Yellow jackets are named aptly for their yellow and black appearance. Some mistake them for bees, but they are in fact stinging wasps. They differ from bees by having less hair on their bodies, they have a more oval shape vs the rounded shape of bees, and they have elongated wings that lie next to their body when at rest.
Nests of yellow jackets can typically be found under porch steps, exterior corners of buildings and homes, sidewalk cracks, and at the base of trees. They are attracted to human food, particularly sweets. They can often be observed flying around outdoor trash receptacles and picnic areas.