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Country Discussion Topics
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Homemade Wasp/bee/yellow jacket poison...
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Rob    Posted 09-12-2004 at 13:22:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi all,

I was wondering what would work well for a homemade solution to get rid of yellow jacket nests. We got so stinking many of the nasty bugs flying around our place. My 3yr old daughter got stung a couple days ago and I am taking out some revenge.

Anyone know somthing that works well?? Perhaps bleach in a spray bottle or somthing like that?

Thanks for your input,

Rob


Hal/WA    Posted 09-12-2004 at 22:15:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't have a homemade solution to spray at nests--I use about a can or 2 of the regular long distance wasp spray from Ortho every year. It works well and is easy to aim from about 10 feet away. I think buying it is money well spent.

I do reduce the numbers of the yellow jackets flying around by putting out several traps. In the early summer I put out a couple of the commercial traps with the chemical pheromone to try to catch queens and thus limit the number of colonies that get started. In late July or early August I set out some milk jug traps. These are regular plastic milk jugs with the lid off, about half filled with water, a tablespoonful of dish soap, some fruit or juice, and some fish or a piece of bad meat. As the fruit ferments and the fish or meat rots, the odor attracts the yellow jackets, which fly into the jugs. I don't know if they eat and get too full to fly or if they just get wet from the soapy water and are too heavy, but by the end of summer, the jugs are almost completely full of wasps and some other bugs that have drowned.

I agree with one of the posters that yellow jackets are beneficial insects. But like most things that are OK or beneficial in small amounts, in the numbers of yellow jackets that exist around my place, they are real pests! My wife is extremely allergic to stings (and carries an epipen in her purse at all times). And unlike most insects, the yellow jackets are very aggressive, especially in late summer. We are unable to eat on our deck in August because of the bombers. So I trap all the yellow jackets I can and spray any nests I locate. So far they don't seem to be an "endangered species". Good luck.


talltines    Posted 09-12-2004 at 18:20:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
What i use up here in maine is Napa or store brand brake cleaner! its cheap and sprays really far and accurate, and best of all it kills them on contact. you can actually shoot them out of the air like skeet. good luck. Ken


RusselAZ    Posted 09-12-2004 at 20:03:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We don't have wasps that live in the ground so don't have any quick tricks for those but spray adhesive sprayed on the nest will make them drop to the ground. STP carb cleaner used to be wonderful for killing nest of them but then they changed the formula and it doesn't kill them anymore. The purple jugs of garage floor cleaner from wally world kills bugs pretty quick, even scorpions. Ultra hold hair spray will take them to the ground also.


Duke(WNY)    Posted 09-12-2004 at 17:32:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Found a nest in my back yard the other day - went out early in the morning and revved up the lawnmower and parked it over the hole. After a while the little yellow bits and pieces quit coming out.


JDK    Posted 09-12-2004 at 16:10:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
Cleaned up two large nests of bald faced hornets the other day with the shop vac,just quietly slip the wand(not running) up to the hole,then turn on the vac and let it go for a bit,as they boil out to fight it or return to the nest they get sucked in to the vac,then suck up the nest/grubs and let the vac suck on your running vehicle exhaust for a few minutes.


RusselAZ    Posted 09-12-2004 at 19:55:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Use a wet-dry shop vac and have some soapy water in it. Put some insecticide in it if you want but good dish soap will kill them after a bit.


Alias    Posted 09-12-2004 at 14:19:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
If the yellow jackets are not in your shed, under your roof overhang, on burrowed in the ground where you have to walk, leave them alone. But, if push comes to shove and you have to get rid of them, use starting fluid. It is eyther and it puts them to sleep. Once asleep, you can kill them. Be careful with the spray can and don't put yourself to sleep. ie: read the directions. make sure you kill them all or otherwise, you might just tee them off and they will zero in on you.

be careful and good luck......gfp


YellowJacket_Info    Posted 09-12-2004 at 13:34:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yellow Jackets
Yellow jackets (Vespula species, Vespa species and Dolichovespula species) are considered beneficial around home gardens and commercially grown fruits and vegetables at certain times of the year because they feed abundantly on insect pests such as caterpillars and harmful flies. Unfortunately, in late summer and early fall when their populations peak, the yellow jackets’ normal insect diet disappears and their feeding habits become a problem to man. At this time of year, the yellow jacket has an appetite for much the same food and drink as those consumed by man. Also, yellow jacket stings can result in a life-threatening situation, especially if the person is allergic to yellow jacket venom.

IDENTIFICATION
The yellow jacket worker is about ˝ inch long and has alternating yellow and black bands on the abdomen. Foraging yellow jackets are often mistaken for honey bees by the untrained eye because of their similar appearance and the fact that they are sometimes attracted to the same food source. Honey bees are slightly larger than yellow jackets and are covered with hair or setae which are absent on yellow jackets. Foraging honey bees can be identified by the pollen baskets on the rear legs that are often loaded with a ball of yellow or green pollen. The yellow jacket has a smooth stinger that can be used to sting multiple times, whereas the honey bee has a barbed stinger than can be used to sting only once.

LIFE CYCLE
Yellow jackets are social insects that have a colony division of labor between undeveloped female workers, males and fully developed female queens. Newly mated queens are the only members of the colony that overwinter (survive the winter). In South Carolina, the yellow jacket colony’s life begins in April or May when the overwintered queen emerges and begins the establishment of a nest which is normally located in a soil cavity such as an abandoned mouse nest or hollow tree. Other possible nest sites are in buildings, including attics, porches, eaves or sheds.

The queen builds a small paper nest and lays several eggs which hatch and mature to adult workers. This first generation of infertile workers undertakes all tasks of nest expansion including foraging for food, defending the colony entrance and feeding the queen and larvae (immature forms). The colony rapidly increases in size and the number of adult yellow jackets may reach several hundred by August.

Nests are constructed of several layers of comb made of tiny bits of wood fiber chewed into paper-like pulp. During this peak population period, the colony produces reproductive cells that mature and provide future queens and reproductive males that eventually leave the nest for mating flights. Mated queens fall to the ground and seek out a protected overwintering place such as a brush pile, a hollow tree or a building. Males that have successfully mated quickly die.

The parent colony begins to dwindle rapidly in fall and the foundress queen and all workers die with the onset of cold temperatures. A new colony cycle begins the next spring. During the fall of the year when colonies begin to die, skunks and bears dig into the underground nests and feed on the immature yellow jackets. Above-ground nests will persist in dry areas, but they are rarely used again the next spring. A huge southern yellow jacket colony was discovered in Charleston County in

August 1991 that contained an estimated 250,000 yellow jackets. The nest was thought to have been re-inhabited for more than one year.

FOOD
The diet of adult yellow jackets consists mainly of food rich in sugars and carbohydrates, such as plant nectar and fruit. Also, foraging adults search for meat that is high in protein, such as insects and fish, which they chew and condition in preparation for larval consumption. The larvae in return secrete a sugary substance that is consumed by the adults. This exchange of food between the adults and larvae is known as trophallaxis.

In late summer and fall, the normal food materials are in short supply, so the yellow jackets scavenge for alternate food sources which many times leads to major conflicts with human activities. Late-season foods include carbonated beverages, juices, candy, ham, bologna, fish, cakes, fruit, vegetables and ice cream. Large numbers of these pesky insects can totally disrupt a picnic and are often a nuisance around homes and outside restaurants.

Yellow jackets are known for their presence around beehives in fall and will enter and rob honey if given the opportunity. They can become a major stress around weak honey bee colonies that cannot protect their food stores.

CONTROL AT PICNICS
Frequent removal of garbage and other waste products around picnic sites will reduce problems with yellow jackets. All food and beverage containers should be covered until served. Open soda containers should be checked carefully prior to consumption. Live yellow jackets have been swallowed by persons, resulting in a life-threatening sting in the throat area. Garbage can lids should be secured tightly to reduce foraging. Garbage cans and dumpsters can be sprayed with an insecticide labeled for that use.

CONTROL OF UNDERGROUND NESTS
An insecticidal dust (Sevin 5% Dust) should be applied only at night when all foragers are inside the nest. The nest entrance should be identified and marked during daytime in order to be easily located at night. Yellow jackets are attracted to light, so do not hold a flashlight while applying an insecticide to a nest.

Check the colony entrance the next day for activity and reapply again if necessary. If daytime control is necessary, the person should wear protective gear including a hat, veil, coveralls and gloves because returning foragers will likely attempt to defend the colony.

CONTROL OF ABOVE GROUND NESTS
Remember, yellow jacket colonies do not normally survive the winter, and the first hard freeze will eliminate most colonies. If a colony is located in an out-of-the-way place where human or pet contact is not possible, you may allow cold weather to freeze the colony. If this is not possible, purchase a container of pressurized insecticide labeled for yellow jacket or hornet control from the local feed and seed or hardware store, or garden center. The product should allow a straight stream of knockdown insecticide to be emitted from a nozzle.

For complete nest elimination, spray the stream of insecticide directly into the nest entrance which will normally be located at the bottom of the nest. Check the nest for activity the next day and reapply if necessary. Protective clothing is highly recommended as stated in the previous section.

CONTROL IN BUILDINGS
Elimination of yellow jacket nests in buildings can be most difficult. Use an insecticide that is labeled for yellow jacket control in buildings. Since yellow jackets are attracted to light, they may find another exit and you may cause them to enter the inside of the building, especially if control is done at night. If this happens, you must close off any alternate exits.

TRAPPING YELLOW JACKETS
There are several inexpensive non-toxic bait traps available for yellow jacket control, including the Wasp Trap, the Oak Stump Farm "Yellow Jacket" Wasp Trap and the Yellow Jacket Inn. Visit your nearby garden center or check out a gardening mail order catalog to investigate the availability of these traps.

Traps should be placed around the perimeter of human recreational areas well in advance of outdoor activities. Traps may be placed along side dumpsters or restaurant loading docks. Most trap directions call for a reservoir to be filled with an attractant such as sugar water. Exhausted yellow jackets fall into the liquid and drown.

Traps should be serviced daily to remove dead insects because the odor can become very offensive. Wash the trap with soap and water after several days use. Monitor the traps’ attractiveness to beneficial insects such as honey bees and alter the bait if necessary. Raw bologna has proven to be a very successful yellow jacket bait and it does not attract beneficial insects.

Homemade Traps: A crude yellow jacket trap is made by hanging a raw fish or piece of liver (slightly diced on the exterior) by string about 1 to 2 inches above a container of detergent and water. The detergent will act as a wetting agent and eliminate surface tension which will improve trap efficiency. Foraging yellow jackets are attracted to the raw meat and will often become overloaded with food and fall into the water and drown. This method of yellow jacket control is not as efficient as nest elimination but it may help reduce the population to acceptable levels.

"Bee Lining" for Fish Bait: Bee lining is a method by which a person may locate a yellow jacket nest by observing foragers as they return to their colony with food. A freshly caught small fish should be diced slightly on the exterior with a knife and hung in a tree about 5 to 6 feet off the ground. Foraging yellow jackets will be attracted to the raw fish and will chew off a tiny particle of the meat. By close observation, a person can follow the flight line of the yellow jacket back to her nest. The foraging yellow jacket will normally make a "bee line" straight to the nest which is often no more than 1,000 yards from the food source. Fishermen have been known to use this procedure to discover yellow jacket nests and use the grub as excellent fish bait.

SAFETY MEASURES
Precautions should be taken when working or playing in areas that are likely to be inhabited by yellow jackets. Logging equipment operators often disturb nests in the forest that can make their work very dangerous. A veil, hat and pressurized container of wasp or hornet spray are highly recommended during summer and fall.

If a colony is disturbed, a person should slowly walk away with both hands covering the face to protect the more sensitive body areas. It is best to walk toward dense vegetation or enter a vehicle or building to avoid the stinging insects. Swift movements will only attract more yellow jackets. Persons highly sensitive to yellow jacket venom should always carry a sting treatment kit during outdoor activities.

A yellow jacket does not leave a stinger in its victim, so therefore it can sting multiple times. To reduce swelling following a stinging incident, a person may use several sting remedies. A convenient material to place on the sting site is moistened table salt. Mound the dry salt on the sting entry point and moisten with a few drops of water. Leave the salt on the site for several minutes. This procedure must be applied within three to four minutes following the stinging incident to be effective.

Yellow jackets and other stinging insects often get inside moving vehicles, which may result in a very dangerous situation. The driver should carefully stop the vehicle on the side of the road and all passengers should exit on the front passenger’s side of the vehicle to avoid traffic. The driver should open all windows and leave the passenger doors open to allow the insects to exit the vehicle. Flying insects normally go immediately to the windows when inside a moving vehicle in an attempt to escape and are rarely in a defensive posture inside a moving vehicle unless provoked by an occupant. Persons should refrain from swatting the insect inside the vehicle.



Fern(Mi)    Posted 09-12-2004 at 15:18:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good understandable information here. I/we try our hardest to put up with these little nasties. Knock enough of them off and you'll upset the balance of nature somewhere else. I try working around these nasties. They are everywhere on the farm: just inside the outbuilding door I haven't entered for a week, under the eves of course, inside whatever machine I desire to hook-up to next. There's alway a colony or two hanging on under every wagon and every wagon is used sometime every summer if not every month.
If your daughter was stung by a ground dweller, I might be able to send ya a skunk provided I get some cooperation from one outback. And the kids will get a charge out of one watching closely their waddling retreat if discovered.(grin) Then you may just have something else to talk about!
Have a happy evening.
Fernan


big al    Posted 09-12-2004 at 13:48:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
thanks for the novel


KellyGa    Posted 09-12-2004 at 13:34:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
My dad encountered several in the ground in his back yard. You have to wait until after dark, when they are all in the hole. Then, pour gasoline in the hole and cover it up with something, a brick or something. There won't be any yellowjackets come morning. ;)

Sorry your baby got stung. Mine is allergic, so we have to be careful. I killed a cicada killer the other day, kept the massive impressive body to show off just to be doing. The thing carried a cicada in a hole by our driveway that chipmunks used to be in. I waited for it to come back out, had a plastic bin over the hole, it shot out of there and hit the top of the bin, mad as a hornet for real! I dragged the bin over onto the cement and sprayed and sprayed all around the edges. It finally got enough spray on it that it died. Those things are nothing to fool around with. Had one latch onto my husbands aunts finger one time, took that massive stinger and bored a dang hole in her finger, she had to go to the hospital!

I HATE wasps and hornets. So far the new residents we have acquired, the ball faced hornets, have gone about thier busy day picking up flies off the chicken poo, they are supposed to be real mean if you get near the nest, but the nest isnt near by apparently.

Happy Hunting!


Say Kelly Ga???    Posted 09-12-2004 at 13:44:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
I never heard of a cicada killer. What is it and what does it look like?
Thanks,
Chas, ever curious, up here in Maine.


Here Ya Go    Posted 09-12-2004 at 13:51:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Read and you can also click on the thumbnails to see the pictures better. That last picture they show, they are about that dang big too...scary beasts!


egh    Posted 09-12-2004 at 14:38:06       [Reply]  [No Email]

cicada killers are also ground dwellers and they
large, around 2" long and aggresive. i have one that
hunts my yard and i yeild to him every time.


MissyMouse    Posted 06-18-2006 at 21:08:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
No Joke about the Pine Sol. I found that out by accident also. I put 1/2 Pine Sol, 1/2 water in an old spray bottle that sprayed a good stream and I just wanted to make the nest smell nasty so they would leave and it dropped them to the ground faster than the expensive sprays. It kills black and brown widows too.


Thanks Kelly GA    Posted 09-12-2004 at 14:06:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
That was interesting.
Chas


KellyGa    Posted 09-12-2004 at 14:10:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
YOur welcome! It says their sting is weak, but I beg to differ, when the one I caught died, the stinger was sticking WAY out, and it was HUGE!!! After what one did to Ians aunt, I don't believe they are weak at all!


KellyGa    Posted 09-12-2004 at 13:47:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Lemme go get a link to it, be back soon...they are bad bad bugs!


chas massey    Posted 05-07-2006 at 20:47:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I love susing 3/4-1/4 water=pinesol mixture. Pine sol is a chemical petroleum based. It kills wasps on contact. I found this by accident and have not bought anymore bug spray except a long range spray for occasional nest. It's cheaper too!!!!! I walk around spraying the outside tio chase carpenter bees off, inside the garage for spiders nd bugs and clean smelling!!!!


Jerry Gorecki    Posted 08-05-2007 at 10:35:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm going to try the 3/4 to 1/4 ratio of PineSol to Water. I'm heading up north (Northwest, MI), Harbor Springs area this coming Wednesday. Up north "get away" house. The wasp(s) and ants have been terrible this year, probably due to mostly hot and dry weather. Anyway, using the store bought wasp killer and ant killer and it seems like both are more than before. I'll do the wasp killer next and try to research for the ants.............Thanks............Jerry


lonnie    Posted 08-02-2009 at 15:00:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
im trying to get rid of paper wasps(long thin bodied wasp) any homemade ideas would be great thanks lonnie bry


Chas in Me    Posted 09-12-2004 at 13:34:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Old woods remedy for wasps and yellow jackets:
Catch a few fish
Skin them and hang them over a bucket of water
Critters will feed on the fish until they are too full to fly
They will drop off into the water and drown

My remedy:
FIRE

Chas, not getting stung. up here in Maine.


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