You don’t want a yellow jacket nest around your house, especially if you have young children or vulnerable family members. Yellow jackets are aggressive, and will defend their nest in any way they can; if the nest is actively disturbed, they may immediately begin stinging anyone they can find. For most people, stings are painful but temporary – but for those who are allergic, even a single sting could prove fatal if not immediately treated.
So how are you supposed to remove a yellow jacket nest safely?
Identify Yellow Jackets (and Their Nest)
First, understand that there are many stinging insects with signature yellow and black patterns. Yellow jackets are a type of wasp, characterized by a thin waist (compared to bees) and a fat abdomen (compared to wasps). Yellow jackets are social wasps, so you’ll usually see them congregating together around their nest.
Different types of yellow jackets make different types of nests. For example, German yellow jackets are usually found in existing structures, such as attics, crawlspaces, and empty walls; German yellow jacket nests are made from paper and food fibers, as well as saliva. The common yellow jacket (Vespula Vulgaris) creates structure-based nests as well as ground nests. You may also find aerial nests produced in trees or hanging off the sides of buildings.
Sanitize the Area
Yellow jackets typically build nests and our most active around identifiable food sources. That’s why your first step should be sanitizing the area, getting rid of any food they might be relying on. That usually means tightly sealing your garbage cans and getting rid of any food scraps currently outside. Cleaning the area is also advised.
Clear the Area
Whenever you’re dealing with a yellow jacket infestation, it’s important to keep the area clear. The more people you have around, the more targets the yellow jackets will have. If you have any young children, make sure they stay inside, and if anyone in your family is allergic to yellow jacket stings, make sure they’re nowhere near you when taking on the nest.
Identify Entry Points to the Nest
Yellow jackets are most active when it’s hottest, so in the afternoon, pay attention to where they’re traveling and how they’re accessing the nest. There will be at least one entry point, and possibly multiple entry points. Mark these entry points clearly for later.
Treat the Nest
Now that you know the entry points, you’ll be ready to start treating the nest itself.
- Protect yourself. Yellow jackets can sting repeatedly, and they defend their territory aggressively. Because of this, it’s important to protect yourself, even if you’re not allergic to yellow jackets. Wear long sleeves and long pants, along with gloves and protective shoes. It’s also a good idea to protect your head and face, if possible, with netting or specialized protective gear.
- Treat at night. There are many advantages to treating a nest at night. Nighttime tends to be cooler, so yellow jackets are less active and less aggressive. These bugs also rest at night, so you’re more likely to kill the entire population if you treat the nest at this time. As an added bonus, yellow jackets have trouble seeing at night, so they’ll have a harder time finding you and stinging you.
- Fill all cavities with aerosol spray. At this point, fill all available cavities with aerosolized insecticide spray. Do this quickly, but thoroughly, filling all entrances and covering the nest.
- Follow up with insecticide dusts. Once the insecticide spray dries, consider following up with a dust treatment. This will prevent future yellow jackets from hatching and reanimating the nest.
Check for Activity and Remove
After 24 hours, monitor the area for any yellow jacket activity. If you notice more yellow jackets going into the nest or coming out of it, you may need to treat the nest again. If not, gear up and remove the nest by sealing it in a bag and throwing it away.
Preventing Future Yellow Jackets
These tips can help you avoid yellow jackets in the future:
- Keep the area clean. If there are no food sources, there will be no yellow jackets.
- Deter yellow jackets. Yellow jackets can be easily deterred with unpleasant scents, like mint or cinnamon.
- Trap yellow jackets. Consider using yellow jacket traps to get rid of small populations before they begin to multiply.
- Address nests early. If you do catch any nests beginning to form, take care of them as early as possible, while they’re still manageable.
If you’re nervous about addressing a yellow jacket nest by yourself, or if your efforts have proven fruitless, consider calling an expert. An exterminator will have the tools and expertise necessary to help you complete the job.
6 Family-Related Legal Issues that Require an Attorney
In most legal situations, it’s advised to have an attorney to represent you no matter what. However, it’s especially important in family law matters. Dealing with family issues in the legal system can be exceptionally difficult because of the strong, emotional component.
No matter how easy a situation may seem, it’s wise to hire an attorney for the following family-related legal situations.
If you’re filing for divorce, you’ll want to have an attorney on your side because divorce isn’t an easy legal matter. It’s not just a matter of filing paperwork. There are nuanced circumstances that come with divorce, and that includes dividing marital property and child custody.
2. Property division
Dividing property is one of the most stressful aspects of any case, and if you’re dividing marital property, it can be especially stressful. Chances are, you and your ex-partner both have property you’re emotionally attached to, or property you’ve invested money in and don’t want to give up to the other person.
Property division doesn’t always work as an even 50/50 split based on the monetary value of each item. It’s more of an equitable distribution that accounts for each person’s income, living expenses, and more.
Whoever makes the least amount of money will likely be awarded the most expensive pieces of marital property. It doesn’t matter if the property has sentimental value to the other party.
You can negotiate, of course, if your partner is willing. However, you may not have a say in the matter. However, being represented by a lawyer will give you a better chance at hanging on to the property you can’t see losing.
3. Child custody
Emotions during child custody cases always run high, and that’s why a lawyer is essential for this type of family law issue. Parents fighting for custody of their children don’t want to be left with what feels like an unfair custody schedule, but it happens all the time.
The best way to make sure you get fair custody of your child is by hiring an attorney to represent you in court. You won’t have to worry about your emotions getting the best of you and possibly causing you to interrupt the judge or lash out in a way that can make you get less custody than you’d like.
4. Prenuptial agreements
Nobody gets married expecting to get a divorce, but in some situations, it’s imperative to have a prenuptial agreement. For instance, if you have a lot of property before you get married, you’ll want to create a prenup to make sure your property doesn’t become marital property in the future.
Another reason to get a prenup agreement is to protect inheritance rights of your children from other marriages or partners. They can also be used to set restrictions for alimony payments. However, you’ll need an attorney to create a prenuptial agreement for you and your soon-to-be spouse.
Adopting a child is a nuanced legal process that doesn’t have room for mistakes. Whether you’re adopting your stepchild or any other child, only an attorney will know how to make sure you’re following the law. For instance, if you adopt your stepchild, you’ll also need to go through the process of terminating parental rights of the child’s biological parent.
6. Restraining orders
Restraining orders are difficult to obtain sometimes because they require a certain level of evidence that you’re in the danger you claim. Most courts will grant a temporary restraining order until your hearing, but if you can’t prove your claims sufficiently, there’s a chance you’ll lose your case.
On the other hand, many abusers file for restraining orders in retaliation against people who didn’t do anything wrong. If this happens to you, an attorney can help you get the restraining order request dropped. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but having a restraining order against you can force you to move out of your home if you live in the same house or on the same property as your accuser. It can also force you to quit your job or otherwise remove yourself from aspects of your daily life.
Having an attorney will reduce your stress
Regardless of what kind of family law matter you’re facing, having an attorney will make the process easier. The situation will still be emotional, but you’ll feel less stress when you don’t have to fight for yourself in the courtroom.
How to Know if You Qualify for Workers’ Compensation
The average worker knows about workers’ compensation. However, like so many other topics, knowing what it really entails is more of an unknown. Below are four different situations that may occur quite often in the workplace and your job is to decide whether they would qualify for workers’ compensation.
- An employee shows up to work late and rushes inside to clock in. After clocking in, they slip on a puddle of water and break their arm. Had they showed up on time, they wouldn’t have been rushed, and would have noticed the spill.
- A part-time cashier does not qualify for health insurance with the company due to the store policy of needing to be full-time. While scanning items, a sharp item cuts the employee’s arm and stitches are needed.
- A full-time employee is in the middle of their shift as a car mechanic when a tire falls off the wall and breaks the employees foot.
- A football coach is walking the sidelines during a game when all of a sudden a linebacker going for a tackle slams into him. The coach is a bit shaken up, but walks it off. A month later, the coach is dealing with back issues that he noticed after the game.
Which of these situations do you believe would qualify for workers’ compensation? The answer is all of them.
What is Workers’ Compensation
To put it simply, workers’ compensation is an insurance that employers pay to cover the medical costs and other related losses after a workplace incident. This compensation is not limited to employees based on whether they are full-time, insured, or how long they’ve been with the company.
In other words, it is relatively easy to qualify for compensation as long as the victim does their part to report, monitor, and follow up on the claims. In theory, qualifying for workers’ compensation is easy while actually going through with it isn’t always the case.
Understand the Scenario
Just as the four different scenarios above had very little commonality between them, no claim process is going to be the same either. Some claims may be obvious, while others may take a bit more effort to prove.
For example, the mechanic scenario mentioned is the cookie-cutter example of an easy-to-win claim. The employee was doing what they were supposed to, the injury was immediate and obvious, and there were likely witnesses.
On the flip side, the football coach may have a tougher time. If it’s been three months since the incident and the coach hasn’t documented anything, seen a doctor, or really done anything different in his daily routine, it could be difficult to prove that the incident happened in that exact moment.
For this reason it is important to document everything. Write it down, talk to someone about it, and don’t be afraid to go to the doctor. If there is video evidence of an incident, locate it and have it ready to show. This includes taking pictures of the scene of the incident.
The worst scenario is to brush it off as being okay and have no evidence to show later.
The claim process is going to look different for everyone; however, the first step in the process is to ask the employer for workers’ compensation documents to fill out. Legally, they have to provide them.
In fact, if they don’t or if there are any issues along the way, getting an attorney involved is never a bad idea. Getting these documents filled out as soon as possible is always better. The longer the wait, the harder it will be to get a claim approved to cover all costs.
Once the documents have been submitted, it is time to wait for the decision. Sometimes it can be back within a week or two, and other times it can take months or even years. The time often depends on the claim and the variables involved.
After hopefully not too long of a process, there will be a verdict, either approving, partially approving, or denying your claim. If the claimee disagrees with the verdict, they have the right to appeal the decision and this is where evidence becomes very crucial.
Following an appeal, another verdict will be given. If the employee still feels the decision is incorrect, another appeal can be submitted. However, the verdict is unlikely to change the longer and further the process draws out.
In the case of a rewarded claim, the money will go to cover the costs of medical bills, a portion or all of lost wages, and other losses including disability and ongoing medical treatments.
Tips for Handling 4 Major Parental Challenges
Being a parent is rewarding, but it isn’t easy. Parenting a child is a long-term commitment and along the way, you’ll experience many challenges.
Some of those challenges will be harder than others, so here are some tips to help you manage some of the biggest ones.
Reach out for help
As a parent, you’re going to need help periodically, and although it can be difficult to ask, try to get past that and ask anyway. Asking for help with some things will be easier than others.
For instance, if you’re experiencing challenges with breastfeeding and you need advice about pumping or even formula, you might feel frustrated and unsure about talking to others about your situation. Many people don’t understand that breastfeeding isn’t always easy and it’s not just a matter of “just doing it.”
Instead of asking your friends for help, get professional lactation support. For instance, IBCLCs from The Lactation Network work with your insurance to provide in-home, in-office, or telehealth appointments and will understand your struggles and feeding challenges. Lactation consultants will actually come to your home for a consultation to find out exactly what you need and make sure you feel comfortable and confident.
With professional breastfeeding support, you won’t feel so alone.
Learn how to prevent meltdowns
Toddlers will have meltdowns in public, whether you like it or not. However, you can have more control over their meltdowns than you think. Although you can’t prevent them completely, you can sometimes prevent and/or modulate them.
First, you need to understand how a meltdown works. The anatomy of a meltdown isn’t that obvious. On the surface it seems like a child just randomly loses their mind and explodes. However, there’s always a build-up to this point and when you can spot the signs, you can deflect and sometimes even prevent the meltdown.
A meltdown is usually triggered by something specific that seems rather small, like telling your child they can’t walk in the middle of the street or making them wear their shoes in the grocery store. However, just because something small is the trigger doesn’t mean it’s the cause. The cause is usually a build-up of other things like unexpected schedule changes, stress absorbed from adults, and unknown expectations for the situation. You can help prevent and thwart a meltdown by doing the following:
- Don’t run errands with your child unless they’re well-rested and well-fed.
- Keep calm when your child has a meltdown. It’s not intentional, and they don’t understand the concept of humiliation. Instead of getting angry, deflect the situation with humor and empathy. Also, don’t hesitate to negotiate.
- Tell your child what they can expect when you leave the house. Tell them where you’re going and how long you’ll be at each stop. This will help prevent the overwhelm of unexpected situations.
- Reward your child by giving them one-on-one time with you after you’ve completed your outing.
Not all meltdowns can be prevented, but you can certainly use these tactics to lessen the impact and help them get through it easier.
Teach your child to earn expensive clothing
You work hard for your money so it can be shocking when your child asks you to buy expensive, name brand clothing. Clothes naturally get more expensive as time goes on, but it’s different when your child asks you to buy them a $200 pair of jeans or a $75 t-shirt.
Before you say no, remember what it was like to be a kid and want to fit in with your peers. Part of fitting in means wearing certain clothing, and although it seems trivial as an adult, it’s everything to a child.
The best way to handle this situation is to have your child earn the money to pay for the designer clothing they want. Whether they earn the money, save their allowance, or mow neighborhood lawns, make them earn it somehow. You can contribute to the fund, but make them finance the majority of the purchase.
Teaching your child to earn the money to buy something expensive will teach them the value of hard work and it won’t make you the bad guy. If they can’t earn the money, they can’t get the clothing, but that will be on them – not you.
Set and enforce strict rules for your teens
When you set rules for your teen, always follow through with enforcement. For instance, if you don’t want your kids getting into a car with other teens, don’t let them go anywhere without knowing the other child’s parent will be driving. If you can’t get confirmation, don’t let them go with their friends. It only takes one accident to cause devastation.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Nobody will blame you if you struggle as a parent. When you’re challenged to your core, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just like your kids, you’re only human.
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