Underground yellow jacket nest removal?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ravenlost, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last night when my hubby was walking the dogs they got into a yellow jacket nest. He was stung twice on the ankles (lucky it wasn't more) and some of the dogs were stung.

    What is the best way to get rid of the nest? We don't know the exact location and I plan to stay away from the area until we have a frost (I'm allergic to bee/wasp stings). Unfortunately, this is an area in our side yard right next to the driveway and there's no way we'll be able to keep the dogs out of there.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    First you need to find them. As it gets on in the day, start lighting up the area with a spotlight. You're looking for wasps settling in for the night... then...

    Plan A: Fire. We've eliminated nests with a propane powered blowtorch. This, however, pretty much requires that whoever is doing this is impervious to stings.

    Plan B: Fire, redux. Take a metal trash can and a cup of gas. Do NOT do this close to any outbuildings or in an area prone to forest fires! Pour the cup of gas in the bottom of the trash can. Mark where the bees/wasps are. After dark, take can to nest and upend over the nest.

    Now, Plan B can result in an explosion, so you might want to kick that can over before the mid-day heat hits and you end up with something spontaneous in combustion.

    Plan C: Plan B with ammonia. I think that's slightly less explosive. But it lacks the ability to set the area on fire if necessary.

    *using the suggestions above in no way implies liability on the part of the suggestor. If you light yourself on fire, burn your house or neighborhood down, or launch a trashcan into lunar orbit, it is your lookout!*
     

  3. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    My ex-husband used to pour gasoline into a small soupcan and douse the wasps with that. I imagine he'd do the same thing with the nest during the time of day when they're more dormant (probably evenings)... and then try to light it. But like MorrisonCorner said, there is great danger so...
     
  4. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    There are "dusters" made for bees and yellow jackets that use Sevin or other similar insecticides. Be sure and try to find the nest during the day, mark where it is, and treat the nest at night when they are all in there. You can make traps with an empty 2 or 3 litre soft drink bottle by cutting off the top and inverting it into the bottom after coating the top rim heavily with thick jam. Fill it about half way with water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Hang in a tree near the nest or just put it on the ground.

    I've also heard that covering the opening with a clear glass bowl (upside down) will bake the little devils and not let them out. The way I have killed them is by pouring a small amount of gasoline into the hole first, then covering up. Of course, this is illegal, dangerous, harms the soil, etc., and should NEVER be done. :D

    PS. For all methods, you should wear thick clothing and cover all exposed skin WELL.
     
  5. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    Mean, nasty, little buggers!! Look in the area during the day, and you should be able to see them flying. Locate where they are coming and going from. There will be a hole in the ground (and chances are the grass will be dead right around it from the constant traveling). Here are your options:

    If you have a pet skunk, lead it to the hole. The skunk will start digging and eat every yellow jacket and then eat the nest. (How they don't get stung, (or if they do, they don't mind it) I don't know.)

    (This one is the most fun). After dark, know where your hole is, dump some gas down the hole and set on fire. (You now have your very own tiki torch!!)

    The last one (and I've only heard this, not tried it) is to find the hole, and put a glass or plastic see through container over it. From my understanding, the yellow jackets come out into the container but can't get out. (And they don't have enough sense to dig out underneath it.) Eventually they all die due to A. The sun heating up that container and B. Running out of food.

    Like I said, the gas & fire is the most fun and if done at night, none should come out. Good luck & let us know.
     
  6. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    Seems like there's another recipe you can use with those wasp traps, isn't there? Like adding sugar to water, then pouring a little oil in too... the oil coats their wings and they can't get back out? Or am I thinking of something else?
     
  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    "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."

    The above from the source:
    Yelllow Jackets
     
  8. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    The nests are usually in underground rotting wood so they are often near stumps. You can observe their coming and going from a distance and locate the hole without getting stung. Often there are two entrances, locate them both and set good sized rocks next to the holes to mark them.

    Take a can of engine starter fluid and go out to the nest at night and set a rock over one of the holes, then spray the can of engine starter fluid down the other hole and set the rock firmly on the hole. Do NOT let your flashlight beam fall directly on a hole, this alerts the sentries.

    Thank you, Joel Rosen, for this fool proof way of getting rid of the nasty critters. My homestead is now free of yellow jackets and hornets. Engine starter fluid is much cheaper and has a quicker knock down than that bee and wasp spray.

    I used to do the gas or diesel and match method. There were too many survivors. The other problem is that the nests are in underground wood and if you live in a dry, high fire risk area, the fire can smolder and travel underground for a long time. Many wildfires are started by smoldering underground roots, from burn piles on top of stumps. They can smolder underground for months before surfacing when the conditions are right and ignite a wildfire.
     
  9. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I never understood why people light the gasoline except for maybe the joy at seeing them burn alive. That IS fun. The fumes are much more effective at killing them. Just pour in and cover up to gag the little buggers out. (WARNING: Illegal and dangerous)
     
  10. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Please don't use gas or diesel, very bad idea. There are many reasons for this that I won't go into. Please use either Seven dust, dust the nest at sundown or a can of Wasp, yellow jacket killer, spray 1/2 to 1 can per nest depending on the size of the nest. But as everyone has said you have to know where the nest is. There is also a bait that they will carry back to the nest, (found it at my local farm store) that works OK. Best to find the nest and either dust or spray.
     
  11. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Couldn't you use 100 proof vodka, gin, or whiskey? It won't harm the soil, and the hornets will die happy.
     
  12. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if this will work with yellow jackets but it does work with the paper wasps that build their nest in the bell I have hanging beside the front door. I take a large dish detergent bottle and fill it with about 1 cup dish detergent and the rest warm water. I shake it up a bit (with the top closed) then when the suds settle down I go to the front door and hiding behind the screen I squirt the nest with the mixture to soak it. The wasps will get very angry but I just open the door a tiny bit, enough to get the bottle out, squirt then close it as soon as they come at me. It is kind of fun! I wait until they settle down some then do it again and again until the nest is soaked and the wasps are gone. If there are any wasps on the ground I just step on them. I would think that if you were to make up a whole pailful of this stuff and dump it down their hole in the ground at night then cover the hole with the clear bowl you would get rid of them for good. I know it works for the wasps tho. I think it is much more environmentally friendly than gasoline or stater fluid or fire.
     
  13. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oh dear. I'm not sure what we're going to do. Hubby was stung at night, but he was carrying a flashlight. I don't want to go anywhere near the darn things.
     
  14. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    When in doubt, call in the pros. An exterminator can take care of your nests.
     
  15. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure if this would work, but you can buy a spray 'Bomb' for hornet and wasp nests. It is a can with a 'super spray' of stuff coming out in a huge blast.
    When I had a bad hornet problem they were robbing my bee hive and killing my bees. I got mad and went up to the garage peak where the hornet nest was one early morning. It was dangerous, but I was at 'war'. I snuck up to the hole of the hornet nest and cut loos with the spray bomb and didn't let go of that push button until the can was empty and every last damn hornet lay dead. I flung the nest to the ground and incinerated it with all the hornet bodies with larva. It was therapeutic, and it saved my beehives!
     
  16. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Understand, but, you have to get the little guys. When they went to stinging all the animals and kids, I had to take control :D , The husband took control. We went out hunting for this nest armed with Seven and a Can of wasp/yellow jacket killer. Just before sundown we sat out were we thought the nest was and just watched those ulgy little critter fly back home. Then we Snuck up on them. Well you know the rest. The 9 year old down the road asked if he could use the pool yesterday with his sisters. The next question was do we still have those bees around. NO. :goodjob: Good I'm tired of being stung as he put it.
     
  17. ckncrazy

    ckncrazy Well-Known Member

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    I have never had good luck pouring gas down the hole. Some always seem to survive. I wait till dark, dig up the nest and torch it with gas. The buggers have always been dormant, and ive never had one come out of the nest after dark even while digging it up. Worked for me.
     
  18. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    DH goes out at night and pours a huge pan of boiling water down their hole. It's always worked for us.
     
  19. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, it was dark when they got stung last night so I guess these Mississippi yellow jackets aren't afraid of the dark!

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm still leaning towards waiting until cold weather to do something and just avoiding the area until then.
     
  20. mrglock27

    mrglock27 Well-Known Member

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    I bought a bee suit off the net for about125 bucks. I love it. When I find a nest I stir it up with a stick and throw rocks at it. I had a yellowjacket nest in the siding of my house and i got up on the ladder by the entrance and started slapping them with a fly swatter in about 10 seconds there was about 50 swarming around me and bouncing off the face mask. I am deathly afraid of bees without the suit so the suit makes it pretty fun. I've used sevin also and it works great. When I was a kid I found some dormant yelowjackets in the woodpile. I brought them inside and tied their back legs with dental floss and tied the other end to a door nob in about 30 min. came back and it was flying at the end of the floss. I love tormenting them. It's payback time.