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Thread: Yellow Jackets?

  1. #1

    Default Yellow Jackets?

    I assume yellow jackets are a common problem throughout the U.S. I know we had them when I was in Oklahoma. But Oregon has them like flies, it seems. They have got to be the most aggressive sting-happy wasp there is. The area in which I live is a relatively new development area. Prior to subdividing it, it was a fruit orchard That means there were probably more than the usual number of colonies, which means more than the usual number of queens to survive the winter each year.

    Does your area have a problem with them? What do you do to control them?

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    I keep telling myself that I'll figure out what the differences are between yellow jackets, hornets and wasps. There are many different types of "bee-like creatures that can sting again and again without dying and that don't do anything obviously beneficial like producing honey and pollinating fruit trees." The problem is that I don't know what's what. The one thing I know for sure is that they can't be trapped the same way.

    In my last house we had a terrible problem, but the standard yellow traps with the attractant and some meat worked wonders and would catch a couple hundred in a weekend. The same traps where I now live won't catch one in a year. I have yet to find what will catch what I have here, and they're FAR more aggressive than what I had before. Both types build the brown nests that hang from a single thread in the rafters. But the ones I have now, have a super-thin abdomen. You know... the ones that look REALLY nasty. The old ones were thick all over.

    So, I know how to trap some of these things... but not what I have today...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    pssst are football team is named after them we have a few lol, they dont bother me at all though.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    After poking holes in a nest with a bb gun and trying to shoot one down with rocks and a slingshot, I garden hosed a nest and never got stung.

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    Flashaholic* AlphaTea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    Be glad you dont live in Japan!
    They have Vespa mandarinia, Giant Japanese Hornet
    2" long!!! Thats one BMF!

    I found this Site with some interesting info on wasps/hornets

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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    We got 'em here to. Although there not much of a problem as the temp. drops. If you have a large problem, I would consider an exerminator. Multiple stings while trying to rid them isn't worth it. For small jobs, I do them myself. If your going to attempt to get rid of them yourself, definately do it at night while they're not active. I've personally found carb. cleaner(STP) works best. Even better than bee and wasp spray. Take your trusty (insert brand here) flashlight and give them a good dose..... Then get the He** out of there!!!

    Remember, don't try this during the day!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    and yeah, 2, 3 inches.. whoa!
    one of those suckers alone can kill 40 honeybees in one minute!!
    i also hear they have a very very painful sting.. it's even strong enough to eat away at flesh..


    PS i always get confused.. over hornets.. wasps.. bees.. yellowjackets.. i believe hornets, yellowjackets, and wasps are all grouped differently from bees.. but i always thought yellowjackets weren't hornets.. and that hornets were wasps.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img]


    but i believe the version of the giant hornet we have in the US is of european origin..

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    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    We have yellow jackets, and they are mean. They will go out of their way to sting you, even if you're minding your own business. They seem to nest primarily in the ground, so watch where you walk when in the woods!

    Not sure I want to call this a positive, but skunks like to dig up the nest and eat the larvae. Yuck, but it's better than me having to get one of those torch thingies and burn them out!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    When young my friend and I would throw rocks and water hose them. Until my dad handed us a can of wasp killer, shot 12', pretty good stuff [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    But that's in the early 80's when everything was legal. Nowadays the enviramentalist whackos probably won't let you use anything but sugar water. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    We've got plenty in North Carolina.

    My experience is a little different, though. Anytime I've been stung has been the result of my actions, never had them go out of their way to attack me. I was stung about a month ago when I hit their nest entrance with a weedeater. I dropped the weedeater and ran, only one got me. The time before that three got me when I got the rear wheel of the riding mower stuck on their nest entrance.

    Whenever I find a nest, I mark it with a stake in the ground, so that whoever is mowing will see it. I've found in the past that if I destroy a nest, a new one will appear soon in the yard, and someone will have to come across it. I live on a 1.25 acre lot and I've never had more than two nests at one time. Once marked, I warn my family, and none of my children have been stung.

    Joe

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    I use a 4 or 5 cases of wasp spray a year at work and it is not near as potent as it used to be. They nest in our terminals both in the air and burried.

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    Flashaholic doubleganger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    once years ago I accidentally disturbed a nest and was running for my life, so to speak. Everytime I started to slow down I could hear them buzzing right behind me so I'd speed up again. Finially I just couldn't run any more and stopped, resigned to my fate. Turned out over a half dozen had caught their stingers in my jacket and I just couldn't hear them till I slowed down. Only got stung twice though.

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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    I believe the difference between a wasp and a bee is that wasps eat meat and bees are vegeterians.

    California has an abundance of both. Yellow jackets (meat bees, camisas amarillas) are attracted to what I'm attracted to. Darn inconvienient. I have a business clearing brush and trees so meat bees and I have a close personal relationship. If I disturb a nest they let me know. I get stung about a dozen times a year, they usually go for my head and get stuck in my hair. Bzzzz--ouch! $#$@&!! The pain only lasts a few minutes though. If I can't avoid a nest I carry a bee vail, slip it on and spray the nest with bee bopper. Thisof course dosen't kill all the meat bees who are out of the nest.

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    Flashaholic* Xrunner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    [ QUOTE ]
    Phaserburn said:
    Not sure I want to call this a positive, but skunks like to dig up the nest and eat the larvae. Yuck, but it's better than me having to get one of those torch thingies and burn them out!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I like playing... I mean working with the torch thingie. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] I've dealt with several of the underground nests and it seems like gas and a match worked for me. I tried a few of the sprays and chemicals and they just didn't seem to do the trick for underground nests. Maybe I just like playing with fire. I do like the sprays for the hanging nests though.

    -Mike

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    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    My great aunt used to just pour gas down the nests when she found them on her farm in Iowa. This was a long time ago now, it was not necessary to actually set them on fire. The gas killed them just fine.

    Course, you have to get closer than I would have liked to pour it on them...

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    Flashaholic* Xrunner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    I personally like the fire because it finishes off any that come out to get you. I would guess that it doesn't even burn down into the nest, just on the surface for a little bit.

    -Mike

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    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    Diesel or kerosene is just as effective as gasoline, and is less dangerous. And as James points out, igniting the fuel does nothing more to kill the pests. None of these things is great for pouring into the ground, of course. Especially if groundwater is used for anything nearby. Two simple and safe ways of eliminating ground nests are: 1. Fill the hole with water (fill the hole, and just leave the water barely trickling enough to keep the hole filled overnight). 2. Fill the hole with sand and put something over the original opening. I've used both of these methods (and kerosene, but don't tell anybody) and have had excellent results.

    I have NO problem destroying nests once they're formed. What I want to do is prevent them from building nests in the first place. And to accomplish that, the little buggers need to be caught early in the spring when they're scouting for a place to set up shop. One caught in spring is worth many hundreds in the middle of the summer. This part I know to be true. The problem after they've formed nests at my house, is that they've also formed nests all over the neighborhood. And when the BBQ comes out, the annoying little buzzers just don't respect property lines like they should.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    In a discussion years ago on alt.rec. backpacking I heard a few people refer to them as meat bees. The discussion progressed to this joke

    Q: If regular bees make honey, what kind of bees make milk?
    A: Boo Bees

    Sorry about that [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    GregR

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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    there's a hornet nest in the corner of my friend's deck downstate.. they allow us to walk freely around it, within inches, and carry on usual yard work and siding maintenence..
    i've in fact, peeked my eye into the hole in the deck as there were hornets leaving and entering.. they don't seem to give a sh*t, they just don't like heavy vibrations i think.. but then again, they don't seem to bother you when you're walking across the deck either!
    i blame attacks on hornet-gangs.. their society's as corrupted as ours!

    For Double A:

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    okay.. for some reason an image i'm trying to display wont work..
    here goes again..

    it wont work! ahhh screw it!

    it was a picture of a bunch of bees dressed up in halloween costumes.. and it said.. "show me your boo bees"

  21. #21
    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    Hey, the description was *almost* as good as the image in this case. Too funny.

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    Flashaholic* Orion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    Yellow Jackets. They're an excellent modern jazz group. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    I spoke with our pest control guy and this is what he said. The drones will die off during the first couple of frosts. But as the nights get cooler the drones/workers will get more agressive because they are trying to get out as many queens as possible before they (drones/workers) die. The queens on the other hand are the ones you find nestled in wood piles, under leaves, etc during the winter. The queens hibernate during the winter to start new nests in the spring. Soooo....kill all of them you find during the winter because they are queens. The less queens, the less new nests in the spring.
    Pretty much this is why I do my serious brush cutting around our 6 1/2 acres around January. One...to avoid bees and yellow jackets, two......less foilage to fight as alot of the brush has died back during the winter which means less work for me. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Mike

  24. #24

    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    There are some paper wasps that resemble yellow jackets. They are the ones that ignore your traps. The wasps reside in smaller communities of nest made of paper, while the yellow jackets reside in communities of thousands. Yellow jackets have a rudimentary communications system based on their type of buzzing and especially smell. They can emit an odor that is detected quickly by other yellow jackets. In addition to fruit juices and meat, some baits used in yellow jacket traps utilize this smell to attract them. Paper wasps don't care for that odor. It could be that they'll go out of their way to avoid the odor.

    Each year yellow jackets start afresh. None survive the winter except the fertilized females that will each set up a new home of thousands of yellow jackets. When the first warm days of late winter and early spring come, she leaves her place of hibernation, searches for food and a place to start her nest. Now is the best time to effectively trap, since eliminating her will actually eliminate thousands of her offspring. She is initially interested in sweets, since she needs the energy to perform the same tasks that her future workers will be doing. But for now, she's all there is; she's got to do it all herself. She'll begin building a nest sufficient to handle a handful of new larvae. Then she'll scout around for meat to take back to the nest. Until her handful of new workers are ready, she'll be the sole provider. What the young need is protein, so that's the time to attract her to your traps with meat. A mixture of apple juice, water, sugar, and one or two pieces of dried cat or dog food is ideal for those first warm days. You won't see many yellow jackets, but what you do catch represents far more than the hundreds caught later in the spring and summer. Once her new workers are able to take over the nest building, hunting and securing the nest, the queen will no longer leave the nest. She's much more protected there, and will be busy producing thousands of young yellow jackets.

    Late September and early October again provides a time for trapping with a goal of eliminating future colonies. As the nights cool, the young new fertile females leave the nest and mate with the males. This activity requires a great deal of energy, so she searches for sweets to sustain herself before she searches for a hibernation location. Trapping at this time needs to be done with the traps beyond any area of human activity. Attracting yellow jackets at this time can bring swarms to the trap. Some, unaware that all those entering the trap are dying there assume a guardian role. Anything appearing to threaten the trap (now viewed as a home away from home) brings the same actions as if you were threatening the nest. Late evening, or preferably very early morning is the best time to service the traps, while it's too cool for their activity. At this time, September and October, you might notice among the dead in the trap, there's one a bit larger than the rest. That's the one you were after. That's the one that would have started the new colony in your neighborhood.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    Note: Yellow Jackets LOVE Meatloaf!

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    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    Empath - What you've just written is exactly how I understand the situation... BUT you've glossed over the little critters that I'm dealing with. And in case you haven't noticed, this thread is all about MY problems now. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] How do I trap my paper wasps? Your description of them matches what I have perfectly. Small colonies, and lots of them! And I've yet to find a trap that they're attracted to. What the heck do these buggers like? I mean besides stinging my daughter and annoying us at BBQs? I've tried putting the very same food that they feed on from our table into a trap, and it is igored every time. Do they need human company to be happy too? Maybe I'll build a scarecrow that is holding some BBQ'ed salmon and see how that works.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    Yeah...Meatloaf. I really liked the "Bat Out of Hell" album.

    Mike

  28. #28

    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    Paper wasps apparently don't trap as easily as yellow jackets. I can't remember where I saw it, but it seems like it was from "Rescue", the people that make yellow jacket traps. Their claim was that a good wasp attractant hadn't been produced yet. But, they said "we're working on it".

    Yellow jackets consider their neighborhood to be a radius of about 1000 feet. Paper wasps stay a little closer to home. That makes it a little easier to find their nests. Once you find it, you can knock it down with a water hose, or torch it late evening, spray it with wasp spray or whatever.

    I was looking out my back door yesterday and a yellow jacket came up to the window and looked square at me. I could see the features of her face as she hovered. She didn't hover long though, since yellow jackets are about the most eratic flyers in the world. It was a fascinating face though. I think she was saying "I know who you are, and where you live; you're gonna pay".

  29. #29
    Flashaholic doubleganger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    [ QUOTE ]
    tkl said:
    Nowadays the enviramentalist whackos probably won't let you use anything but sugar water. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif[/img]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    speaking of which over the years I've frequently seen yellow jackets crawl into soft drink cans and bottles and then not be able to get out. I always thought about how much fun it would be to not notice and take a big drink. Anyway, maybe sugar water or soft drinks for bait?

    edit: heck, wasn't paying attention. Trapping yellow jackets isn't the issue. "never mind"

  30. #30
    Flashaholic doubleganger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Yellow Jackets?

    probably no way to use it for bait, but I know one thing paper wasps like.....rotting wood. They are always going to my wood pile in the spring.

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