By Melissa Culross

KCBS_740SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — It appears that yellow jackets are out in force in the Bay Area as they feed now in preparation for the cool winter months.

Yellow jackets feed on sugars and carbohydrates, which is why they seem to invite themselves to our picnics and outdoor dinner parties.

“When you have a barbeque, they come for your food, they come for your wine, and next thing you know you could have several around you,”

KCBS and Chronicle Outdoors Editor Tom Stienstra says that yellow jacket stings can be quite painful, and he should know since he, himself, has been stung dozens of times this year. He adds that you can treat stings with anti-itch cream, or witch hazel and that you may be able to find a repellant against the bugs in your laundry room.

“One thing that works great, and it works great on rodents is to wear a sheet of bounce, like you put in a dryer – it really works,” Stienstra said.

Even though yellow jackets look similar to bees and also are pollinators, they actually are a type of wasp.

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