How to get rid of yellow jackets without harming honey bees????

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by NewEnglandBeth, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    I need some advice....yellow jackets have at least three ground nests right in my veggie garden! They won't let me near enough to pick veggies or dig for the rest of my sweet potatoes!

    I also have lovely honey bees flying about...and of course, want to encourage them for future pollination!

    So how to get rid of the ground yellow jackets??? And do so without harming the honey bees?
     
  2. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dump a bucket of soapy water down the hole after dark. Or wait for frost.
     

  3. IowaLez

    IowaLez Glowing in The Sun Supporter

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    Pour SEVIN dust into the burrow. A whole *bunch* of it. Do it at night, and do not use a flashlight as it will cause them to become active and "see" you. Sevin dust will kill them. Also put out pheremone yellow jacket traps in your garden. They really work, we got them at the feed store. Any yj's that survive the sevin dust will be caught in the trap and die.
     
  4. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sevin seems a little heavy handed for something that only has a few weeks to live anyway, in zone 5 that is.
     
  5. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    I agree with the dish soap. $1.00 at the dollar store and you get a whole bottle.
    You can also drill a small hole (About 3/8" in a bottles and fill them half full of soapy water and put some Jam or Jelly on the inside of the top. Yellow Jackets go in and can't find their way out and fall into the soapy water and die. Honey bees won't go in there since they don't scavage.

    :D Al
     
  6. bee

    bee WV , hilltop dweller Supporter

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    wait until dark and take a bucket 3/4 full of loose sand and turn it over on the hole(you'll need 3, do all the holes).. what will happen is that the yellow jackets will burrough up thru the loose sand and be trapped in the bucket where heat, cold or lack of water will kill them. Be extremely cautious that no-one moves those buckets until after a killing frost or a couple of hot days...
    As an aid to turning over the bucket and keeping the sand in use a cookie sheet,hold down on the bucket and pull the sheet free. Big rocks,cement block or bricks will help keep the bucket in place, unless you have a couple of insane little(some big too) boys around the place.. :shrug:
    several other things I have heard used including a very heavy duty shop vac, a mason jar upside down over all intrances..but my all time favorite is to have a skunk dig em out and eat em :dance: I am allergic to em so they get no mercy from me..I personally use the 20ft spray in the hole at night and run like hell..enough of the spray is left soaked in to get stragglers..I told you about the sand bucket trick because there are no pesticides involved.
    If I wasn't allergic I'd leave em alone; they are quite handy in an organic garden being vespid wasps and feeding their young on cattipillars; quite interesting to watch em hunt over the cole crops for those nice soft green ones(cabbage butterfly larva).
     
  7. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    This one works with raw
    Tip #50 Grandpa Kipp's Sure-Fire Yellow Jacket Trap!

    My grandpa turned me onto this sure-fire yellow jacket eliminator about 50 years ago when I was just a youngster. I've observed its efficiency in removing all the yellow jackets from our campsite in a matter of a single day and before the week was over the entire campground was free of these hostile pests that make camping and other outdoor activities miserable. This method is NON-TOXIC and for the most part pet and wildlife friendly due to the harmless components that are used to build the "system." There are quite a few commercial products on the market to eliminate yellow jackets but this one doesn't cost anything and I can guarantee its an extremely effective way to rid your yard or campsite of the yellow hoards in just a day or two.
    You will need the following components:

    Plastic dish pan or wash basin.
    A tablespoon of liquid dish soap, preferably non-scented.
    3 sticks about 13 inches long.
    2 or 3 tie wires.
    A 3 or 4 inch piece of wire.
    12 inches of string.
    A piece of raw fish.
    Make a tripod out of the sticks and tie wires as shown in the photo.
    Bend the short piece of wire into a hook shape and attach the string.
    Add about 1 or 2 inches of water to the dish pan and mix the liquid soap in the water. Stir SLOWLY - you DON'T want any soap bubbles floating on the water.
    Insert the fish meat on the wire hook.
    Tie the string to the top of the tripod so that the meat is hanging ONE HALF INCH above the water level in the pan.
    Do Not get soapy water on any portion of the fish!

    How It Works: The yellow jackets love fish and will begin to cut off small pieces to take back to the nest. In their "excitement" of buzzing around the bait a few will occasionally hit the water. The soap in the water breaks the surface tension of the waterproof coating on the yellow jacket and it instantly sinks in the water and drowns in a few seconds. Some yellow jackets will successfully haul a piece of meat back to the nest and tell all the other gatherers in the nest where this great food source is. Soon all the wasps from the nest will be working on this fish and over a period of time, all will eventually make mistakes and either fall off the fish and into the water or bump other wasps flying around and knock themselves in the drink, then its curtains for them too. It only takes a day or two to wipe out nearly every yellow jacket in your area.

    Put the trap on a table or other high area outside so that kids and pets will not be able to get close to it. A piece of fish with vertical sides works best for having the insects fall off easier.

    :D Al
     
  8. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2075.html
    Traps (Homemade)
    Hang fish or liver suspended on a string one to two inches over a tub of water to which detergent has been added (wetting agent eliminates surface tension). Yellowjackets will try to fly away with pieces of fish or liver that are too heavy for them and will drown after falling into the water. It is not unusual to fill a dishpan with drowned yellowjackets in one afternoon during the peak season. Trapping large numbers often fails to reduce population to acceptable levels, but may be useful in small areas. Certain yellowjackets have been shown to fly from 300 to 1,000 yards from their nest in search of food.

    :D Al
     
  9. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    Just checked back for suggestions...thank you each and every one of you! I'd keep the guys in the garden except they keep stinging me...interesting now I realize their nests were all around the broccoli!