How to get rid of yellow jackets

annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)August 12, 2006

We have a large nest of yellow jackets in the ground underneath our old oak tree. It is very close to the house and in a shade garden. I have many bees and wasps that I leave alone. We believe in live and let live. However, we have not been able to garden in this area all season for fear of getting stung. I can't water close by. My DH got stung today despite knowing exactly where they were. We are ready to get rid of them and reclaim our little seating area by this old oak. What is the least harmful way to chase them away? If not, we are prepared to kill them. Any suggestions, please!

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oldmainer(z5 Maine)

Hi annafl...yellow jackets don't need much of an excuse to attack. Don't wait until a child get too close and gets stung bad...or yourselves. You will hear of voodoo and witchcraft methods of ridding your property of the yellow rascals...but don't take a chance with the wellbeing of yourselves or someone else. Purchase a good commercial spray in the can...and let them have it...following directions for it's use. Franklin

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 6:42AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Anna, you can't 'chase' them away. And they will become more agressive as fall approaches. In your area, the nest may stay active all year round, which means that it might be very large.

Handling something like that yourself might not be a good idea, even after dark. I'm speaking from experience, having had to deal with a nest that had many many thousands of inhabitants and multiple queens. The nest was four feet deep in the ground! It posed a clear danger to anyone who may have come upon it.

We hired a professional, who came out after dark when all of the critters were in the nest, and smoked it first to calm them. Then he applied a liquid insecticide (not an aerosol) to the area. We mixed the insecticide according to label directions (not any stronger), and drenched the mound with about a pint of the solution. Using a liquid is important because the paper of the nest sucks it down deeply. By morning, when we excavated the nest, all of the occupants were dead.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 8:18AM
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My way of getting rid of the yellow jackets cheap and easy is to find the hole in the ground and place something on the ground just inches from it. Wait until an hour after dark for them to all get in for the night. Next take an empty coke bottle, fill it with gasoline, take a flashlight and something to go over the hole like a piece wood board about 6 in to cover the hole, then quickly put the neck of the bottle in the hole till empty, then move it and cover the hole with the wood. Next AM move the board they are all dead.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 4:36PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

hmmm - does that include igniting the gasoline?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 10:38PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Pouring gasoline into a hole in the ground is not something you should do. Unlike other products that could be used for this distastful job, it contaminates the soil for a very long time. Let's just call it waaaaay overkill for the task.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 11:23PM
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This just in from the NW Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides list I'm on:

Preventive steps and trapping can help you deal with pesky yellowjackets. You may scoff at the idea of trapping, but a New Jersey baseball stadium was able to bring back fans after a massive trapping effort caught 70,000 yellowjackets!

* Outdoors, keep food and drink covered as much as possible. Garbage cans should have tight lids. This discourages yellowjackets that are foraging for food.

* Avoid perfume and other scents. Don't wear bright red, orange or yellow clothes. And don't swat at them.

* Put out the right bait at the right time using either homemade or commercial yellowjacket traps. In the spring and summer, use protein baits such as canned chicken meat. In the late summer and early fall, yellowjackets prefer sweet baits such as root beer and orange soda.

* Leave nest removal to professionals. Try to locate a business that uses pesticide-free techniques such as vacuuming. Look under "Bee Removal" in the yellow pages.

More info in the link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Pesticide-Free Solutions to Yellow Jacket problems

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 1:56AM
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I agree that pouring gas into the hole is a bad idea. I did that before I knew better. While it does work for over a year if I dug anywhere near that area I could smell the gas. Was really scary.

I hope you find a solution that works for you.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 10:03PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

If you are sufficiently in the country that you have skunks or 'coons around, esp. the skunks, then if you put a bait nearby, they might dig out the nest for you, looking for grubs/larvae. I have had something, which I assume was a skunk, dig up a wasp or ground bee nest on my property. I found the evidence, but it wasn't a very big nest. If no varmints around, then contact a professional company, as wasps can get quite aggressive, depending on the wasp species - neither you nor your family needs to get hurt. Wasp stings REALLY hurt!

On the line of "heard about, but not tried", supposedly putting a clear glass bowl over the entrance will heat the nest up ad kill them off. You have to make sure you have blocked off the entrance thoroughly.

I have also heard that using a powdered insecticide - such as is sold in a puffer to apply to carpenter bee holes - applied liberally at the entrance of the hole, so the wasps walk through it and then eat it as they clean themselves, is supposed to kill them off. I don't know that it would get all of them, esp. if it is a very large nest.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 10:30PM
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Please don't ever try to light gasoline! (I hope you were just joking about igniting it Gumpy). My uncle had a small fire going and wanted to make it burn faster. He threw some gasoline on it and the fire traveled back toward him on the fumes and burned his face very badly. His head looked like a marshmallow that had been roasted.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 2:51AM
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To eliminate a nest of Yellow Jackets you need to eliminate the queen in the nest that is producing the eggs that become the workers and warriers. Gasoline may do that but it also pollutes the soil, long term and is not an acceptable solution for organic gardeners. Traps are only going to trap the workers/warriers that leave the nest and do nothing about the queen and workers in the nest and they will simply produce more.
The queen goes out in the spring to find a new nest site and prepares it and then lays the eggs that become the workers and warriers and the nest builds up from that one queen. Each nest will have two entry or exit points so you need to find both if you think sealing these wasps in the nest will work (it won't).
The single most effective meathod of control I have found is to place a powdered (Pyrethrin based) pesticide around the entry so the the workers need to land in that powder and walk through it to get to the entry hole. They take this poison own into the nest where it is distributed among those thre as well as the larva and will, eventually, kill off that nest. Put some kind of protection over that pile of poison so pets and children cannot get to it.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 7:55AM
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Gasoline breaks down into byproducts like toluene and benzene. Not good stuff. Former gas stations where the tanks have corroded and leaked gas into the ground are considered to be hazardous waste sites and have to go through extensive environmental remediation.

Whether this works or not, I don't know, but I bought something called the Waspinator. It's a fake wasp's nest that you hang where the wasps can see it. The theory is that these not very bright wasps will come into your yard, see the Waspinator, and high tail it because they think the area's already taken by rival wasps.

I have to say, I haven't seen more than a couple wasps this year so far. I've seen bees on my peach blossoms, but that's a good thing.

For a large nest, I agree with some of the others. Hire an exterminator. Some exterminators do use biofriendly methods. The one I used for my spider infestation does.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 4:06PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Paper wasps and ground wasps are different species. And some of the wasps that build paper nests must not have read the literature, as I have had as many as 10-12 of them trying to build individual nests on my porch, and the same UNDER the porch, in the summers. Maybe a BIG nest in the early spring would do it...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 6:43PM
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I also have a severe yellow jacket problem in my yard with at least 1 know nest in the ground. I have been using traps to catch the workers and have trapped over 300 yellow jackets. They still seem to be everywhere. I heard a possible solution was to bait a small can of tuna cat food with about 20 drops of Frontline flea/tick control for dogs. The workers are suppose to take this baited food back to the nest and it will eliminate it in about 5 days. I was wondering if anyone else had tried this method. Of course the baited food would have to be constanly monitored to avoid any animals or children getting it to it. A locked bird cage would probably make it safe for everyone but the yellow jackets.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 9:46AM
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Find the entrance to the nest. Wait until dark when it's less active. Carefully take your garden hose and stick it right in the hole. Turn the water on and let it flood for a few hours. Killed a nest this way myself without's only a matter of time before they drown.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 5:17PM
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david52 Zone 6

This year we have not had any problems yet, however last year they were all over the place. I had to kill one ground nest that was right by the wood pile / compost bin. I used two cans of hornet/wasp spray, the kind that shoots a stream of something potent. One would probably have done it. They were trying to swarm out and sting, but they were exposed to the pesticide as they came out and dropped over dead.

Last year, I had them in the attic of the house, attic of the garage, two huge nests in trees, one in the wood pile, one in the juniper bush outside the front door, and the one in the ground that I had to zap.

Re hiring a pest removal guy, check first how much it costs. It can run into several hundred dollars quickly.

Right now, I have a nest of cutter bees that live under my side walk. I am just going to leave them alone.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 5:34PM
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I've had success using plastic bubble wrap, big or small bubbles. We seem to acquire a lot of it in stuff that is shipped to us so it is basically free. Perhaps you can find a friend who gets it in his shipping? We lay lots of it out around the affected site (after dark of course when it is cool and the critters are huddling down there). Somehow the reflected daylight on the bubbles confuse them and they can't find the burrow hole again so they die off naturally. Worth a try if you have identified where the burrow is.

The idea above using a garden hose works, but only for a short time. They just nominate another queen and dig another burrow. If it is in your neighbors' yard that's OK by me.

Nancy the nancedar

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 5:36PM
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We have a continual problem of yellow jackets building nests under a plastic sliding board. My husband knocked the nests down but the yellow jackets are back looking to build again. How can we keep them from rebuilding without using chemicals?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 12:24PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

Anntomp, block their access to the area under the board. Try using a fine mesh hardware cloth (that they can't crawl through), window screen or even cheese cloth and Liquid Nail (or another waterproof glue or caulk) to hold it up. Be sure to block ALL openings and all access, as getting rid of them once most of the area is covered would be a LOT harder. If you can't do that, then constant vigilance is about the only thing I can think of.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 9:08AM
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When I was a kid my parents had a lot of land in Illinois and we always encountered yellow jackets. We would use the gasoline in the hole and light it worked perfectly and was a bit fun. But now a day in American subdivisions and everybody going green it is not environmentally safe nor was it when I was a kid.

So I have had a basement full of yellow jackets it was a huge swarm, I simply put on my ski gear including face mask and took a strong shop vacuum and sucked all the buggers up. Then sprayed wasp spray into the shop vacuum.

Most recently I have had problems with yellow jackets getting into stone walls, you can spray 100 cans of wasp and hornet spray in and it just doesnt get to them.

So how to kill them without hiring an exterminator?

Do this at night right before it gets real dark!

Go to your local hardware store pick up a three pack of indoor insect fogger, duct tape the fogger can to a stick or pole (because the hornets will crawl out and sting your hand if you hold it, have had a couple of stings this way) click the continuous on the fogger can stick it in the hole. The fog will go through every hole in your yard, wall etc. you can see the fog of spray clouding out.

I guarantee every yellow jacket in the hole will be dead, be it in a wall or hole. If you think you need more go for it as you get 3 cans in a pack.

Safe cheap easy way to rid the bugs without doing dangerous thins with gasoline etc.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 10:30PM
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For yellow jackets that make small nests under dry spots. I tend to leave them alone as they are very effective at killing bad insects in the garden. However, If you are working real close and worried you can simply stay very calm and a little bit of bug repellent spray that we spray on your own skin to keep the mosquitos off ourself, spray just a little bit on the hornet or the nest will kill them all almost instantly without use of nasty poisons.

The important thing is to stay calm so you use very little spray and get them real good. Being nervous and excited I have seen people go through several cans of long distance wasp spray and get almost none when calm and a little short distance mosquito spray works wonders.

Obviously with a dangerous mission it is good to put on heavy cloths to protect yourself. But I rarely do so. I just stay calm and get the buggers.

Once the bug repellent soaks into the paper nest it kills everything and if there happens to be a living wasp away from the nest when he returns he will abandon that nest. I get places by the barn where their might be 20 nests. A little spray and then wasps flying around are all gone later in the day or definitely the next day. If you got a little on the nest they will go away. You do not need a lot on the nest. just a little does the trick.

There are some nasty hornets that make big round paper nests in bushes and trees. I recommend the longer spray. stay calm. a little on the nest then go away. they will all be gone next day. I can recommend protection from these guys. much worse than the simple yellow jackets. some are black and white etc. some are very nasty. But stay calm and wait to the next day.

bye the way. dumping gasoline on the ground is against the law. It contaminates the ground water for decades. NO GAS ON THE GROUND.

Getting rid of yellow jackets and hornets is 99% mental attitude. no poisons needed. stay calm. the problem is yourself your overwhelming fear not the bugs.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 7:39PM
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ofionnachta(z6 WNJ)

Once when we were visiting in summer my father in law found a yellow jacket nest under some firewood he had left stacked by the back of his house. Under the 2nd floor guest room window.
So he poured a load of gasoline down the yellow jacket nest opening, killed them for sure, and that night no one could sleep, from the awful fumes coming up into the BR windows.Next day we made him dig out all his contaminated soil & bag it up for disposal (he probably just threw it in the trash)--he was grumbling all the time -- his bedroom was on the other side of the house!
We have had some trouble with them in our yard & we just buy the fogger cans with the little stick you put in the sprayer, to lengthen the reach. Wait till dark & give it good in the hole. So far, has done it for us.
We know they are predators of harmful insects--we only kill them when they have decided to nest somewhere they are likely to sting people--near doors, paths, etc.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 3:49PM
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My son came inside with yellow jackets on his shirt. Needless to say, he got several stings. How do we go about locating the nest or source of the yellow jackets? He was cleaning the sidewalk and moving around on the lawn, so we really have no idea where he picked them up.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 8:51PM
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I just got stung 3 times. once on my hand - I was weeding in the garden and felt this huge bite. As I got up I saw one on my shirt and he got me too. Then I got to take off my shirt there was more. I tried smothering one with the shirt and one came at my nose and got me too. HORRIBLE and annoying. I have been stung before but never like this. I have sprayed cans and that gets rid of some. But i want to get rid of them ALL. I have a 2 year old and my wife is very afraid of them. My hand is swollen, my stomach got hit and now there is all these bumps (not hives) and under my arm is swollen. What do I do to feel better AND get rid of the suckers tomorrow? Would callin a professional in work? and if so at what price?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 9:50PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Becky --
How do we go about locating the nest or source of the yellow jackets?
I have been watching yellow jackets in a nest right near my deck for the last couple of weeks. Be certain it is yellow jackets you are looking for, there are many, many different species, who all behave differently.

In any case, the yellow jackets I have been watching a ground dwellers and very very busy. If you are close to the area where they, you should be able to see them coming & going. Literally launching & landing almost non-stop. They are busier than JFK or O'hare airports. That is no lie.

I have been watching in true amazement, 3-4 coming & going at all times. NO crashes. They simply do NOT crash into each other. And we sophisticated humans can't seem to have two helicopters in the air w/o crashing into each other.

Mine have been taking off almost straight up to rooftop height before heading off towards the woods. And come diving down when they return.

Searching the web for info, I have found that yellow jacket hive can get quite large and they tend to get more aggressive if you threaten their hive or when the weather cools.

I think knowing were they are is half the battle. I have decided not to do anything unless they get aggressive or otherwise become a problem.

I understand an old farmer's trick to get rid of them is to put a glass bowl over the entrance. They can see daylight but can't seem to get out and starve. So it is likely to take several days. But I do not know as I have NOT tried it.

Do a search I am sure you will find lots of info.

HTH in some way,

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 12:57AM
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bluebars(7 MD)

We tried a Raid yellow jacket trap. After 4 days it had NO result whatsoever. It was placed a few yards from the nest entrance which was on the ground beneath branches of a low hanging evergreen--nearly impossible to get to safely. There were so many I could not count them coming and going!
So we tried to mark the entrance carefully with a long broom handle, then went out at night and sprayed. The next day there were fewer, and some seemed very confused. Went back the next night (difficult to see the entrance, maybe missed it or there was another entrance hole) and sprayed again, and now they are none.
Anyway, the Raid trap, even if it worked, would not get all the yellow jackets. You have to find the nest.
I hated to kill them all, but I'm severely allergic. So it's them or me.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 11:20AM
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Forget all these methods.
Call a pro, get it done right and get some sleep.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 4:54PM
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It is important to know what you are dealing with. The ground dwelling yellow jackets seem to be quite an issue especially here in FL where the weather doesn't really slow them down much in winter. It can be hard to find exactly where the entrances are since it can be dangerous to even get close in some situations.
The person who has a nest near the deck that can watch the entrance has a unique opportunity to study them.
I've even heard of it being challenging to find a company willing to remove yellow jacket nests and those that do can be $$.

Anyway, the wasps that make the different types of paper nests up under the eves and other places, I usually just avoid annoying them till dusk and then use some of the long stream wasp/hornet spray. Go back in the morning to check that I got em and knock down the nest. I don't really like using the chemicals and only spray nests that are in locations we need to work or where they would pose danger to normal passers by. This actually means most any nest I find since I usually only find them when I go to do work somewhere.

I did get stung a few weeks ago taking down an old greenhouse. They were between layers of old plastic so I didn't see them until I got hit. Luckily, I'm not too sensitive to them so an ice cube for a few minutes and then some chewed up plantain (the lawn weed variety) on the sting and by the next day I couldn't even find the sting site. That night I did spray.

The trick to spraying I've learned is to stay calm, make sure it is late enough and the wasps have settled down for the night. Aim, spray and correct so you hit the nest. You don't need to waste the whole can. Then go wash up and check the next day.

I've disturbed nests in those plastic tubes that surround power pole guide wires. Stay calm! They bumped into me but since I didn't swat at them, they didn't know that I was what disturbed them. That sort of situation is trickier to spray since you can't actually get at the nest.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 9:12AM
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Those little plastic bee traps do work pretty well if you bait them right. What koreyk said above about staying calm really is important when working around bees of any kind. When I get them on the porch in the hottest part of summer, they can get pretty cranky. Then I usually sneak up on them with the vacuum cleaner and suck them up. But out in the yard I just try to avoid them if possible.

Yesterday my DH was cutting some tall grass near the dog run and found a 6" paperwasp nest hanging on a small tree branch. He gently cut off the branch and carried it, nest and bees and all about 100 yards away so he could finish cutting and so they could finish doing whatever the heck it is that bees do. When I saw him carrying that stick with the nest hanging on it in his bare hands, his old hairy, knobby knees hanging out, I just held my breath wondering if he'd set a new land speed record back to the house after the first sting. But lo and behold! he was calm and gentle and the bees just went along for the ride sweet as can bee. Go figure. Cheryl

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 1:14PM
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It is a very lucky thing that most paperwasps seem pretty indifferent to people so long as we don't annoy them too much. I found the same to be true of mud daubers I've been working around.

Yellow Jackets are a different matter and motors seem to really anger them. I've seen them attack cars before.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 1:24PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

I hired an exterminator to kill a nest that was inside the wall of the house, right by the front door. He took a little syringe of something, put it on a long pole and injected it into the spot that they were coming out. He didn't say what the stuff was, but he said it cost $300 a gallon. It really worked, never saw any again. It cost me $50.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 8:02AM
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Yeah, I generally enjoy bees and have taught my children not to fear them.

Until this year that is. Yellow jackets made a nest under my compost pile. Can't go near it without them getting agitated. Given that it was in my compost pile I wasn't real keen on using an insecticide. Compost pile is right next to a raised veggy bed and on the other side is the kid's sandbox.

Thankfully we made it through the season with me getting stung just once and my daughter once. Now that it is cold I get to go remove the compost and dig up the nest and use my organic bee killer otherwise known as a shovel ;-)

Earlier in the season a buddy informed me that they will not fly at night and I made the mistake of believing him. We went out well after dark and started removing the compost. The buzzing was so loud we could feel the ground under our feet vibrating. We just ran. They took flight in droves. Do not believe the myth that they won't fly after dark.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 12:53PM
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Our problem with yellow jackets is that we live on a suburban street and on a hill. The entire front yard is covered with ivy, juniper and other plants. The yellow jackets started in one area a few years ago and are now all over the front hill. There is NO WAY to find the holes because they are buried under all the ivy and junipers. Also, there is no way to get out the nests because of the plants and I think it would literally collapse my front yard which is not very big, just high. I know these nests can be huge. I don't want to just indiscriminately use an insecticide because I want to spare my good bugs and butterflies. But I just don't know what to do. I can find, generally, where they are coming out but would not be able to burrow through the ivy to get to the hole. I'm sure there are multiple holes. Would finding a few holes and putting powdered insecticide as close as possible to them be enough? Do I absolutely have to take out the nest? Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 7:14PM
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jbest123(Zone 5 PA)

I use the sticky fly strips. Pull the strip out and let the little tube on the end of the strip rest on top of the hole. Let go of the end and the strip will collapse into a ball of loosely twisted fly strip, then run like h___. The few YJs that come out will get stuck on the strip and raise a ruckus. The rest of the hive will attack the strip. Once they are all stuck, you can safely dispose of it. Yellow Jackets, Wasps and Hornets destroy many of my apples every year.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 7:51PM
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I hear a lot of people on here saying not to use gasoline to kill yellow jackets, but people have been doing it for years and years. It works and you don't use enough to really contaminate the ground. Plus, if you light it, it will burn up anyway. Just use common sense if you choose to torch them. Don't do it close to your home and get away from the hole before you light it. Duh! Or, use wasp killer, it gets the same results.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:44AM
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IF you do get stung, this will help reduce the pain.
My daughter got stung last week and I immediately put aloe vera on it, then tea tree oil and then over the counter hydrocortisone cream ( 2%) I re-applied before bed and the next day you couldn't even tell where the sting was.

We've got them in a flower bed right at the back door, and I was willing to let them go till they stung her. Now.... sorry but they have to go. Whoever said they look like a flight deck was so right. They actually have been interesting to watch they way they are always coming and going. I didn't know they ate insects we dont' want but I can tell you that our spider population is way down and I havent' seen 1 earwig this summer, other years they really got into my dahlias. Too bad they don't eat Japanese Beetles.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 3:56PM
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david52 Zone 6

For stings, keep a jug of household ammonia handy. If within a few minutes you can soak a tissue / rag with ammonia and hold it over the bite/ sting, it will destroy the venom.

I did this yesterday, I was pulling some bindweed from a clematis vine trellis, and didn't realize there was a wasp nest in the mess. I got stung twice on the head - put on the ammonia within a minute, and there was no swelling, pain, or anything noticeable other than a slight itch after about 5 minutes.

Works for all bug bites like mosquitos, deer flies, etc.

You can tell we get bit and stung around here a lot.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 4:56PM
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Since this is an organic gardening forum, and the people coming here should be somewhat environmentally aware, the use of gasoline, pouring gasoline onto and into soil should be totally unacceptable. Much of what I am reading also indicates people are confusing different wasp species, Yellow Jackets do not build small nests on buildings, although the paper wasps will do that. Yellow Jackets do not nest in the same place year after year. since Yellow Jackets have been building nests for eons in the ground flooding, via rain or other large water applications, would have wiped them out long ago unless they learned to build nests that would not flood out, so putting a water hose into the nest entrance and letting it run will do little or nothing, except salve your ego a bit.
Knowing something about Yellow Jackets and their nesting habits can be of great help and this link will get you good solid information about them and not the misinformation I see here.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:29AM
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Kimm is right. Most of these "solutions" are ludricous at best. Traps?? The stadium was trapping free flying insects that were attracted to sugar and food. Glass bowl over the top? They will dig another entrance, and very quickly too. Plastic bubble wrap. Cannot even begin to answer that one, laughing too hard. I am allergic to all stings, and have to carry an epipen. I also work for a landscaper part time and come into contact with bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets almost every day I work for him. I am not afraid of any except the yellow jackets. These are ground burrowing, very fast multiplying, and extremely hyper dangerous insects. The only way to truly eradicate them from a nest is to hire a professional. Spraying commercial wasp and hornet spray at a large YJ nest will get you stung up - badly. It is never a good idea to dig up a nest either. If you get the pheromones from the nest on you, it will attract every yellow jacket that come into your wind trail, and they will attack you until they die. I have three friends who are professional exterminators, and they all agree with me on this. You will try any of the "solutions" you hear about. You will get stung, maybe quite badly. You will not get rid of the nest. You will call an exterminator. They will safely kill all the nest and fill the hole in a way that it won't be dug out and used again. You will pay from 50 to 200 for their services.

Gasoline?? Not a good idea even though my father used it semi successfully in the 60's, but he still got the @#**%# stung out of him every time he did it.

Just my educated .025. TiMo

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 9:51AM
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HELP...I keep reading that yellow jackets live "in the ground" seems the ones in my yard did not get the memo...they are up very very high in two of my live oak trees...
After reading how "mean" they are...and...the well as advice to spray them with this or that...I am confused...
I could never reach them....I have handicapped family members who are outside in that area lots and so I just want the yellow jackets DEAD....I want to show no mercy since they feel exactly the same about humans...
I was told to call a PRO...but what should I know before I call.....what chemicals work which do should they do it....etc....
....Since I see no nest...and they are not in the ground,from what I can tell, could it be anything else...from a far...which is the only distance I care to inspect them..."they" appear to be yellow jackets...and as I walked under the tree several came down to 'inspect' me....I did have spray and got them but I do not intend to go out there or to attempt to get rid of them....
I really need someone gets hurt here...
Are live oaks their favorite tree??? What should I do to prevent them from ???
I live in south they could easily decide to stay forever since we have little if any 'winter' to make them want to move on to other areas....
Again....I am NOT intesested in being KIND when killing them.....just effective.....very effective...
Thanks....for any and all help....
I was advised to be careful of 'fly by night' bugmen who will claim they can kill them but really don't....
Does this forum send notification when an answer is given or do I have to come back here to check in ???

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 6:24PM
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I have never heard of yellow jackets not nesting in the ground, but I don't know everything heheh. Bald faced hornets will nest in oaks, and sometimes the nest is almost impossible to spot from the ground. Yellow jackets are about 1/4 to 1/2 the size of honeybees, so that may give you some frame of reference. There may be some insect living in the tree, or some sap running that is attracting the YJ's or wasps to the tree to feed. If so, it will eventually stop. Good luck. TiMo

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 12:51PM
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Yellow jackets decided that our concrete front porch would be a good place for a very busy nest. There's a crack along the front through which they were busily coming and going. I filled it with "Stuff-it" foam (insulation in a can, basically) but they quickly made a new entrance along the side where there is a bark-filled flower bed.

I tried flooding them out, but it had no effect. In fact, they seemed to become even busier the day afterward.

I read all of the posts here and decided that 'baylok' had the best suggestion. Here's my report.

I bought a 3-pack of indoor bug bomb cans. On the end of a long pole, I taped one bug bomb can at an angle so I could hold it at the hole. After dark, I quickly and quietly closed off one of just two holes they were using (only about 12 inches apart). Even though it was still in the upper 80s outside, there was no reaction from the nest.

I started the fogger then used the pole to hold it against the remaining open entrance hole and kept it there until it stopped spraying, which took a couple minutes at most. I then covered the entrance and smoothed the dirt so I'd be able to see if the hole was rebuilt the next day.

Next day, no yellow jackets! It's now been three days and the nest is clearly dead. Hooray!

I like this solution because it was fairly surgical, so few "good bugs" died in the process, yet it was effective and quite economical.

I would recommend this approach to anyone who has a similar nest where you can easily monitor and control the exits. I used "Enforcer Four Hour Fogger" but I suspect any indoor bug bomb would work. The active ingredients are Tetramethrin (0.20%) and Sumithrin (0.40%).

My wife was at the ready with a can of wasp killer, but we didn't need it--no wasps ever appeared.

I plan to fill the crack with concrete repair caulking over the foam, hopefully deterring future queens from selecting my porch as a nest site.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 8:31PM
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I was stung while walking out to my car yesterday morning, and my husbnad was stung the evening before, walking back into the house. The YJ have apparently built a nest under the front path of our house. They go into a crack in the concrete, so there's no way to block the hole after pouring liquid in or to put a pail of sand over it. My husband tried to spray liquid in there at night but this morning they were still zipping in and out and apparently have a problem with us using the path. I have a problem with that and I had to use an ice pack all day yesterday due to the pain from my sting.

Suggestions for ridding ourselves of these creatures under these circumstances? Leaving them there until fall is not an option.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 10:40AM
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Try using concrete repair caulking to seal the crack.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Try this trick it works with both ants and yellow jackets.
One small(not tiny) can of cat food
1 tablespoon grape jelly
1 1/4 tablespoon Boric Acid. Mix together and set near hole/nest. It will take a couple of days but this trick has yet to fail me.
" WARNING"!!!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 6:46PM
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My husband also had a suggestion, while one of us had the weed burner ,going getting the ones that flew out at us and around us

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Coke & Beer? Seven dust? A SHOP VAC?! You guys are outta your minds! hahaaaa thanks for the laugh but I'm with whoever suggested the gasoline. We're actually about to test the method right at this very moment. I will let you all know how it goes. As for the "Green" people who are all about NOT killing the bee's... F--- OFF! Obviously you haven't had a young child or any family member personally threatened or attacked by yellowjackets. It's not funny, nor is it a matter of saving the F'n environment for Christ's sake. Especially when we've got upwards of 60,000 gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf a day. Seriously, I'm not gonna allow bee's to take over my backyard and risk the life of my 4 year old daughter to save an environmentally savvy political posse of bee's. It's just out of the question and I think whoever disagree's is a joke and out of touch with reality. Wankers.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 10:07PM
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I haven't seen a yellow jacket in several years in my part of southern California. We do have plenty of honey bees, but they don't bother anyone, I work right next to them in the garden.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 12:38AM
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greenleaf_organic(8, TX)

I had a mega swarm of honey bees go under my shed one day two months ago to make a new home. I tried to be green and chase them out with orange oil/water mix at night. They made a huge ball on the side of the shed all night and then went back under the shed in the morning. Supposedly they hate dryer sheets so I put some at the entrance and they just walked right across them. Finally we just got the long range wasp spray and nailed them night and day and threw some moth balls under the shed for good measure. Finally they either left or were killed. I know, we have a shortage of honey bees, but we could not use the shed. Our next door neighbor also has a toddler. Honey bee removal was quoted to me as between $600.00 and $1000.00!! I never imagined they could be so difficult to get rid of.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 3:22PM
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For both fireants and yellow jackets the best way to eliminate them is completely non-toxic. Boiling Water. For yellow jackets it is best to do this in the evening after they have gone to sleep, but with fireants any time of day is fine. Pour at least a gallon of boiling water into the hole of the yellow jacket nest and all over a fireant mound.

It works best to repeat this procedure for 3 days to make sure all of them have been killed. It works better than toxic poisons because you get a second and third chance to kill any that survive the first assault. With poisons, the pests that survive the first assault will move to a new location nearby and start keeping house there. For some reason with the hot water, they normally don't sense the danger and stay in the same location.

With the fireants, you will be amazed the next day when you go to give them a second dose, because there will be a mass of dead ants that looks like handfuls of coffee grounds. The ants that survived the first attack spend all of their energy trying to remove the dead ants from the colony. I take a shovel and scrape the area to remove the dead ants so that I can see how many they bring out the next day. This way you can tell when they are all dead, because none will have been left to bring out the last dead.

I lived in south Georgia for many years and used this technique more times than I can remember. The only times it failed to work were when the ant's mound was built so that it was not possible to get the water to flow into the nest. One I remember specifically was at the base of the end of rock retaining wall. The nest went up behind the wall where I could not get enough hot water to run. After several weeks of applying the fireant baits, they finally died.

With yellow jackets, I've used this technique twice and it worked both times. The did not bring out their dead as the fireants do, but I did not see any yellow jackets after the second day.

The treatment on the second day seems to be more effective than the one on the first day. Except for a very large fireant mound with which I helped a neighbor, a gallon of water is normally all that will soak into the ground without most of it running off. My neighbor once had a mound that was nearly 2 feet high and 3 feet wide, for which we had to use several gallons of boiling water. We each put a tea kettle or soup pot on all four eyes of our stoves to heat the water, and then took them outside to drench the huge mound of ants. Even with that large mound, we did not find any ants outside the colony after the 3rd treatment.

I think that the reason it works better to treat with 3 treatments rather than 3 times as much water on the first day is that the water on the first day opens up more and larger tunnels within the colony, so that on the second and third day, the water runs down into the colony much better with less runoff.

For anyone thinking of putting gasoline on them, please turn on your TV and look at the news from the Gulf of Mexico first. Petroleum stays in the dirt for years killing beneficial organisms.

Above ground wasps and hornets are the only thing I still use pesticides for. I've tried throwing pans of boiling water on a hornet nest and only managed to get myself burned and stung. The spray cans with long distance nozzles are the best solution for killing those nests hanging under porches, inside storage sheds, and under the overhangs of your home. These are probably the only aerosol can product I still buy as well. Trying to use a pesticide from a spray bottle only gets you stung and angers the hornets. Using these at night will also help to prevent getting stung during the assault.

For honey bee removal, you should first try to find a bee keeper in your area. Bee keepers can often get the bees to move into a super so they can be taken away alive. With Colony Collapse Disorder killing so many hives, we desperately need every bee in North America. In order to supply enough hives to farmers who rent the hives to pollinate their fields and orchards, bee keepers are forced to import thousands of colonies from overseas. Especially if you find a brood that is swarming, it is fairly easy for a bee keeper to capture the queen and put her inside a new super, where all the others will follow. Many people do not realize that professional bee keepers normally make more money from the rental of their hives than they do from the sale of honey. We do not have enough native bees (bumble, carpenter, orchard, and mason bees, etc.) to pollinate all of our crops that require bees. Without honey bees, yields of almost all fruits, vegetables, and nuts would be reduced or eliminated. Corn is one our few food crops that is air pollinated and does not require bees or other insects for pollination. DO NOT KILL BEES!!!

Boil fireants and yellow jackets, poison hornets and wasps, smother all bees with love and kindness.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 10:13AM
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greenleaf_organic(8, TX)

Greg, I agree with almost everything you said. It all makes sense except that when you try to find beekeepers and go online and make calls and no one wants your honeybees what choice do you have? The same day the swarm came into my yard, there was an article in the local paper where a lady's two dogs were stung to death by a swarm of bees in their yard. That is cruel and inhumane! The animals were in a fenced yard and could not run away. As I mentioned before, we share a fenceline with a family that has a toddler, and the shed is right on the fenceline. You cannot be that dogmatic. How would you feel if the child were harmed, or worse?

On the other hand, I have also planted trees that feed more honey bees than you can imagine. In the spring time my paulownia trees are full of trumpet shaped flowers that are just covered with honey bees. This is a great source for bees and I believe we should plant more of these trees (which are native to China). China became a significant exporter of honey because of these trees, which are extremely fast growing. They will grow mostly in the southern U.S., not liking temps below zero. Every time I park a car in the blazing sun at a parking lot at a mall or grocery store I think to myself what a shame more people are not aware of these trees. You could have three year old trees providing excellent shade for the cars as well as plenty of food for hungry honey bees. If you are not familiar with these trees, just google them, you will be amazed.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 12:52AM
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I've found two nests in the past three days, and I'm using gasoline to eliminate them (sorry).

In an attempt to redeem myself, here's a guaranteed all-natural way to treat stings. Use tobacco. Take a cigarette and break off an inch of it. Place it in or under water until it's saturated (if you use chewing tobacco, there's no need to wet it). Press the tobacco against the stung area and cover it with a Band-Aid. You'll be pain-free in ten minutes.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 11:27AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

greenleaf organic - sadly, although beautiful, Paulownia is an invasive species in many parts of the US. Maybe that's why people are not deliberately planting it?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 10:11AM
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zandra(z9 Nw. CA coast)

I doubt anyone is reading down this far but here is my yellowjacket story, it does involve fire, but no gasoline. It started with an Angelica plant that was against the garage wall. I had heard somewhere that Angelica attracts yellowjackets and that it's an old wive's tale, I assure you, in this case it was true. Small flies are strongly attracted to the Angelica flowers, they are easy prey for hovering yellowjackets which swoop down and carry them off. I intentionally let the yellowjackets build their little papery nest under the eaves above because I wanted to collect it later that winter. The next year they built a slightly large nest, and the next year, well.
I was pruning the very thick escallonia hedge (right by the utility meters btw) and noticed a lot of annoyed yellowjackets buzzing around. Then I saw, literally less than a foot from my clippers, a HUGE paper nest the size of a watermelon, a big watermelon. I can say this, they were not as aggressive as I'd expected, but it was right at the corner of the only path in my yard and it had to go. The next two nights I went out with limbloppers and in short bursts cut back the growth and heavy branches the little stinkers had built the nest around. I would have to stop and jump back because now and then they would come boiling out of the nest and crawl around the ground trying to find me....*shudder*
When the nest was fully exposed, and my neighbors were asleep, I took and old broom handle, wrapped the end in an old kitchen towel to form a torch, dripped candle wax liberally on this. I then squirted a few squirts of regular lighter fluid on the outside of the nest, not even enough to drip down. I lit the torch and held it under the bottom of the nest. It went up like a match, rather gruesome, but they got the message and never came back. I never planted another Angelica.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 4:22PM
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After being aggressively attacked 3 times, I am now seriously allergic. My daughter was attacked this week from a nest on the path to the swing set. So when I started poring the gas into the nest opening last night I didn't want to stop. 1/2 a gallon of gas later I covered the hole with a glass bowl and went to bed. In the morning I went to check on the nest and found at least a half dozen yellow jackets flying around the glass bowl trying to get back into the whole. WHY... my only thought was that hey had not made it back to the nest the previous night. My worry is that maybe there is another nest and the yellow jackets co-habitat.

Any idea on who the straggler yellow jackets are would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 4:23PM
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greenleaf_organic(8, TX)

Flora UK- Thanks for bring up that point since I forgot to mention the species. I have also heard this. From what I have read, the paulownia species which is listed as invasive is tomentosa. The species I have are elongatta which grow twice as tall and are 10 degrees more cold hardy (down to zero). I can't tell you how many compliments I have had on these beautiful trees. Best part- very fast growing tree but still has a reasonably long life span of about 100 years.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 9:58PM
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Oddly, I have a cardboard box on my patio table with a small hive of yellow jackets inside. The box is 2 feet x 1 foot x 1 foot and has 2 smaller express mail boxes inside. The cardboard box was a "special delivery" from our upstairs neighbor, who flug the box off his patio onto ours. The hive seems to be around/inside the smaller boxes.

They have one entry/exit hole from the larger box, but the problem is that there are 2 holes per side of the box making the method of spraying insecticide into the entry/exit hole, kind of useless. I have thought of drowing them, placing an ice block on top of the box to slowly melt, etc.
Any suggestions?


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 12:48AM
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Dear Fellow Gardeners,
While washing my car a month ago located what I thought was underground nest beneath the mulch on my car port. The looked like small like thrips.. I didn't much worry about them till I got stung,... but the thing that stung me appeared to be a Black & white Hornet Not a wasp...

Can these wasps communicate with each other? Or give out a General Alarm?

Then a week later while on my mower I saw a 4 ft piece of bark in the lawn & picked it up while still on the mower & chucked it into the woods. I went 5 more feet on my ZTR & was attacked by Yellow jackets ( How many I don't know, my wife says I had 8 bites on my ears, elbows & back. Felt like someone had stapled my ears & they were on fire , I jumped off that mower & ran for the house..

7 days later after recovering from those stings I located 2 underground nests in my yard. both round hole depressed ares with opening the size of a half dollar & many workers going in & out. The entrance holes were within 6 feet of each other, (they must have been under that piece of bark I moved!) All of you better check to see if these things have Multiple entrance holes before treating them.. mine do.

Dang these things get Aggressive during the month of August... Didn't know I had several nests on my property until the Lawn mower incident.. Several Wasps still visit that old first nest That I dispatched with gasoline near my house foundation . [My house is brick I don't think they found a way to get through that mortar to get inside my walls.] Yet I still have wasps visit that area every day even though I put gasoline on it & put a 4 inch layer of sand over it a month ago. No, I did Not go dig it up either...
Have been living here 20 + years & never have I encountered wasps as aggressive as these nor do I ever recall them nesting underground either..

Think I like the insect fogger idea or the idea the the Botanist mentioned above to use the WET VaC on them & Except I am going to spray my tank with Insecticide inside the wet VAc Bannister before I cut it on.
I tried trapping the buggers used the disposable trap by Rescue that you put apple juice in & the reusable trap by Rescue that has the top & bottom sectioned layers. I caught a few worker bees but not enough that slow this colony down
it seems I have seen 40 of the things go in in 10 minutes ! Not sure how many reside in this colony. Guess those traps only work in early Spring March to May...
During these recessionary times not anxious to spend $$ I don't have for a wasp Nest killer but if these things don't work my wife says that footing the cost of a professional is cheaper then a hospital stay..

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 4:27AM
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Ended up using RAID deep Fogger to get rid of them , got fogger at Wally world & it worked (with a little adaptation on my part). Cut off the 1/3rd of the top of a bottle of water and removed cap. Took this top piece & used Duct tape to secure it to the fogger top piece. . This assured me that the canister would fit into the Hole of the yellow jackets. Waited until 4:30AM and it was 60 degrees outside . Got flash light and enclosed flashlight in red cellophane bag ( you can get these at Red Lobster) [Wasps cannot see Red light at night.] Walked over to the hole popped the tab on the fogger & inserted the can running into the wasp hole. Placed a Coffee can on top of the holes & put a stone on it. Treated & killed 2 nests. Learned a lot from the SC Johnson website (They make RAID Deep Reach Fogger) the Package specifically says it will kill Hornets, Yellow jackets & Wasps for up to 2 months. ) It handled my problem
for less then 10 dollars.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:18AM
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mister_potato_head(VT 5a)

I don't think it does anything to trap yellow jackets, since, according to Wikipedia, they don't survive the winter months in the northern US. The only survivors are the inseminated queens, and that's how the colonies spread. So the best way to control next year's problem, is to kill this years colony completely. Still, I find a new colony almost every year on my farm.

I mowed over a nest last week, and I was lucky I didn't get stung, I usually do. I've learned from experience to be alert while mowing, especially in August. I'll be heading out at night to flood the nest with a can of hornet killer, though I don't do anything elaborate, I just empty the can into the hole and go back to bed.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 9:17AM
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Nope trapping Insects wouldn't work, The Rescue disposable trap with Apple concentrate worked It got 100 of them, but the REUSABLE trap won't work [in Virginia] unless you add apple juice to it. Then I got all kinds of wasps in it.
The resuts of my treatment of the nests above.
Nest # 1 Complete Kill .
Nest #2 didn't kill them all Believe this nest is Further underground then I thought originally. , had to get Delta Dust & Crusader Bellows Duster (with extension) to blow Professional Pest product into the next. It guarantees kill for 8 months. I believe that nest is MORE than 4,000 wasps at this point Extension Agent recommended this company & their 59.00 Wasp & Hornet Kit which includes 1Lb of Drione (Delta Dust) 1 Crusader Bellows Dry Duster, 2 Cans of WASP FREEZE Spray. Will have to Dig this next up to make sure I have complete kill. Will dig it up after 48 Hours of no activity at nest hole after dusting .

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 9:19PM
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Killed Nest # 2 using the Drione Dust & waiting 48 hours using the Hornet & Wasp Kit from that Florida company I referenced in my last post. Then discovered today 72 Hours after my treatment some critter overnight (most likely a Raccoon or a Polecat (skunk) DUG up the entire nest & scattered the remnants on my yard !!! Nest was about ~ 10 inches across & 2 feet down with at least 4 layers of Nests. Gathered what was left of nest & burned them guaranteeing no more queens from this one. Whatever it is that dug it up must have been observing the situation daily.
Only after I treated it this time with Drione (Delta Dust -Hornet Kill kit) was when I left holes uncovered .Dust would permeate through out layers of nest & allow any remaining worker wasps to carry dust all through out nest to guarantee a complete kill. This is what company recommends - don't ask me. But it worked. Nest #2 extinguished .

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 12:19AM
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After reading lots of posts here, I set out to get rid of our yellow jackets.

First of all, I should clarify that if you have a nest underneath your concrete slab patio (like me), then you have yellow jackets. Not wasps, killer bees, or whatever. In my case, they found (or maybe they can dig??) a golf ball-sized hole on the edge of the patio. I could see them coming and going throughout the day. The hole was very close to our back door, so it was getting hazardous.

My first attempt was to buy some spray from the store. I bought two different brands, but neither of them worked because I could not get enough of the spray into the hole/nest down below. The reason was that the sprays are made for many types of nests, and especially for nests that are hanging from a tree or whatever. So they are very foamy and the idea is that the spray will cover the nest that is hanging from the tree. For an underground nest with a small entrance, that won't work. The yellow jackets laughed at my attempts to block the entrance of their vast kingdom with a small amount of foamy stuff.

I next tried to put some tubing around the nozzle of the spray can and then thread the tubing down into the nest. I got the tubing on, but who knows where it went once I started pushing it into the hole? Also, lots of the spray foam ended up "backing up" in the tubing and coming out the wrong end.

Finally, I ordered some Raid foggers online (pack of 3 plus 1 bonus). They are designed for wasps, yellow jackets, etc. I went out in the late evening when the YJ's were all asleep, set off the fogger, and placed it on its side pointing sorta into the hole. I would have liked to point it more downwards, but that would have resulted in the gas contents rushing out of the fogger and not much liquid (like when you invert any spray can and start spraying). By laying the fogger on its side, I got about 70% of the liquid out of the can and into the hole. I did this with two foggers in succession.

End result, next day, there are no YJ's coming or going at all. Either they are hiding inside and plotting their revenge, or they are dead. Sad to see them go, but I had to do it for safety reasons.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 7:34PM
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My yj saga... I threw a very large painted canvas across the bench on my front porch. I eventually was going to hang it. It was beautiful. I left it there for several months and one day the boyfriend remarks there is a wasp or bee nest on the porch. I find they built it under my tarp. :( I tried spraying. (at night with a tiny flash light) This incensed them and they attacked me going up a long sleeve and stinging the top of my hand. I went back inside and got longer gloves and longer shirt as well and my long propane torch weed burner. I wiped out all the flying ones, thinking this was easy. HAH! Forget that!

I tried sneaking up with drione dust...same MO...attack! No stings due to great coverage this time. Again, torching the crap out of them. I have black smudges all over the porch. We leave on the lights and they would swarm the lights so again...torch. Darker smudges. Ok, so after much research I think, leave them alone, the cold will kill them. Riggghhht! NOT! Texas is not cold.

Next, research traps. Hanging yj baited pheremone traps. So have to go out and shake them up daily to get the scent out. I hung one near their flight path. Poor. Next, I remember I have a bug zapper. Remember they swarm lights at night? Something will rile them and they attack any lights...bwahahaha. So I put the zapper out near their flight path. So so.. they fry, fall down and crawl off. Argh!

Ok, next idea is oblong pan of water, frozen fruit punch concentrate and dish soap with a quadrupod above holding a fish bait wrapped in net around the center. So so. Next idea... move the friggn wet trap UNDER the zapper! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!! Woohoo! I got hundreds in the wet trap.

Ok, I read that they attack anything that kills them because it gets their pheromones on it and they swarm it. This appears to be true. Also, I would throw pebbles at their nest at night while the zapper is on, run back in the house and giggle uncontrollablely while watching out the window. I got a little meaner and threw plastic bottles half filled with tap water at the nest...ran in and squealed with delight watching. (I have some videos, too)

Finally after they were decimated quite a lot (I poured out hundreds from the wet trap, rebaited three times due to full coverage of the water) and today after a freeze last night I toss a bottle this afternoon and no yjs come out. I am thinking they are all dead, moved or comatose. Comatose was it! I got the pole saw towards dusk as it chilled down more, extended it fully and hooked on a corner and jerked it off the bench, threw it towards the side closer to the edge of the porch. Went to side and drug it off the porch about 20 feet from the porch and 30-40 ft from my front door. I turn it over and there are about 6 huge layers of nests in the tarp that I can see without opening it up anymore. It is still FULL of yjs. They ate a hole thru the tarp, it is history. I sprayed with 2 different types of wasp hornet spray with no apparent reaction to either. It was crawling with at least another hundred of the suckas!

I get the torch out. I am heavily covered and protected. I torch the loose bugs, the nests and the bits of the ball making sure I get as many moving targets as possible. I water soaked the tarp to put the fires out but it was still smoking so I flipped it over, nests down and stomped the tarp til it was flattened completely. Then fully stomped it three more times.

I left my shoes at the edge of the porch in case they tracked me by scent then used an enzyme spray on my shoes, the track back to the nest and the previous spot the nest was on. I also had liberally dowsed the previous spot with poison but again, they seemed resistant. Anyway, yjs ONE to GemTree 300+. Yayyyy!!! We are SO DONE! Grrrrrrr. I keep hearing that song...'do a little dance... get down to night!!!'

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 7:21PM
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I have a large nest of hornets under a storage trailer that I cant get right upnto the nopening...Ifbanyone has any suggestions please let me know.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 3:08PM
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I live in the woods and have lots of trouble with the ground-dwelling YJ's. I usually get stung 2-3 times a year - no fun!! This method won't help everyone, but it works well for me:

1. Find and mark the nest entrance.

2. Make a pile of twigs and small dead tree limbs nearby.

3. Place lawn chair near pile of twigs/limbs.

4. At dusk, take a flashlight and cooler of brewsky, sit in lawn chair. Wait until you see no more hornets returning to nest.

5. Build small "campfire" on top of entrance.

6. Tend fire and drink brewsky for ???.

7. Stumble back to house.

It always works for me. I think the combo of heat/smoke/CO2/CO kills 'em. I got the idea from the old cowboy shows, you know..."OK, smoke 'em out, boys!"

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 10:43PM
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I just use a small amt of gasoline (a few ozs or so) and pour it directly down the nest entrance hole.

The fumes alone gas-out the whole nest and a few ozs of gasoline will be naturally remediated by microbes in the soil. Besides, there's no drinking wells within miles of me (I'm on county water line).

You DO NOT need a lot of gasoline to kill an entire nest. Just make sure it gets down the hole and, if possible, roll a 2x4 over the opening to really knock out the little buggers!!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:35PM
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My coveted Chanterelle mushroom patch, which only I know about, had been invaded by a nest of these little A-holes with wings. This discovery was made painfully evident while checking on the growth of my $70-$120 a pound crop just last week. 45 seconds, 8 Stings and a cult-like happy dance thru thick undergrowth later, I was on a mission. Everything in nature has a purpose with the exception of ground dwelling yellow jackets, mosquitoes, and a few other unmentionables, therefore I took it upon myself to rid this small part of heaven of these tiny flying members of the Taliban. I wanted to be as environmentally friendly as possible while at the same time inflicting great pain upon my enemy in the form of a slow death.
A middle of the night venture into the forest with my tools: A ten pound block of dry ice, a large glass bowl, one brick, and 1 ounce of rubbing alcohol. One OZ of alcohol into the hole, followed by the dry ice, topped with the glass bowl, and polished off with the brick on top of the bowl. This was achieved in the space of a couple of seconds. I sat behind my trusty Coleman latern and watched the carnage with great relish. The little banded bastards were quickly stirred up by the alcohol, flew out of the nest EN MASSE, encountered the dry ice, and were stopped cold by the glass bowl. What did not flash-freeze from the block of dry ice died from the alcohol fumes and the lack of oxygen due to the degradation of the dry ice itself, which replaces oxygen with carbon dioxide. This entire process took about two hours (three beers). I left the glass bowl over the nest overnight to finish off the job. I came back the next morning, gathered my bowl, filled it with DEAD yellow jackets and went home and counted using a statistical method based upon size and weight of a known-counted batch of dead enemy. I had to stop at TEN thousand, but had a few handfulls left over. I didn't screw up the environment, I caught a good buzz while watching this transpire, came upon a herd of deer watching me the entire time, and rid the earth of a worthless nuisance. Life is good. Sometimes. Ground up yellow jacket carcasses make a pretty good tomato fertilizer and pest repellent, by the way.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 2:57PM
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Raid Flea bomb ... worked great.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 3:49AM
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Hi All,

A simple easy way to get rid of yellowjackets in the ground is to fill a large bucket with water, add 3 to 4 ounces of malathion and after dark drench the nest. A friend of mine who was in the plant nursery business for over 40 years gave me this one and I have used it several times with 100% success and no stings.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:23AM
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These all sound earth-unfriendly and/or complicated. Just pick a time when the nest is fairly calm, cram a garden hose down the hole. Turn the spigot on a brisk trickle for 2-3 days. It drowns the queen and unhatched yellow jackets. I have use this technique twice and it worked both times.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 10:51AM
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I don't bother mine & they don't bother me! To keep them from building nests where you don't want them, wipe or spray vinegar water--regular household vinegar.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 3:27AM
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I have a system for getting rid of ground bees and wasps without having to dump a bunch of garbage down the hole and getting stung. Contact NORAD, North American Aerospace Defense Command, get the coordinates for your latitude and longitude and have them launch either a sea or air based cruise missile or a larger intercontinental ballistic missile if they have one, with at least a 100 or 150 megaton nuclear warhead. Or if you have your own, locate the nest entrance and place the bomb directly over the hole, preferably at night when the nest is not active. Start the fusion reaction and detonate the bomb, wear gloves. This kills the queen too so they don't come back.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 5:59PM
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I used the gasoline trick on a nest of ground dwelling YJ's. I took it one step further by lighting it. Burned for a while and did the trick.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:07PM
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SO many really greatly amusing posts. Especially liked CaptainScratchy's.

I have this fab group of young people helping me this week - from World Changers. Yesterday morning they got busy cleaning off a fence they were going to prime, then paint. Two of them got multiple bites, work was stopped. Couldn't let anymore of them get stung. I'd sprayed the one ground nest I knew of a few days before - Raid (?) Hornet stuff. Think it must have been way out of date cuz it hadn't worked. Crew leaders sprayed the nests and I did again after dark last night. Hopefully work can resume in the morning without any further stings. They are really really painful. Volunteer EMT checked them out, did his magic.

Wonder if this post will still be around a few years from now. Probably.

Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 7:08PM
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I have a safe and humane (they live!) way of getting rid of yellow jackets. Simply use an old vacuum and place the vacuum opening at the entrance of the hole and turn on the vacuum. Make sure you have a clean and empty bag installed in the vacuum. Do this before dusk and the bees will be sucked into the vacuum. After about an hour or less, you will have most if not all the bees in the vacuum. Make sure you have masking tape or other tape handy. Before turning off vacuum, tape hole shut and then turn off. Walk into the woods away from your home and take tape off, it will take the bees a while to figure out how to get out. Go home and then pour a cup of household vinegar down the hole to repel any future bees. Dont forget to get your vacuum. It works everytime. -Marlon

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 12:41AM
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Thoroughly enjoyed drinking my morning coffee and reading these posts. Then, I just had to go with the old redneck standby. Just grabbed my 20 year old bug-zapper and set it on top of the hole. Turned it on and watched the fireworks. Yeah the queen is still around somewhere, but at least now I can mow my yard in peace!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 10:03AM
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Very surprised to see no one suggested the way I successfully control yellow jackets. It is easy, cheap, and effective. Only drawback is it takes a couple of days to complete. 1) Find the main hole to the nest and mark it so you can find it at night when they are inactive, 2) Put some sevin dust in a paper cup and closely surround the hole with it (I don't know exactly how inactive they are so I quickly get in and get out). OK if some gets in the hole but you don't want to plug it up. That's it, 'bee' party over. Not only will the 'bee' who walks through the dust in returning to the nest die but he will also take the poison into the nest. It has been 100% effective for me though I have had to reapply at times. It is worth your while not to simply assume the nest is dead. Always double check. I despise having to kill these guys but they are relentless once stirred, thus a serious health hazard, especially to children and pets.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 3:51PM
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That exterminator show he uses chrysanthemum oil and sprays it on nest up high and mixes it with water to pour in the holes in the ground he said it stuns their central nervous system so they can't fly then they slowly die

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 5:03PM
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That exterminator show he uses chrysanthemum oil and sprays it on nest up high and mixes it with water to pour in the holes in the ground he said it stuns their central nervous system so they can't fly then they slowly die

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 8:54PM
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This is organic method that worked for us to get rid of our yellow jacket problem in our compost bin. We threw about 2 good size pieces of dry ice and then put a clear plastic tarp weighted down on all sides after the wasps had a good dose of the dry ice. Two days of the tarp being on the bin we removed it and presto no more jerky wasps ... at least so far.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 1:06PM
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Yellow Jackets

You could almost say a yellow jacket looks more like a bee than a bee does. At any rate, they're smooth and shiny and their black and yellow stripes are bright flags yelling "bee! bee!" at people who don't know better.

Although yellow jackets, which are really a kind of wasp, occasionally visit flowers, they are extremely inefficient pollinators because of their smoothness, and their preferred food is actually other insects and fruit. They are considered semi-beneficial because they eat many caterpillars and other insect pests that damage crops and garden plants. However, when these natural food sources begin to decrease in late summer and fall, they become a nuisance species. They are attracted to odors that are meaty or sugary, which is why, if there's an annoying "bee" that persists in trying to steal your picnic, there's a very good chance it's actually a yellow jacket. Yellow jackets are also known to hang around bee hives attempting to steal honey.

Unlike bees, yellow jackets are aggressive and free to sting you as many times as they want without injury to themselves. Some people are allergic to yellow jacket stings, so they should be treated with considerably more caution than most honeybees.
Wasp by RBerteig
Wasps and Hornets

There are many different varieties of wasp, with different appearances and habits. Many are carnivorous or omnivorous and are considered beneficial due to their taste for common garden pests such as caterpillars.

Wasps are generally smooth-bodied and shiny, with much less compact bodies than bees. For example, you might barely notice the legs of a bee when it is flying, but the legs of a wasp trail down behind it in flight very noticeably. Wasps also often have very narrow waists, and the term "wasp-waisted" was used in Victorian times for a certain type of silhouette that underwent several periods of popularity and resembled the segmented body of the wasp: with a tiny, heavily corseted waist accented by the broader bust and hips above and below.

Wasps look terrifying, with their long spidery legs and evil looking faces, but most are actually quite gentle. The primary exception, as with many bees, is the social wasps, if they feel their nest is threatened. If you have a caterpillar problem, a nest of hornets might be the best thing that ever happened to your garden, but whatever you do, DON'T try to move it! Those ladies are mean when angry and quite happy to sting you a hundred times each if they can.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 8:07PM
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get a bug zapper and a long extension cord and a long pole. plug the bug zapper into the extension cord and use the pole to put the zapper nearby or next to the entrance hole. then sit back and watch as the yellow jackets attack and try to sting the zapper into submission and get fried for their efforts.
or see

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 1:14AM
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I've just tried the BOILING WATER method combined with the CLEAR BOWL over the top of the nest opening. The pesky yellow jackets that survive overnight will be met with bowl in the morning.

I may go grab a block of DRY ICE and try that for tomorrow night (We'll call it the "fire and ice" method).

These all seem less toxic and a little safer than the bug bombs, foggers, and gasoline. I'll let you know how it goes....

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 10:58PM
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What if I don't know where the nest is? I just have the stupid yellow jackets flying aroung the front of my house like they own the place. One has even gotten between the screen and the window of one of the windows of my guest bedroom. I am looking to kill them. I don't want to relocate them or be gentle. I want them dead. One was in my house the other day. I want them all dead! How do I find the nest?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 4:49PM
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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

You are sure that they are yellow jackets then--small, "fat" abdomen, about 1/2" long, with smooth bodies?

Or larger, with narrow waists (paper wasps)?

I'm asking because where you need to look for them and WHAT you are looking for is very different based on what species they are.

Most of the time when I have wasplike creatures flying around the front of my house they are paper wasps, either American paper wasps (black and dark brown) or European paper wasps (black and yellow). Both are about 3/4" long (a bit larger than yellowjackets, and with a more elongated appearance).

The paper wasps like to build their nest under the eaves, at the top of doorways, under a carport, anywhere that is sheltered from the rain. Sometimes they'll crawl through a crack to get there, but you're looking for a brown or grey papery open-cell nest that is attached to the underside of a sheltered surface.

All the yellowjackets nests that I have found are small holes in the ground. They can be pretty hard to find. You have to stay still in various parts of the yard and find where the yellowjackets are emerging or disappearing to.

Your situation sounds more like paper wasps though. The European variety especially like to build nests near people's homes.

I don't allow it either, especially after getting stung 3x in about a six weeks one summer. The last time one was attacking my four-year-old daughter, trying to sting her face but was tangled in her hair. I swatted it away from her and it came after me, stinging me several times in the hand. I had a bad localized reaction and had to go on steroids to control the swelling and inflammation.

Zero tolerance any more from me. Any wasp nest within 200 yards of the house is destroyed. Bees and bumbles still get a free pass--they are welcomed to the yard.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 1:37PM
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I haven't gotten close enough to tell how smooth the body is. And they are all very small. I went on a bug spray rampage 2 days ago. Since then, I haven't seen any of them. It did rain today; would that effect their activity?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 10:10PM
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Before anyone gets panicky, unless you are allergic to them they generally leave you alone if you leave them alone.

That said, MAKE SURE they are not building nests some where in side your house.
I had them thick about fifteen-twenty years ago. I would leave the doors open to let the cats go in and out and would come into the kitchen to find them buzzing all about.

If I left the door open by five o'clock they were all gone but I found out they had nests (this is a house over one hundred years old) where the addition roof had simply been put over the old roof (also where the leaks were) so I zapped them.

Back about '95-'96 wasps seemed to be thick all over Minn. but at the same time I had almost no problems with nasty plant eating bugs during those years but I also had some odd wasps around during those years that I have not seen since.

PS-One interesting incident-- Once I opened the kitchen door to close the entrance door which was ninety degrees behind it.
As I opened the door a wasp was right there eye-level about a foot infront of my nose.
He just sat there hovering staring at me, and I stood there staring at him.
After what seemed like an eternity he turned and flew out the door.
I closed the outside door and there were no more inside the house, so he must have been the crossing guard.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 2:12PM
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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

Yes, a rain will affect their activity.

I wouldn't go on a spray rampage though. Better to find the target rather than spread poisonous bug spray and kill a bunch of harmless beneficials.

They are cold-blooded, so they'll be less active when it is cooler.

If they are yellow jackets, then you are probably looking for a hole in the ground, and they've built their nest in there. Some yellowjackets also build a nest above ground--in a tree sometimes. Look for consistent activity--and see where they go. Once you locate the nest we'll analyze the situation.

Regarding the "just leave them alone and they won't bother you theory," that's great if all you do is sit inside in front of the computer or the television.

I however do a garden, and yard work, and have to feed the horse and the chickens.

Wasps go through a phase when they are feeding the young where they have to hunt caterpillars and other "meat" to feed the growing larvae. One of the times I got stung was when I was karvesting kale and brushed against an American paper wasp hunting cabbage moth caterpillar in my garden. I was minding my own business, but I still got stung.

I can't remember how I got the second sting that summer, but I was certainly minding my own business.

The third sting (and my last straw) occurred when my daughter and I were harvesting tomatoes next to my cold frame. Unbeknownst to us, some European paper wasps had started building a nest inside the aluminum frame of that structure. Because we were nearby, we were attacked. And I DO mean that the wasp ATTACKED. At least I spared my young daughter from being stung multiple times in the face or the eye.

One of the nests I removed in the past two years was on my MAIL BOX. That's a multiple-sting event waiting to happen. Another nest was in the horse trailer where we store the victuals for the horses. Another event waiting to happen.

Therefore, ZERO tolerance near the house or in other high-traffic areas. I have to be able to work outside without concern of being incapacitated by getting stung by wasps that are in unexpected places. Having to go on steroids is no joke. The side-effects and withdrawal symptoms are not an experience that I relish.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I have dealt with wasps for all my life, they built nests in my dads garage, trees, ground and every where.
My parents told me to LOOK, where I went, and to not be a stumble-bum walking around with my eyes closed.

If you do what you did, they will attack and YES- get rid of them.
Generally if you do not go near the nest they will leave you alone.
I have been stung multiple times- in my life- once by one of the same ones I spoke about above, when I opened the door-bang- it hit right now.(I eventually found out one of the nest was in the wall, right above the exit door.
I swatted it off, it flew away and in the short time it had to hit me, I only had a minor annoyance for a sting.

I worked at the Minn. Zoo one summer and that year we, and Minn. had wasps all over.
Another worker and I were mowing and I saw him dancing.
I gave him some grief for doing the dance and he said they are attacking me- "you go over there and mow." So I did.

He had been repeatedly mowing near the entrance to a ground Hornets nest.

So I mowed over once, literally running and did not go back there till the end.
I did not get stung, even once.

We had another hive of blue and yellow wasps in a tree that visitors would/should not get near.
They asked to see if I could cut the branch off, so I tried.
With-in a few strokes of the saw, one came charging out, bounced off of my chest, and flew away.
My boss said- "let it be, it is not worth it."
So I let it be.

We did zap a lot of ground hornet nests that summer though.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:36PM
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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

So--when they built on my mailbox, then I should have canceled my mail service and left whatever mail that was in there alone until the winter?

Or just not harvest any of my own vegetables for fear of encountering a hunting wasp?

And not have approached my own cold frame with the hidden nest (INSIDE a hole in the metal frame) where it is invisible.

You make it sound as if you think everyone else is stupid and walking around with their eyes closed.

You would not have a seen a nest inside the framing of the cold frame. I didn't see it, even after I hypothesized that it existed based on the wasp attack, and sprayed into the holes of the frame and sealed them up. The European paper wasps went away, therefore I concluded that the hypothesized nest in the frame did in fact exist, despite not being able to see through the metal into the frame.

I have not been stung even once since taking up a policy of destroying all paper wasp nests in the vicinity of where my family lives and works. I took out a nest of yellowjackets as well. Like I said before, all bees get a free pass. Works for me.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:12AM
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You are the one who, seems to be easily insulted and took the cheap shot by saying:---- Regarding the "just leave them alone and they won't bother you theory," that's great if all you do is sit inside in front of the computer or the television.

I however do a garden, and yard work, and have to feed the horse and the chickens.----

Hmmm, yes I am on the garden forum because I play a gardener on TV.

I have seen people, who are not allergic, go into coniptions because there was- a - wasp within twenty feet.

I have played/worked around wasps my whole life.
Stung- yes- it happens.
During the years landscaping for pay it came with the territory.

When I was a child and had the crying panic reaction children do because I was stung, my father told me to stop bawling, treated the sting and showed me what to watch out for.
Both nests and the wasps themselves, and be more careful.
I was and did not get stung again till I was legally an adult.

You seem to have had a snit-fit about this part of my response---- Before anyone gets panicky, unless you are allergic to them---- and ignored the rest.
I did say being allergic is an exception.
Oh well what ever floats your boat.

PS- I have and do eradicate wasp nests that are annoying for any reason.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 1:24AM
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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

I am not allergic to wasp stings.

Non-allergic individuals can still have severe localized allergic reactions to wasp stings, lasting for several weeks, which can be mitigated somewhat by steroids and cortisone creams.

So all humans, allergic or not, can have a reaction requiring some kind of medical intervention. The non-allergic ones just don't asphyxiate and die in the first 30 minutes without medical treatment, that's all.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 3:09PM
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The old gasoline trick is like killing the frog in Biology class, NO FIRE, just gas trapped in the hole.
I agree that rubbing alcohol or ammonia would be better & you only need a little.
Do not remove the brick for at less 30 days!
This is so simple, you do not need the gas at all, it is just to kill quick! You put the brick over the hole after dark & the wasp will starve to death.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 11:31PM
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We just discovered apparent yellow jackets going down through the cracks in the floor boards of our porch. It is quite low to the ground so you can't really get under it and would not want to since when I tried shining a flashlight under to try to see what they are doing a bunch came out after me. I was lucky I only got stung once. So we do not know if their nest is in the ground on under the floor boards. Any suggestions on how to remedy this?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:27AM
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I see lots of people have problems with yellow jackets. Lots of ideas here.
I just got rid of a yellow jacket nest in our lawn with a Raid fogger. I basically walked over to the hole at night with a bucket in one hand, and a fogger in the other. My wife followed with a couple of bricks. I got close, started the fogger, rolled it over the hole, and quickly covered the hole and fogger with the bucket. My wife then placed the bricks on top of the bucket. Then, we ran. I didn't check until 2 days later, but there was absolutely no activity. I knocked the bucket off and sprayed wasp spray down the hole to be sure. No more yellow jackets.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:13PM
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I thought this was an ORGANIC thread but after reading all the toxic solutions like gas and sevin and raid foggers, I guess it is not! Nothing organic about any of those!
Here is what we did to rid 2 nests. I was wondering how long it took but was unable to find that info here--I will research the web for where I found this solution as I feel it has worked.
We found 2 nests. One had 2 entrance holes close to each other. These nests are built in old vole or mouse tunnels. At night we covered the holes with a bag of ice, then plastic, then weighed it down with a 40lb bag of compost. This is to trap them inside so they can;t get out and starve. If we covered all the entrances I was wondering how long I should leave the weight (bag of soil) on top of the hole. It has been a week and we have seen no activity. I will wait longer. Seems to have worked and IS an organic method. No toxic stuff!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Some of these tricks are past down for many years & some persons are only organic in the garden plot.
They see organic as a way to eat healthy, but not as a way of life as some others do.
Not everyone are into the Whole life, some it is just whole foods.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 8:51AM
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I posted for help last month but got none...
"We just discovered apparent yellow jackets going down through the cracks in the floorboards of our porch.... Any suggestions on how to remedy this?"
Did clip a post that appears to be gone now about Drione Dust. Couldn't find it for sale but did find Pyrethrin Dust. Would much prefer being more "green" but had no choice since as I stated the nest was where it could not be reached in any way without ripping out our porch. Also no way of getting the dust on the nest since didn't know where it was other than under the porch floorboards at one end. So put a paper plate of over-ripe banana slices dusted with the Pyrethrin near where we were seeing the bees going in and out of the spaces between the floorboards and covered it with one of the clear plastic things (weighted down with a rock) that you hang from your hanging plants (to collect water overflow) so that no animals would get into the stuff. Within a few days no more Yellow Jackets.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:46AM
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I had a small nest of yellow jackets in my neglected garden which I was weeding to plant a fall crop. After reading several remedies to rid them, I decided to build a small fire directly over the nest at night. I saturated a couple of pieces of wood with solvent just to get the fire started easily without me getting to close to the nest and tossed them on the nest with several other pieces of wood. Lit it up and left it burn until it went out on its own overnight. In the morning there wasn't a yellow jacket to be found, dead or alive. I even dug up where the nest was. Can't explain what happened to them but their gone.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 7:23PM
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did you say solvent, the villager are lighting their torches as I type, the is a organic Forum. :-)
You can use kindling or fat lighter as the old timers called.
Pine heart will burn as well as any solvent, store sell it, I get mine out of my old pine stumps.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 8:21PM
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The Raid Fogger on a stick worked! Had a problem under my shed and they are dead, dead, dead!!!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 8:02PM
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we have a few holes of yellow jackets and are very worried - our border collie is very allergic to them and just had a terrible reaction. she walks over the grass, unknowing steps in the holes and they attack her - on a good attack, they sting her feet and snout but the bad attack, they swarmed her and were two, three deep on her body.

my husband sprays the holes - he's brave! - but all they seem to do is go make another hole elsewhere in the yard!

is there anything that can be spread over a large area? we have 9 acres but if i could at least get rid of the ones in the main area of the backyard, i wouldn't worry as much about my pups.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 10:02PM
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Tee Tree Oil
quickly applied of possible for Yellow jacket stings (or any kind of sting) saves the day.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:36AM
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I had been friendly to yellow jackets in the past. I let them have their underground nests in our front and back yards, and enjoyed watching them, but when they established a nest under our front porch, right by the front door, I had to join the "dark side".

I armed myself with a can of wasp/yellow jacket killer, foamy blast capable of traveling 20 feet. The death ray. I snuck up on the main entrance under cover of darkness, flashlight and death ray in hand. They had no guards posted, so I fired the death ray for 30 seconds or so directly down into the opening, and then covered the hole with a flat rock. I tried not to think about the chaotic death frenzy going on down in the dark cavern below.

The next morning, sitting on the porch by the smoldering ruins, I watched as a lone yellow jacket was methodically searching back and forth in vain, trying to find his home. Like Luke Skywalker returning to his home planet to find his childhood home in ruins, and his family exterminated. He almost seemed to look at me as if to say "you did this!" Then he flew off to an uncertain future.

Mission accomplished, but at what cost?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Good writing, Dark :).

My post from the other thread:

The 'Poison Free' brand of organic wasp spray is more effective than Raid, in my experience.

It's just mint oil, soap, and water in a handy can that shoots out about 12 feet. The wasps fall down dead instantly and don't attack you (unlike with Raid). Mint is a neurotoxin to bees and wasps, so bee careful and judicious.

>Tee Tree Oil quickly applied of possible for Yellow jacket stings (or any kind of sting) saves the day.

Tobacco, mushed up with water or saliva and applied topically, works better on me.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 4:34PM
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I have a nest that I can't get at. There is a dry stream bed which bisects my property. I have a small bridge which is the only practical way of accessing the bottom of my property. There is a huge yellowjacket nest under the bridge....rendering it unusable.

The bridge is constructed of 2x6 boards laid across two spans made from a cut up telephone pole. The boards are spaced a couple of inches apart. The nest is suspended from one of the boards. I've tried spraying with one of those long-shot spray cans. Because of the small gap between boards, I can only spray a little of the side of the nest. I've tried this twice, spraying from both sides, but it has no effect. I waited till an evening when the temp got down to 40 degrees, but they were still very active as soon as I started spraying.

The stream bed near the bridge is completely overgrown with brambles so there's no other access to the nest. Other than waiting for winter, I'm at a loss as to how to remove the nest.

The ideas about boiling water or a fogger are worth trying, but will the fogger work outside in an open area? Any other suggestions? Thanks

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 12:36PM
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emmers_m(9a/Sunset 7 N Cal)

Can you unscrew one of the boards blocking your shot?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 8:13AM
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>Can you unscrew one of the boards blocking your shot?

Good idea!

Can you get at them by being in the streambed, and crouching down at the level of the nest? From maybe 10 feet away?

If you use the organic spray they are much less likely to attack you, compared to the non-organic stuff. I have NEVER had it happen, though I still plan an escape route :).

You might find a.m. better than evening. It doesn't have to be very early -- this time of year, where I live, if it's a cool day they are still mostly home at 9 or 10am.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 7:15PM
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If it were me I would wait til after dark and try to find as many access holes to the nest as possible and cover or plug all but one. Take 16 oz of pure ammonia and in a seperate container 16 oz of chlorine bleach in the open hole pour in all the ammonia then all the bleach or vise versa plug that hole and leave the area. the chlorine gas will kill them. In the morning unplug the holes and water area well.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 12:09PM
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I normally dont do forums, but after reading some of these post, figured out alot of folks dont know much about yellow jackets! We live close to nashville on about 11 acres, Ive ran into yellow jackets every year since weve lived there(7) years.Weired, always on the same hillside, no where else! Been stung every year too!! So I figured to learn all i could about these"Though he be little, He be fierce" bees! I was stung on the 4th last year, then while mowing a hundred feet away at night with my Kubota z turn with lights at 10:30 at night, ran over a nest and got stung once or twice in the upper lip! MY WORLD CHANGED!! In less than 2 mins, I was going to the ER with anaphylaxis shock!! An IV with epinephrine, pesid, a pain killer, benadryl! 20 mins later and $3000 laterOH! and also, remember

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 10:08PM
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I normally dont do forums, but after reading some of these post, figured out alot of folks dont know much about yellow jackets! We live close to nashville on about 11 acres, Ive ran into yellow jackets every year since weve lived there(7) years.Weired, always on the same hillside, no where else! Been stung every year too!! So I figured to learn all i could about these"Though he be little, He be fierce" bees! I was stung on the 4th last year, then while mowing a hundred feet away at night with my Kubota z turn with lights at 10:30 at night, ran over a nest and got stung once or twice in the upper lip! MY WORLD CHANGED!! In less than 2 mins, I was going to the ER with anaphylaxis shock!! An IV with epinephrine, pesid, a pain killer, benadryl! 20 mins later and $3000 laterOH! and also, remember

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 10:09PM
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Yellow Jackets not only live in the ground or dead tree stumps. The ones we have--have actually build a nest underneath the stucco of our home--right next to the front door. I noticed them last week when my granddaughter was stung--then I went out the door and got stung also. They are very aggressive in the fall months--so they have got to go.

After dark we will be using the Enforcer wasp and yellow jacket foam spray--which they recommend using the whole can into the hole--and then we will be sealing the entrance up with insulation foam to keep them from coming back.

Hopefully--it works.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 5:26PM
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Has anyone considered using rubbing alcohol as an accelerant to ignite a fire in the YJ nest, instead of gasoline? I would think it would be more environmentally friendly.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:47PM
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Many of the methods of control posted here are not acceptable to an organic grower.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 11:31AM
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I've had great success getting rid of Yellow Jackets using a Shop Vac. I put a couple inches of water with a dash of dish soap in the shop vac. Then put the vacuum hose right against the entrance.

I've never tried this with a ground nest, but I suspect it works pretty well. In about 3 hours I was able to remove well over 1000 yellow jackets from my siding. I made a youtube video tutorial showing the whole process.

I didn't use any chemicals, other than a few drops of dish soap in the shop vac. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they don't, but there numbers are greatly reduced. An extra treatment in a few days if necessary goes a long way.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 4:30PM
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Of course a good part of controlling any insect pest is understanding a bit about its life. Eliminating the worker Yellow Jackets without also eliminating the queen does little. Vacuuming up those you can see, the workers, will not do much to eliminate the nest.
Setting fire to the paper nest, especially if it's hanging on a wood frame structure, is simply asking to have that structure burned down.
Some of the other wasps are not a problem, as the Yellow Jackets can be, and are more beneficial then harmful and can be left alone.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 6:47AM
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I haven't read all 300+ posts on how to kill yellow jackets in the ground but most of them I viewed rely on chemicals, professionals, dangerous substances, etc. I had a large nest of yellow jackets in the yard and was stung a couple of times. I found the nest. Powders did not kill them all. I did not want to poison the soil (we have ornamental plants nearby) with gasoline or other chemicals. My 100% effective and environmentally safe solution? DRY ICE. It's carbon dioxide in solid form, cheap and readily available. When it sublimates, the CO2 gas is 1.5x heavier than air and will displace the oxygen and kill the wasps. Here's what you do: Locate the entrance hole, wait for night, then put a block of dry ice next to the hole. Cover the hole and dry ice with a 5 gallon bucket and seal the edges with soil. By morning almost all the dry ice will be gone and the critters will be dead. I used about a one pound block of dry ice. I dug out the nest to confirm they were all dead. The CO2 crept into every nook and cranny and killed them all.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 3:03PM
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Here's a video link of me showing an easy way to get rid of ground nests using dish soap and water. You do it after dark when the wasps/yellow jackets aren't active. It's super easy and it's worked for me every time I've tried it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 12:14AM
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Getting rid of yellow-jackets can be tough for the homeowner and very dangerous if anyone is allergic to bee stings. There are 6 varieties of yellow Jackets in New York State. The variety that I come across most often makes their nest under the siding of homes. In order to exterminate these wasps, special equipment is needed. I use an actisole machine to apply chemicals into the walls of a home. For more information visit

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:34AM
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Okay, I didn't read all of the posts but what annoys me most is that the majority of posters don't know that wasps and bees are two different things....if I see bees in my wasp traps...I let them go. Have had a paper wasp nest under the stair railing on the deck for 4 years. See them everywhere, avoid them, never been stung. Neither have my 3 and 5 yr old and I spend a decent amount of time in my backyard. Last year we also had hundreds of blue hornets on the hydrangea right next to the porch. Also never stung.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:18AM
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And I'll also add that yellow jackets and most wasps...also completely different. It sickens me to read some of the things people do to.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:20AM
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I don't know why but two days ago i had yellow jackets just show up all over my raised garden beds and just hanging out in all of my plants.I was freaking out and went back in the house.two hours later i went back outside and they were gone but now i am seeing them all around my house but just not in a big group like i did a few days ago.I was going to mix up some sugar and yeast to attract beneficial bugs to my garden but i was wondering if i did this would i just be feeding the yellow jackets and making them want to stay around?I just can't find where they are coming from.Thanks for any help i can get. Breemom!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 4:22PM
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Yellow-jackets ground nest
A ground nest in the garden is a danger to all. This will work within an hour if you apply it at sunrise or after dark. Place or throw a quarter cup of Selvin powder pesticide into the nest entrance hole, and run like hell. Check back at first light and marvel at your success. Wash down the remaining Selvin surrounding the entrance. Lowes sell a container of Selvin for less than $6.
I'm out on a ranch and twice last week I had to do this, and both times a complete success.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 2:45PM
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We have yellow jackets in the ground. The garden hose can not reach the depth of the hole. We tried to large spray's for killing and they did not work. We tried drowning. That didn't work either. I think the bottomless hole is part of the problem. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:33PM
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Sevin, Carbaryl, is not an acceptable solution for any organic grower.
Yellow Jackets nest in many places other than in the ground.
Yellow Jackets can be beneficial.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 6:13AM
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I was impressed with dish soap and hot water. I used a 5 gallon pail. Before that, a friend told me about using plain household ammonia. I figure that is broken down fairly quickly and is a concentrated natural substance. It took me a few days. I have used DE before and it does weaken the nest but only seems to take out a really small one.

Part of the problem here is the darned chipmunks. Makes for an easy nest site.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 7:27AM
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Glass bowl inverted over the ground entrance placed at night.

Your unnecessary poisons are killing my honeybees.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:37PM
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Green leaf organic, are you kidding me? There is nothing more docile than a swarm of honey bees. They do not expend life during a swarm. The faithful helpers do all they can to get their queen to a new home. Read about bee beards. And, had you called any fire department, they would have given you the phone number of the many eager beekeepers who live for the day they can rescue a swarm. You could have made money off that swarm.

I climbed twenty feet into a tree three weeks ago and climbed down with a huge swarm worth at least $130. I'm guessing 25,000 honeybees. They've already produced at least 15 lbs. of honey and I protected them from paranoid idiocy.

Feeling pretty good.

Why is the organic forum so inorganic?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:55PM
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Oh! This is an old thread!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 11:59PM
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My old post of how I did this -
Posted by DeWitch 4 (My Page) on Mon, Aug 20, 12 at 9:46
I posted for help last month but got none...
"We just discovered apparent yellow jackets going down through the cracks in the floorboards of our porch.... Any suggestions on how to remedy this?"
Did clip a post that appears to be gone now about Drione Dust. Couldn't find it for sale but did find Pyrethrin Dust. Would much prefer being more "green" but had no choice since as I stated the nest was where it could not be reached in any way without ripping out our porch. Also no way of getting the dust on the nest since didn't know where it was other than under the porch floorboards at one end. So put a paper plate of over-ripe banana slices dusted with the Pyrethrin near where we were seeing the bees going in and out of the spaces between the floorboards and covered it with one of the clear plastic things (weighted down with a rock) that you hang from your hanging plants (to collect water overflow) so that no animals would get into the stuff. Within a few days no more Yellow Jackets.
Pyrethrin is apparently okay for organic gardening

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:28AM
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Yellow jackets are territorial when they build nests, in a range of 200 sq ft. They will avoid nesting in other Yellow Jacket territory. So in the future you can hang a decoy hive (a brown bag or waspinator brand nest).

I had a hive of yellow jackets in the gutter above my Deck. I left them alone by avoiding the area within 15 feet. I feel it's best to co-exist with nature. By mid September they left the hive due to the cold weather. No Harm came to them or Myself.

Anyone who suggests gasoline is low on the IQ scale...

    Bookmark   October 31, 2014 at 2:21AM
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Get Bee Tour product from Amazon. Hang one or more in your garden on tree or patio and wasps will leave and stay away from my experience. They are territorial and leave if they see fake nest. It really works! Use garlic clips for repelling deer to also repel bees- also on Amazon.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2015 at 6:00PM
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The specific ingredients in Bee-Tour are considered trade secrets and therefore are not disclosed. It is therefore difficult to know of the product is acceptable to any organic grower.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2015 at 7:10AM
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