yellowjackets can be caught in such traps. Whether the traps actually reduce the risk of being stung has not been experimentally tested. For three years, we have tested the premise that trapping around a periphery of a plot will reduce the number of yellowjackets in the center of the plot. The assumption was made that the fewer the yellowjackets, the less the risk of being stung. We have also been comparing the results of our tests to applied use at community festivals and school playgrounds.