• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Mike Jay
  • Anne Miller
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton
gardeners:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Daron Williams

yellowjackets/paper wasps attack- what can i do besides poison?  RSS feed

 
garden master
Posts: 2245
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
696
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think the thread that Wayne started called about chemical free wasp combat may be useful. He describes how by understanding the life cycles of wasps one can engage with the wasps at specific times during their lives to encourage the hives to be built in more desirable and less annoying/hazardous locations. Similarly, I think this method could be applied to yellowjackets/bees with a few adjustments to account for their different behaviors and life cycles.
 
Posts: 2
Location: CT/VT
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A few years ago, we had a bald-face hornet nest that formed on an upstairs bedroom window. It was fascinating watching the inner workings of the nest. A tap on the glass would cause the nest to unload, and those females would fly into the glass repeatedly, trying to get the offender...

I was going to eradicate them, having remembered being hammered by them in the leg a few years before. But as I got to reading on them, I discovered how beneficial they are; and it did seem we had less bothersome bugs that year. So we had a truce that summer. I kept a close eye on them when I was working in the yard, and made sure my family knew where they were. But everyone made it thru the summer without incident.

As fall drew near, there was less and less activity, until one day I saw a single hornet emerge and fly away; I think it was the queen. The rest were dead or gone. I scraped the nest off the window, cut it in half, and let my daughter take it to school

The next year, we had another nest up, in a tree this time. Again, no incidents.

Yellowjackets, on the other hand, have been a problem, especially at the compost pile. I've learned to bury any fruit under a layer of wood ash, or there's a chance I'm gonna get hit the next time I'm out there. They're just plain ornery!
 
Dave Burton
garden master
Posts: 2245
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
696
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome to permies Pat! That is wonderful that you got to see the inside of the hive and watch how they behaved. It is nice to hear that the queen moved the hive over to a tree instead of your house. What did you learn about them? Why were yellowjackets an issue at the compost pile? Why did you bury the food in wood ash? Is there something about the wood ash the yellowjackets do not like? If so, please elaborate. Would it be possible to use wood ash as a non-chemical yellowjacket deterrent?
 
Pat Hambly
Posts: 2
Location: CT/VT
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dave Burton wrote:Welcome to permies Pat! That is wonderful that you got to see the inside of the hive and watch how they behaved. It is nice to hear that the queen moved the hive over to a tree instead of your house. What did you learn about them? Why were yellowjackets an issue at the compost pile? Why did you bury the food in wood ash? Is there something about the wood ash the yellowjackets do not like? If so, please elaborate. Would it be possible to use wood ash as a non-chemical yellowjacket deterrent?



Mainly, the yellowjackets love any kind of fruit. In the fall, we hit alot of cider mills around here, but all that apple pulp brings out the yellowjackets. Same with the compost. Nothing special about wood ash, except that I have a pile of it next to the compost pile, so I shovel a layer over whatever I dump in; it seems to deter the raccoons and bugs a bit from digging everything back up...

Thanks for the welcome. Been lurking awhile, but not smart enough to post anything. Or maybe it's "better to keep your mouth shut, and let people think you're a fool, the open it, and remove all doubt...". But, I'm getting smarterer.
 
Dave Burton
garden master
Posts: 2245
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
696
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you, and nice observations Pat! Here is what I found about wood ash online:

Don's Garden Advice Website wrote:
Wood ash can be used to repel insects, slugs and snails because it draws water from invertebrates’ bodies. Sprinkle ash around the base of your plants to discourage surface feeding pests. Once ash gets wet, it loses it deterring properties. Continual use of ash in this way may increase the soil pH too much, or accumulate high salt levels harmful to plants.


The rest of the information on wood ash can be found at their website: Dan's Garden Advice
 
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My understanding about wasps is that there will be as many as the ecosystem can support. The goal is to control nest locations. I have a friend who controls them somewhat by hanging inflated paper (lunch size, not grocery) bags in areas where they congregate. I tried this in two spots; the shop and the carport. Shop worked great. Carport, not really. I only put up one bag this year, I'll try 3 in that location next year. Too many good nest sites there.
One more thing, feed the bluejays! They have decimated any wasp nests out in the open around here. (We don't really feed them because we want them hungry enough to eat wasps. )
Gani
 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
91
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

gani et se wrote: have a friend who controls them somewhat by hanging inflated paper (lunch size, not grocery) bags in areas where they congregate. I tried this in two spots; the shop and the carport. Shop worked great. Carport, not really. I only put up one bag this year, I'll try 3 in that location next year.



Paper lunch bags? That's brilliant.
 
Dave Burton
garden master
Posts: 2245
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
696
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What is it about the paper lunch bags that makes them useful for helping control where the nests are located?
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
91
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I guess blown lunch bags resemble this:
 
gani et se
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yep. That's it. Those girls are very territorial, and they interpret the bag as a well established nest.
 
Destroy anything that stands in your way. Except this tiny ad:
100 Chestnut Trees for 299$ or 50 for 195$ + Free Shipping & more
https://permies.com/t/107180/Chestnut-Trees-Free-Shipping-Interwoven
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!