PORTLAND - Exterminators are busy as bees this season.

Bill Ruhl with Bee Control Northwest says it's an extremely bad year for yellowjackets. He s been swamped with calls to come treat the insect nests.

Samuel Irving said he'd tried all sorts of pest control sprays to get rid of the yellowjacket nest in the front yard of his Northeast Portland home, but nothing seemed to work.

The more we sprayed them I think they liked it and had it for dinner and kept right on staying. They just won t go away, said Irving.

After several failed attempts at getting rid of the insects, Irving called Bee Control NW.

Ruhl said the relatively dry April we had this year allowed the yellow jacket population to explode. And he said because the nests are so big right now, the insects are having to compete for food, making them very aggressive.

If you're hearing ticking sounds on your wall or ceiling inside your house, investigate.Go outside if you see them flying in and out, that means they've run out of room and they're starting to chew on your sheetrock, said Ruhl.

A former beekeeper, Ruhl was quick to point out that yellowjackets are not the same as honey bees. He said yellowjackets kill honey bees and are responsible for wiping out hundreds of bee hives in Oregon every year.

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