View Full Version : Hornets, yellow jackets, and the like

Ed Harrow
07-25-2001, 12:20 PM
Might not sound like building/repair, but these guys are taking up residence... Short of annihilation with DDT or some similar stuff, anybody have any good, long-term solutions (short of Pete's barn, too, LOL)

Alan D. Hyde
07-25-2001, 12:42 PM
I just spray them at night in the nest with ether(automotive "starting fluid"). They keep sleeping, and never wake up. The fluid is very volatile, and evaporates quickly. (You can buy the stuff, in discount stores, for 79 cents a can in March.)

Just don't go near where you've sprayed with a flame or spark for a few minutes.

Throw away the paper nest they've made, or it may attract new settlers.


Some farm stores sell "yellowjacket traps:" bait, bright colors, and one-way-into-a-bottle, kind of like the old farm flytraps, but with less stench.

After a party, if you pour the leftover cocktails and beer into saucers or old pie tins, they will sometimes attract (depending on how good the mix is) a whole lot of yellowjackets who will get happy, fall in, and drown.

[This message has been edited by Alan D. Hyde (edited 07-25-2001).]

Ian McColgin
07-25-2001, 01:00 PM
I'm so alergic to thos yellow jackets that I went anaphalactic in the alergy test. The Doc was muttering that he didn't know why he should prescribe the anakit since he was sure I'd be dead before I could get it out. I reminded him that the last time I was stung I'd unlimbered the needle and shot through my pants in about 5 seconds.

So I say, move offshore and get away from them.

Lima Bean
07-25-2001, 01:03 PM
I may end up stating ideas that may have either occurred to you already or been attempted. I am unaware of where you are located geographically (east coast?), but would imagine that your mornings are cooler that the rest of the day. Their activity is far less in the cooler temps of the AM than when it begins to heat up. With the boat being up on blocks accessibility is certainly not easy to make a fast retreat overboard if they give chase. An important feature is to attempt to determine what type of wasp are they, as there are hornets that build nests that look similar to paper wasps, but are nothing at all like wasps. You should note that hornets will go for your head and face, whereas paper-wasps will typically hit your extremities. Hornets are very aggressive and determined. Just as importantly, are any of you allergic to stings? If so, you may not want to go the next step. If that is the case you will be best to contact an exterminator or see if anywhere near you there is a bee keeper that can offer advice, maybe even have a smoker that will be handy in slowing them down in the wee hours of the morning even more for you.

Option A:
Wearing your thickest sweatshirt over another shirt (or better yet a hooded nylon slicker), bandana over your face with safety goggles; long pants; gloves tight at the wrists go in the early cool morning hours. In one hand arm yourself with a plastic cool whip tub, and in the other hand the lid, and a stiff piece of cardboard. This is with the understanding you know where the nest is and have located it within a reachable area. It will be attached by a small stem appendage, if paper wasps. Take your cardboard and scrap it under the lip of the tub and across the surface through the other side of the tub opening, you should hear or feel the contact with the nest and be aware of if dropping into the tub. Next keeping the cardboard tight to the tub pull away from the surface and then reverse the cardboard for the lid of the tub sliding one into place for the other.

Option B:
If they are not in an area that can be reached. I would try enticing them out using one of those traps that you can buy that you use scraps of meat and sugar water in the bottom of to have them fly into. Hang it in the boat near where you think they are coming and going from. Eventually you will have them in the container and none back at the nest. You will be able to access the nest and and remove it. One idea is less time consuming and more risky, the other is more time consuming but less risky. Once you have evicted the squatters, you can keep some of the wasp traps, available now due to picnics and camping (seasonal item), around to do preventative maintenance of what may be around as you work.

[This message has been edited by Lima Bean (edited 07-25-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Lima Bean (edited 07-25-2001).]

Wayne Jeffers
07-25-2001, 01:14 PM
Alan has given excellent advice, above. I would emphasize again care with sparks, etc., around the starting fluid as it is more easily ignited than a gasoline/air mixture (hence its use for starting vehicles in cold weather).

Depending upon the species, you may be able to knock down the nests and they will re-locate the next time. OTOH, they may be an aggressive species which will choose fight, rather than flight. I can tell the difference with the ones we have here, but I don't know what you're dealing with in MA. Do you feel lucky? http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif


Mike DeHart
07-25-2001, 03:54 PM
Gasolene will drop a wasp or hornet dead dead dead right in its tracks. Gasolene is also dangerous and could leave residues that could cause you adhesion problems later. The stuff I most prefer is "Brakleen" an aerosol brake parts cleaner from the auto parts store. I use the red can stuff, not the green can enviro-friendly stuff. With the little plastic tube you can accurately shoot a stream several feet. Without the tube you can spray a wide swath, like up under a gunwhale where you can't see. The little buggers fall straight off the nest, it is not flammable, and it dries with no residue at all. At work this week I walked right up to a large wasp nest, tossed a cupful of mineral spirits on it, and stood there as 19 wasps fell straight to the ground. I needed to be where they didn't want me.

07-25-2001, 05:37 PM
Kill them all and let the taxonimists sort them out.

Bob Cleek
07-25-2001, 08:23 PM
It doesn't have to be all that complicated. Raid makes this stuff in the old aerosol can called "Wasp and Hornet Killer" or something like that. Looks like a regular aerosol can, but has a nozzle that squirts a heavy straight stream of nasty stuff fifteen or twenty feet so you can hit a hive or ground nest without getting too close. I use it all the time... "Kills bugs dead!"

G. Schollmeier
07-25-2001, 08:42 PM
Early on a cool morning,. Take a paper lunch sack, put over the nest, peel it off, twist it shut, drop on the grill, add lighter fluid, and light. Done deal.

Ed Harrow
07-25-2001, 09:21 PM
ROTFLMHO. Ok you hardy souls, line up for your shot at immortality... http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/wink.gif

The biggest problem with all the shoot em dead/drop 'm into a bag techniques is I don't really know where they are hanging their hat, so to speak.

So, the trap type approaches seem the best (safest) to me. (Of course if one of you wants to volunteer to try your fix, "Come on down!")

Thanks all, and, should anybody have other suggestions I'll keep an eye peeled.

ken mcclure
07-25-2001, 09:24 PM
Just watch out for the ones with the white heads and white bands on their tails. "Baldfaced hornets" as they're called. They post 4 sentinels at night, so you can't just go up and shoot the nest without being attacked ... you have to shoot the sentinels first.

They also have a habit of hooking their abdomens under and squirting venom at your eyes, so wear goggles.

I've talked to seveal pest control people who won't deal with them anymore.


Rich VanValkenburg
07-25-2001, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by kwmcclure:
Just watch out for the "Baldfaced hornets"

Here in Michigan, the bald-faced hornet is documented as one of the top killers of loggers back in the 1800's.
Had one in my garage last year on a pile of Cherry. It 'tracked' me as I walked back and forth in front of it. Ugly bashterds. Shot it with my wife's 20 gauge. The Cherry came out fine.

Neal Johnson
07-26-2001, 06:44 AM
If they're flying about I spray them with 3M spray adhesive. It gets on their wings and they drop like a rock. I've also sprayed the nests and as soon as the adhesive gets on their wings it's all over.

07-26-2001, 11:46 AM
Ed, keep the grass cut short under the boat. Yellow jackets prefer to nest in ground under tall lawn grass.

BTW, looks like good progress on Pheonix and the temporary shed.

[This message has been edited by abe (edited 07-26-2001).]

Wayne Williams
07-27-2001, 12:02 PM
Abe's right about the yellowjackets. I run over a nest w/ the lawnmower about half a dozen times during the course of a summer. Kill 'em by waiting till evening when they're all in the nest. Take a beer or wine bottle and fill it up w/ gasoline. Turn it down into the hole and leave it overnight. The gas runs down and the fumes get the ones that aren't killed instantly. Leaving the bottle in the hole to trap 'em in the nest is crucial. I've never had a recurrance when treated this way.


07-27-2001, 04:52 PM
Ed - We seem to be dancing to similar drummers. We'd put up with a couple of wasps here and there, but they got so bad they'd run you out of the boat. Especially when we were trying to pull something out and they were trying to protect what must have been quite a few nests.

I appealed to Lima Bean after to Osage discussion and all of the advice we got was good, but not practical for our collection of at least three different kinds of flying stinging nasties. Finally resorted to setting off bombs - (bug bombs that is - not that frustrated yet...) Searched the insecticide isles and read all the cans until we found one that didn't say "cover all varnished, painted, and wood surfaces..." They're not exactly making those products with wooden boats in mind http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif

Can't remember the brand - Dave was the one that finally found something usable. We set one off mid-day with limited sucess. Went down early early one morning and set off another. They're all gone but some friendly little black ones that are really interesting. They'll fly around a bit if startled, but they're not terribly aggressive. Seem to spend their little lives filling up the screw holes on the deck where we took off fittings one grain of sand at a time. The sand comes right back out with a shop vac, so I'll let them have their simple pleasures for now...

Looking forward to this week's pic...

- M

Ed Harrow
07-27-2001, 08:46 PM
Well the traps have been set, filled them with a long forgotten and dusty old Heineken I found in a corner of the beer pile. I climbed up, pulled the tarps back, and ventured aboard about the time stars were beginning to show themsleves and the little beggars were all safely tucked in their beds.

Thankfully no white-faced (as they're known in these parts) hornets in this group.

Don't know if the picture this week will be noticably different (custom skiff, of course, will note that none of them have been noticably different, LOL). Hopefully I'll make progress on the kneewall, but since it will be on the port side... (I'd start on the starboard, but the mast is in the way and my few remaining friends have deserted me, LOL, so I've not yet managed to move it, or find a place for it, for that matter. Actually, I do have a volunteer in that department...)

07-28-2001, 01:39 AM
My turn for pedantry. Getting stung has become a lot more interesting since I learned that stuff about their venom.

Some interesting folklore, good suggestions etc. I like the sound of the inverted gas bottle trick but it's more sporting to dig them up with a shovel. Actually old colonies are often reused so digging them up is indicated. Killing off the colony first is an option for the faint of heart.

The problem is, as the threads title indicates, there are a lot of different kinds of vespids with different behaviors, foraging and nesting habits. Thus different levels of threat and different solutions. Vespids spp. Are easy to identify. Lots of helpful web sites are available.

The problem with traps is that each species responds to a different bait. Don't be surprised if a commercial trap or any particular bait does not work on your critter. I'd be interested to know if Heineken works. How about domestic vs. imported? Do the German and European wasps prefer Heineken or Bud? Hmmm.

A good low tech trap for species that scavenge is to hang a dead fish over water with soap in it. The critter will chew off a chunk of flesh then drop into the water. The soap is a wetting agent to assure their demise.

As mentioned, some species are much more aggressive than others but none sting unless they perceive a threat. It takes steely nerves if you've been stung a few times but you can let them buzz around and crawl on you all day without incident (whole different game if you are allergic - some of us are and don't know it yet). Individuals will sting if disturbed enough (don't sit on them) and a colony will issue an attack only when you disturb it. I used to thunk them with my forefinger to impress girls. They always preferred flight - both the yellowjackets and the girls.

The Wife and and friend and me were walking to our favorite sea run cutthroat stream when I spotted a bald faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) nest hanging from a branch. Being the curious sort, I walked up to and gave it a good whop with my 81/2 ft fly rod. As soon as I did that I froze. Having discerned my intent, the Wife and Bob were already running so when the buzzing stream of enraged wasps emerged from the bottom of the nest it shot right by my head and chased them across the field. Apparently the wasps key on movement but I have been unable to replicate the experiment so I can't be sure. Actually D. maculata is big and loud with a ferocious demeanor but not very aggressive.

Early last summer I pulled on a garage door that had a nest attached and got nailed right on the left eyebrow. After I vengefully wiped out the whole family; mother, sisters, babies, eggs - everybody, I had to wonder just what was in that venom that made it work so good and why it hurts at all since most wasps use their sting and venom to kill or immobilize insect prey and their stings hardly hurt.

Here is some of what I found out. Yellowjacket venom works by commandeering our normal pain signaling equipment. We have neurons dedicated to responding to an assault on our tissue and sending signals that our brains interpret as pain. These neurons (nociceptors) have a high activation threshold but once they get going they can be hard to ignore. The natural chemical signals that activate these neurons include potassium, serotonin, histamine and bradykinin - a peptide. Yellowjacket venom contains these substances and several enzymes that digest flesh. The digestive enzymes help translate a tiny puncture to a cascade of pain by digesting connective tissue so the venom can spread and by breaking open cells. When we are wounded cells are broken open and the contents of the cells, which includes potassium, spills out and activates nociceptors. Phospholipases are enzymes found in our pancreas that we use to digest fats and they are found in most kinds of venoms because they help pop cells. A phopholipase in the hornet Vespa basilis is so good at breaking open cells it can kill just by the amount of potassium released from broken cells(executions of both the guilty and innocent in TX are done with injections of potassium). That helps explain the pain. The itching occurs because wasp venom contains and releases a lot of histamine. Histamine is packaged into mast cells that are specifically attacked by mastoparan - a peptide that forms pores in the mast cells. The mechanics of how these substances produce pain are complicated and not completely understood. What is most interesting is that yellowjackets have packaged in their venom glands a chemical cocktail that mimics and exploits our own pain producing machinery

[This message has been edited by LAMESS (edited 07-28-2001).]

Ed Harrow
07-28-2001, 08:48 PM
Well, at any rate, given the deck is ten plus feet off of the ground, I'll admit to being a weenie on this one. I've been up on deck/below, and they've flown in and out and were not particularly interested in me, but it would not be good to suddenly find myselft on the short end of their hit list...

The score is Heinekien 6, hornets still a lot. I hung one trap in their most common flyway, and that's the one with the success. The other trap is right by the companionway, which is used when the tarps are back, but maybe not when covered.

The two traps are different, one has a large hole in the bottom that they must fly into, the other has four small holes in the top. I should leave the tarp open tomorrow and see if the other one then has any customers.

At anyrate, given the low hit rate, I think another method must be tried. The issue is, that I really have no idea where the nest is. I'm certain it is around the cockpit, but I'm not certain exactly where.

Thanks for all the info Lamess. Amazing little buggers they are...

07-29-2001, 12:43 AM
Wow amazing how long a post can be and still offer nothing useful.

I'll try again. Most of the pestiferous species scavenge for protein. Try a little canned tuna or mackerel as bait. If that works the whole fish over soapy water really is a good one. If that doesn't work you have an obligate predator. They are much less agressive. Small comfort I know.

I've actually never met anyone who will let vespids buzz around and crawl on them very much - further testimony re wonder of venom.

I did dig a nest up once. I thought the Wife was screaching too much and teaching my young daughter to be unreasonably afraid of yellowjackets. Talk about a backfire. Turns out all my daughter learned was a lot of new words.

About approaching them on cool nights - Some nutty biologist (Bernd Heinrich) spent some time sticking thermocouples in vespid nests. Their behavior and metabolic heat conspire to mantain a pretty constant temperature in the nest. The advantage of attacking at night is that everybody is home.

Good Luck

[This message has been edited by LAMESS (edited 07-29-2001).]

07-29-2001, 02:26 AM
I'd at least opt for a backup plan when dealing with these nasty bugs. Rich VanValkenberg has the right idea . . . a 20 gage shotgun loaded with #9 shot (prefer a wide open cylinder bore on this one) should do nicely. This assumes your neighbors won't mind the occasional noise. Actually a 12 gage would give you a better pattern ....
Good Huntin'! http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/wink.gif

07-29-2001, 05:40 AM
I have the same problem on my deck on the sunny side just under the railings. I used the stuff you can buy for that purpose in a spray can. Got rid of them quick and it left some kind of residue and they havenít tried to rebuild. That was three years ago.
Good Luck

07-29-2001, 07:43 PM
The canned tuna and mackerel trick sounds tempting Ed, but if you go that route as suggested by LAMESS, you will be asking us how to rid Pheonix of raccoons, rats and other scavangers....

07-29-2001, 11:56 PM
Since vespids fly it is fairly easy to limit access. If the bait attracts them - which it should, otherwise it wouldn't be called bait - then the traps can be located a comfortable distance from the boat to mitigate other nuisances.

John B
07-30-2001, 12:21 AM
This isn't another gronicle type thread is it ?
You shoot the wasp with a shotgun?.How big are these things? sparrow?... Duck? GOOSE?
I'm getting worried just reading about the things.

Mike Field
07-30-2001, 02:36 AM
I agree with JohnB.

07-30-2001, 08:20 AM
Why we only had a small Vespid sp. problem 'til we opened up the side with the 20ga. Lucky it wasn't a snake.

--N http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gifrm

jeff pierce
07-30-2001, 01:15 PM
LAMESS, the 7/28 posting is fascinating and despite the detailed biology/chemistry, etc, I am struck by the less scientific part, the "whack the nest with a fishing pole and see what happens" experiment. Several things come to mind:
1. Haven't you ever heard the expression, "curiousity killed the cat"? http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gif
2. I'm amazed that "wife and friend" maintained said relationships with you after the "experiment"
3. Somewhere back in my overdrawn memory banks I thought I remembered from some public television show that wasps,et al (when in defensive mode) keyed in on carbon dioxide emissions (your breathing). Once they located the target, they aimed for the darkest spots. Then again maybe thats only if they are not distracted by running, screaming targets. I think we need more empirical data.

Anyone inclined to help LAMESS continue his "field work" on the subject?

07-30-2001, 01:36 PM
Now there's a thought...

Generalizing about wasps is like generalizing about conservitives. Some of the former might sting you while some of the latter might screw you but not all of either will.

LaMess will have to tell us about CO2 and wasps but the western harvester ants my side kick and I are keeping for pets sure get excited when we breath into their container. Your ants may vary.


07-30-2001, 03:16 PM
We had a (ground ?) hornet nest in a RR tie used as garden edging. They attacked my wife. I tried two applications of the hornet spray with no luck. About 8 oz of gasoline did the trick. Not practical in the boat though. They did seem to key on motion.

Ed Harrow
07-30-2001, 03:44 PM
ROTFLMHO, that might just be the perfect solution. Doc, Doc...

07-30-2001, 04:32 PM
With <I>Polybias occidentals</I> (Jeanne, R. S, 1981), a tropical Polistinae, recruitment to the nest surface is a result of the release of an alarm pheromone. The attack is triggered by dark moving objects - whether screaming or not.

Some species of vespids use alarm pheromones. N-3-methylbutylacetamide and 2-methyl-3-butene-2-ol are two such. They release them to gather their forces and when they sting to call more stingers. If these compounds are easily synthesized think of the fun we could have. thechemist?

The consensus is that social wasps cue on visual stimuli. For what it's worth I've never heard of CO2 in that context. I was holding my breath (and bladder) during my experiment in order to control for those variables.

Most insects including ants and vespids have carbon dioxide sensing organs but <I>Pogonomyrmex occidentalis</I> (western harvester ant) is very interesting because it responds most vigorously to halitosis (Aleck, S 1999).

07-30-2001, 08:38 PM
Yeah, well breath on yer <'s and yer >'s as in <I>Pogonomyrmex occidentalis</I> and see if they will bracket themselves to ['s and ]'s as in: Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

Halitosis, my foot! http://www.infowest.com/life/antr.jpg


[This message has been edited by NormMessinger (edited 07-30-2001).]

07-30-2001, 09:17 PM


Rich VanValkenburg
07-30-2001, 09:31 PM
22 years ago I met this wonderful lady who took pity on me because I didn't have my boat in the water by Memorial Day and rolled up her sleeves. Fatal mistake. Here we are, 3 kids and 19 years later and she was with me last weekend prepping Sonja's bottom when this "shadow" flew by a few times. I thought it was a bird. We had a fan running on full power since it was 95 outside and who knows how hot inside the shed, so we didn't hear the BUZZ. She was stirring bottom paint when she suddenly screams "Where is it? get it OFF!" I saw the thing zoom between us also, and she straightened up from kneeling just enough for me to see the BIGGEST wasp I'd ever seen, on her tummy. 2 1/2 inches easy. And flat black.
I hollered at her to stand up, but all she did was curl up some more and scream louder. Finally, I saw it traversing her right... uh ...breast, and so I smacked 'em both with an empty paper towel roll. Never did see where it went, but it was the biggest dang thing I'd ever seen. We went home. She's ok, no stings.

Moral of the story? Marry a girl who takes pity on a poor guy with a wooden boat, get your boat finished off in the Winter when them buggars are asleep, and never use a 20 gauge when the thing is on a breast. (and don't let her drill for the screws http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/rolleyes.gif )


Wayne Jeffers
07-30-2001, 09:46 PM
Lessee . . .

Big, flat black, hard to identify . . .

One of those new STEALTH wasps, for sure!

Glad it wasn't worse. Whew!


John B
07-30-2001, 10:25 PM
Rich,Your shed has better upholstery than the furniture in my house. I like that buttoned look.
My wife did a days worth of sanding with one of those nice little triangular detail sanders. " Boy it's slow "she said .
" you know it's variable speed, don't you " said I.

fatal.or at least, might as well have been.

07-31-2001, 05:35 AM
If the flat black had a tinge of very dark purple and it twitched when it walked then you encountered one of the awesomely beautiful Pompelids (spider wasps) of tarantula hawk fame. They are solitary and catch and paralyze spiders for victuals for their young.

I have never heard of one stinging anyone. If they did it wouldn't hurt much since the venom evolved to paralyze spiders and keep them alive until junior finishes dining. The venom contains....

Tell your wife the only reason it would be buzzing around is that their are a lot of BIG spiders around. They lay one egg on one spider so the size of the wasp indicates the size of the spider.

They really are magnificent. Next time tell your wife to get a grip and hold still so you can get a better look at it. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gif



Mike Field
07-31-2001, 06:16 AM
I knew there must be a reason why I'm glad I don't live in the US.....

Rich VanValkenburg
07-31-2001, 07:09 AM
You mean so I can take better aim! http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/eek.gif And yes, the spiders are big and plentiful.

Ed Harrow
08-02-2001, 09:31 PM
Under the cover of darkness I snuck aboard Phoenix, flash light in hand, looking high and low, in front and behind, and finally found the nest, in a galley locker, behind the ceiling.

Heavy artillery is being gathered together for immeadiate action under the cover of darkness. Should you not hear from me again, it's been great knowing all of you. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif

08-02-2001, 09:43 PM
Ed me boy,one last thing before ya go...be careful son.

Mike Field
08-03-2001, 12:01 AM
Has anyone heard from Ed for a while? It's sort-of quiet without him around. Was that last wasp attack actually fatal, do you know, or is he just still comatose in hospital? And what the hell are they going to do with Phoenix?

08-03-2001, 08:38 AM
Mike,I think it's battle fatigue.He's tough,he'll be back.

08-03-2001, 08:44 AM
Gee wiz, I thought we had this solved when Allan said "starting fluid". Poppies, poppies. Make those mad hornets sleepy and then dead.

Mike Field
08-03-2001, 10:50 AM
What's this, Jack? Burning opium inside there? Is that what Ed's been doing? No wonder he's lying pretty doggo, then.

Ed, Ed, speak to us....

Ed Harrow
08-03-2001, 11:34 AM
Whew, it's getting hot out there.

Mixed results from the operation last night. After considerable efforts at recon it was decided that the surrounding resources were too valuable to stage an indescriminate attact with artillary from a distance. Instead, as special agent of The Committee volunteered to sneak closer to their base, taking out the sentries, and attempt a close-in surprise attack under the cover of darkness.

As often happens when individuals feel snug and smug in their position, the few sentries were sleeping and the raid was carried off cleanly. While the Committee's agent was able to depart the scene unscathed, the actual results of the action have not, as yet, been ascertained. Another raid is being planed for this evening, weather permitting.

ken mcclure
08-03-2001, 11:40 AM
Ah. Ed's ok. He was just out conducting a "sting" operation.

Lima Bean
08-03-2001, 02:00 PM
Sounds like recon was done with no casualties, and commendations will be submitted for the valent efforts of the individuals that executed a successful mission.

I have to LOL at the image of someone entering in covered up from head to toe with protective gear, kevlar cloth wrapped around them until it is epoxied into place somewhere, goggles and red, amber lights leading the way.

Ed Harrow
08-03-2001, 08:42 PM
LB, the members of The Committee are required to be sporting chaps. The attire worn by the agent was simply a Tee shirt, shorts, and deck shoes.

Despite hosing the nest twice the same night, those beggars are well dug in and were operating today as if nothing had happened. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/frown.gif

Wayne Jeffers
08-03-2001, 08:55 PM
If the heavy artillery didn't work, it must be time to escalate.

Tactical nuclear?

(But be careful. I have visions of a 1950's, Grade B, Sci-Fi flick involving very large irradiated insects.)


Rich VanValkenburg
08-04-2001, 11:44 AM
I'm confused, as usual. You got a ball-shaped hornet's nest? or a wasp nest? What did you use to hose them down? I've hit them things in mid-air and watched 'em crash like a gone goose. Might be time to call a pro. 'Nuther thought, a CO2 fire extinguisher might cool 'em down enough so's you can get right up close and dig 'em out.

08-04-2001, 12:00 PM
Oh for Christ's sake. Murder the bastards. It is one of the modern miracles, insecticides.

Barring that, let's relocate them to a lost hornet's home. Let us try to understand the mind of the hornet. Have we proper pyschologists in place?

08-04-2001, 12:51 PM
Now Ish,better up the doseage.

Ed Harrow
08-04-2001, 02:17 PM
Did another recon last night. Not a sign of activity at the nest (The nest is built in between the hull and the ceiling, so it's not the typical 3D shape. Does appear to be typical paper wasp nest, however.

I hosed the nest, again, with wasp spray, by soaking the exposed portions.

Re CO2. Funny I was thinking along those lines, but I'd use LN2 instead (really frosty!) The more I think about it the better I like the idea...

Well the rain has stopped, so it's back to work...

08-04-2001, 02:40 PM
Well Das,

I figer the dose is high enough. What, precisely, would you like to calm?

08-04-2001, 04:29 PM
Well Ish,I take you at your word about the dosage.You mitta missed a pill. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/wink.gif

[This message has been edited by dasboat (edited 08-04-2001).]

jeff pierce
08-05-2001, 12:35 AM
I recently had a yellowjacket nest behind some siding that I couldn't readily access, but I could get to their point of ingress/egress. The standard wasp spray applied to that point seemed ineffective. The next day they would be going about their business as usual. Then I found some wasp spray that used diazanon as the active ingredient and sort of foamed up when applied. I think it was made by Ortho. Clogged that hole up but good and never saw another one. Don't know if that helps.

Incidently, my mother-in-law had yellowjackets that built a nest behind the shingles in her house. The suckers then chewed through the inside wall and let loose inside the house. Talk about grade b movie fodder. It still gives me chills.

08-05-2001, 11:10 AM

First Vespid sting I can remember was back in ought and 48. Climbed into the top of a granery right next to a paper wasp nest. Got hit on the ear lob. I remember the pop to this day more than the sting.

Penultimate one was when the sons and I were reshingling our house. Got hit right on the end of my nose. That hurt.

Last one was just before I figured out where the penultimate perp came from. Got hit on the eyebrow. That made me angry, truly.

Sissy? Well, okay. I'll admit these amazing creatures deserve respect.


Lima Bean
08-06-2001, 11:31 AM
"'THANK YOU, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?,..." comes to mind for me when I read your post Norm.

I too have been nailed before by the pesky little ***tards, my problem at the time was I couldn't make an egress off the roof, as the ladder was taken away to another part of the house (in Starks, Maine). I'd have jumped but shrubs had been cut below to look similar to pungee sticks.

Never stung prior to that. Had to sit around with a bunch of teen girls playin' nursemaid to me until I knew if I'd react allergic or not (part of a teen youth workgroup). It was rough. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/rolleyes.gif http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by Lima Bean (edited 08-06-2001).]

Rich VanValkenburg
08-06-2001, 12:09 PM
Since we're comparing vespid wounds while we wait to see if Ed makes it out alive, I remember a canoe trip about 15 years ago, and I remember an outhouse, and I remember having a load to deliver. I looked up and there were about 8 of them flying around a couple feet over my head. Those weren't the ones that got me. I opened the door to get the heck out of there when I met up with 3 of 'em making their way in. Left arm, right forehead, right shoulder. Good thing I had everything else covered up. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/eek.gif

08-06-2001, 01:07 PM
Ed, have you considered using a fogger?

I had some yellow jackets that nested under the fold of a tablecloth on a picnic table (where I'd turned it under and stapeled it to the underside of the table so it wouldn't blow off in the wind). Couldn't get at them with the jetstream stuff, so I covered the whole table with a drop cloth, lifted a corner, and filled the space with insecticide fog from a propane fired fogger (they make electrical ones, too), dropped the corner, and came back the next day. The fog was able to penetrate the folds of the cloth. It might leave a (very) slight oily residue on the surface, but that should be easy to clean up (I didn't really notice any on the concrete under the table or on the benches when I was done).

Jamie Hascall
08-06-2001, 02:42 PM

Of the things mentioned, I really think that the CO2 extinguisher idea has real merits. Not only does the cold give them a great knockdown, but the CO2 is toxic in it's own right at high concentrations. In pest control on museum objects, one method is to bag the object and flood it with CO2 or N2. The CO2 works better because it actually kills instead of just suffocating them. Now if you can make a basic barrier around the effected area and blast it with the CO2, you should have em licked. Just remember that you will need some air for yourself http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/wink.gif .

Good Luck,

08-06-2001, 07:41 PM
My brother sheared XMAS trees for some years.

One of his favorite coworkers amused himself, when not yelling "IMMiGRATION!" at the Mexican nationals, by locating an aerial nest, waiting for another shearer to approach then whacking it in half with his knife. One day his evasion tactics failed and he got a bunch of angry vespids in his pants.

Ed Harrow
08-06-2001, 10:30 PM
Ahh, Lynn, I can see it now. Just don't want that to happen to me 10' off the turf.

Didn't get to check tonight, but last night I sprayed under all the cockpit lockers (using a fogging type of spray, closed the lockers, and also sprayed in the vents.

The other nest i thought I'd located seemed to be just an opening perhaps leading into the nest I'd already discovered.

Mama said there'd be days like this...

Ed Harrow
08-19-2001, 06:47 PM
For trapping hornets, sugar water works MUCH better than old Heinken beer.

Syd MacDonald
08-19-2001, 10:26 PM
Just got rid of a nest of wasps in my boat. It was up under the deck. I could only see it by putting a mirror on the floor boards. I taped an aerosol bomb to an 8 foot stick with a string on the trigger. Next day, no wasps. Looking in the mirror and with a hoe from the garden I scraped the nest off the underside of the deck. When it came free and fell down, in the mirror appeared to be coming straight at my face. I must have broken the record for the 50 yard dash to the house. It was 5 minutes before I realided what had happened. Now I'm sailing.

Ken Hall
08-20-2001, 10:26 AM
This time of year, eating outdoors is nearly impossible during daylight because the effing yellowjackets immediately materialize.

However, while eating lunch outdoors one day last week I observed something interesting. I had a saucepan of 3-minute shrimp-flavored ramen noodle soup (or "cardboard noodle and boiled water soup," as a good friend once called it, but hey I like the stuff). A jacket showed up, harassed my iced tea, harassed the brownies SWMBO made for me (a capital crime right there), and then landed on the edge of the saucepan. I tried to shoo it away, but knocked it into the soup.

That sucker died like RIGHT NOW when it hit the soup, which was hot, but I didn't think it was that hot; I'd been eating for about 5 minutes when the varmint showed up. Apropos of nothing, there are about 138 sodium-containing compounds in the soup base and noodles, accoding to Maruchan.

Liking "poverty shrimp ramen" better than ever, I remain,