Yellos Jackets in my house.

BobbyA(Northeast USA)October 15, 2004

Yellow Jackets have been getting in through a spot in my home's siding and then winding up INSIDE the house. It's gotten worse in the past month (it's now 10/15/04). I suspected they were holed up in the space between the first and second floor, so I started removing ceiling lamp covers. Sure enough, under the lamp cover nearest the outside wall LOTS of little antennas starting trying to get out. Yikes! Think I found the nest area. It's in the space between the first and second floor, near to the wall where I know they're coming from the outside. Now that I've found the general area where they're heavily concentrated, I'd like to try and wipe them out myself, instead of calling a professional. Can I 'fog' them, or should I try to use Sevin dust. How can I kill all the existing ones and the larvae.And the queen. Will more hatch this time of year. Do they all die in the winter? Also, when they first get into the house they fly around vigorously and then almost immediately wind up squirming around on the carpet near the windows and start dying. anybody know why?


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SteveInNC(Zone 6-1/2)

... At least post this question in the "pest management" forum as well... this is a "bee" forum. It isn't a yellow jacket and pest forum.

We don't keep yellow jackets. We keep bees.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2004 at 11:06AM
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Howdy Bobby --

The Yellow Jackets will leave their empty nest by the time the first hard frost comes. All the males will die in the winter. Each female finds a place to survive the winter and starts a nest alone in the spring. Better not to kill them now because there is still brood which might make a smell if not taken casre of.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2004 at 6:48PM
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hrogers, sort of. Like bees (although not closely related) only the queen yellow jacket (Vespula species) can lay eggs and survive the winter. All the others (worker/females and males) perish. Males hatch late in the fall, and a few of the newly hatched females become mated females (next year's new queens). The workers who built the nest and cared for the young are expended.

Bobby, do a search for Vespidae, this is the group that yellow jackets belong to. A rule of thumb is that social wasps have ovipositers that are converted to stingers, only the queen can both lay and sting. Most female solitary wasps, even if they live in small groups, sting and lay. Their stingers are also not barbed like a honeybee's, so they can sting multiple times. Although the nest will be empty this winter, and doesn't get re-used next year, the hole they have found to enter the house is still there. Sealing this up will prevent the same queen or any other from returning.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2004 at 12:24AM
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ccrb1(z5 IND)

The question about sevin is one that should be answered. Sevin is toxic to people. I don't think it's ever been approved for indoor usage, and I'm really amazed that people would consider adding this to their household air.

This is likely a job for an exterminator, however I don't think a delay is necessary, as dead yellowjackets aren't likely to stink.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 2:59PM
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flowersandthings(MidAtlantic 6/7)

As Steve said post this in pest management....... It gets a little tiresome to see posts like these about getting rid of pests on wildlife forums and like this one..... beekeeping forum.... that's for the pest forum hence "pest'..... :)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 11:33PM
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treebeard(z5 MA)

Tiresome? What's tiresome is folks who come across as being just a little stuffy and telling others off...others who might not be quite as knowledgable about the subject, but like 99% of the population associate yellow jackets and wasps and bumblebees and honey bees as one kind of creature, all sharing common wings and stingers and a fondness for flowering things...and therefore unknowingly asking their questions where the ivory tower know-it-alls reside.

Cut the folks some slack, huh? Don't assume that everyone posting here with a 'bee' related question has studied the creature that way some here apparently have.

How about politely answering the question with the knowledge you have about the differences, and then politely pointing the questioner in a direction where they may get help....rather than the..."It gets a little tiresome.." stuffiness that appears all too often.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 12:54PM
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Oh dear. I was afraid somebody would have a reaction to the post. Just like to stinging insects, some bodies feel they have to react and some don't. Some react more than others.

I no longer keep bees, but did for many years. Countless times I was asked to help out with stinging insects. Occasionally they were even bees. And one time I even charged for my services. More on that one later. Most of the time they were wasps/hornets of some kind, well over 90% of the time as a matter of fact. Since I consider myself pretty green when it comes to the environment, I frequently was able to help with co-existance. The few times when destruction was necessary, I did it myself, although it goes against the grain. Never, never, never did I speak of them as pests. Pests are things like mosquitos, rabid dogs and angry posts on a community bulletin board. You know, things that bother you and don't like it when you run across them. Wasps are, for the most part, valued insects. Most are carnivorous, eating especially the worms that work to defoliate trees.

So, although I can see the logic and altruism in one post that argues that we are not tired of answering the same question ad infinitum, my heart goes out also to those who a hurried and harried. They have neither the time nor the patience to wade through oodles of post that they consider silly. The only advice I can offer here to the first is, gentle, gentle. And to the ones who feel a reaction coming on, slow down, hit the back button or something.

Personally, I do not consider wasps and the like to be pests. I welcome those who are distressed at seeing wasps in their environment. As some would say, it is a teachable moment. As One would say (she is currently unable to post here freely even if She had the inclination), they are good things.

The one time I charged was when one lady in a new house called late in the summer for the 3rd time. I had taken a wasp nest down from the porch, although I felt it was not necessary. (Out of the way nest, gentle wasps.) I had taken a comb (last year's) down from the eaves of garage on the 2nd visit. The 3rd time it was a nest in the attic that roused her to call me. One of those fake dormers with no access. She was kind of snippy when I told here that I'd have to take the siding off. She then told me how she had spread Sevin dust around the yard to prevent anymore "bees" from coming around. I sort of said that maybe the kids and the dog should avoid the yard. She implied that I was some kind of tree-hugging radical (because of previous plea to co-exist), that Sevin was perfectly safe elsewise they wouldn't sell it. With that, I asked permission to rip the side off the dormer (I knew she's say no), and asked her to get hubby to take care of her insect problems. I asked for 25 bucks and left.She said she'd see me later to pay me. Never did pay, although I still run into her at the store.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 3:23PM
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orcuttnyc(z5-6 NY)

You could always try gasoline and burn 'em out...then at least you might make it onto the annals of the 'Darwin Awards'.. :)

I, fortunately, had a semi-yellow jacket free summer this year. Don't know why. I don't use pesticides, don't have neighbors that do. I usually put up the jugs with the tubes and juice in them, but didn't even trap many in those. I did have plenty of honey bees, solitary bees and many other assorted flying bugs. I've been following the advice of this very list as what to plant to attract them. Seems to work.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 5:43PM
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