I hate yellow jackets - How to Kill?
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    MattF's Avatar
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    I hate yellow jackets - How to Kill?

    We really need a "Land Clearing" Forum... I could fill it all by myself.

    Today my youngest and I were out in the woods prepping to grind some stumps, a process that requires us to walk around and cut down old stumps or mark low lying stumps with sticks. In the process of doing this, we both were stung by two independent yellow jacket ground nests about 20' apart. A third and fourth nest were found later in the day when ripping up some dogwood roots with the ratchet rake and mowing. We basically had to abandon work areas as each nest was uncovered due to the explosion of bees (yellow jackets specifically) that came out to defend it. So, that's how the day went... work - get stung, find a new project, repeat.

    It doesn't help that the area I really want to work is full of armpit high goldenrod. I tried clearing the weeds with my clearing saw and got stung again... In fact, my glove became some sort of beacon for yellow jackets as I had to ditch it because it was attracting them. When I retrieved it later it had several of them stuck to it by their stingers. Those particular bees didn't make it back to the nest. (the "nunu" icon is factually accurate)

    I might mention no one in my family is allergic to stings, they're just painful and annoying. With the numbers of bees I saw today, it's amazing no one suffered a significant number of stings by disturbing a nest.

    It's August and I know the buggers are increasingly aggressive going into fall. These guys stole a day of work from me and I'm not happy. I've dealt with the nests in my fields w/o any problems but these ones in the woods are big (huge numbers of bees) and apparently numerous where I'm working... Am I looking at waiting for the weather to cool before I can get an edge over these pests or has someone found a good tactic for handling ground dwelling bees?

    Some background on where I'm working: I have no electricity or water and fire would be probably get me on the news... Due to the stumps, I can't really get the tractor into the area either. Are the sprays effective on big ground nests? Anyone try more creative means successfully? - At this point, I'm all about a cathartic victory.

    Maybe the skunks will have their way with 'em before I get back out there...

    Thanks!
    Matt
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    I've had some luck killing them passively with a homemade trap. This sounds silly, but trust me, it does work.

    Take a large aluminum baking tin and put a kitchen scrub sponge in the middle. Put a little bit of canned tuna on the sponge. Place the trap where the YJs are nearby and fill the tin with soapy water up to the top of the sponge. The YJs are attracted to the tuna and end up falling into the soapy water. The soap prevents them from flying and they end up drowning.

    It works really good, but I don't think this will work very well with the size of your problem.


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    I was going to suggest some Sevin dust in a sprayer on a water hose, but the lack of water ruled that out. I've always heard it worked, but have yet to try it for myself. I think I will soon though, as I found a nest with my weedeater not long ago. Not fun.
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    Tomfive's Avatar
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    Uncovered a hive of ground nesting bees last weekend with the BH. It wasn't a huge hive, and I found the main entrance. Sprayed with a can of the regular hornet/wasp spray, the stream type, waited 20 minutes, problem solved.

    They were not yellow jackets, but they did sting, got my wife twice on the hand.

    Turned over a hive of yellow jackets in a landscape tie about 15 years ago, just at twilight. Got over 2 dozen stings, and over a dozen followed me into the house. Lucky I'm not allergic, but not fun. Left the hive uncovered, birds took care of it by next morning, but I sprayed it with hornet/wasp spray just in case, stuff works really well.

    Be careful out there.
    Tom

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    ejb69's Avatar
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    If you know where the nest is Raid wasp & hornet spray works well.
    Eric

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    Had a similar problem with a huge nest in my wife's flower bed. I bought a can of the Wasp and Hornet spray, set a prop up like I was shooting from a rest, took careful aim and emptied about half the can by spraying into the entrance.. Killed all but the ones who were outside the nest. Those cans are high pressure and will shoot a stream probably 20 feet or more.

    If there are any (honey) beekeepers in the area, borrow one of their veils and it will at least protect the face / head area.

    Be careful and good luck.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Always when you least expect it. The wife got stung 3 days ago in the ankle while working in a flower bed. Her ankle swelled up like a balloon and got really red. The ankle is looking much better today. Bees this year seem to be bad around here.
    Keith

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    If you locate the entrance. We have put running push mower over them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yardmower View Post
    If you locate the entrance. We have put running push mower over them.
    I can't say if that will kill all the bees coming out, I've run over a few strays with my mower and some do survive. It does make them confused for a while, and possibly will make them mad.

    I'll go for the kill. The hornet spray stops them in mid flight if you cna hit them. Spraying the entrance, they just drop when they come out.

    Whatever you do, be careful. Do a Google search and you'll find out that quite a few people have been killed by bee attacks after upsetting the hive.
    Tom

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    Recently, while attaching the rear blade to my tractor I had one knee on the ground when suddenly I felt pain on my leg. I thought perhaps I had knelt on a rock. When I stood up I saw 20+ yellow jackets clinging to my leg. I quickly brushed them off but not before 4-5 of them got me. As it turns out there was an underground nest and I put my leg down right over the hole - go figure.

    I waited till dark and emptied a whole can of bee killer down the hole. The next day I still saw some bees flying around the hole. Plan-B called for some charcoal lighting fluid down the hole. I only gave a short squirt but it burned a nice 4" flame for 30-mins. It reminded me of a slow burning fusie. :-) I had to leave so for safety I poured about two gallons of water down the hole - and it never overflowed! Next day there were still a few bees. WHHHHHAT?

    Plan-C called for a LOOONG squirt down the hole. Again... nice 4" flame for around 30-mins.

    That was 2 weeks ago and so far no more bees.

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