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wasps/yellowjackets

 
Posts: 5
Location: Orange County, CA
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Also I really try not to overtly kill anything living, as they all have a right to their life, and they certainly have a place here.
 
steward
Posts: 1748
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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They attack to protect the nest. My wife is deathly allergic to yellow jackets . So we get aggressive with them around the house , garden ,and outbuildings in the spring . That is when they are building nests , they are not so aggressive then. When the young are in the nest they attack percieved threats. Late summer and warm months of fall they are most dangerous. Yellow jackets nest in holes in the ground - they do not make the holes but move in. Only the queen survives the winter. She makes the nest and lays her eggs and the hive population increases as the season goes on. So , you might not spot them at the beginning until the nest is crowded and they fly in and out all day . I don't mess around with them , they are dead when I find their nest. Cannot take chances with another anaphylactic event. Wasps and daubers are easy to control , just keep knocking the nests down as they make them. If the young are not in them you won't get attacked. From what I understand paper wasps , hornets , yellow jackets sense molecules coming off your breath and zero in . Perhaps that's why cologne or perfumes , smelly soaps and shampoos increase your risks. I figure the woods have plenty of breeding ground for them and those that come to hunt fruit and insects are far enough from their young that they are not dangerous.
 
Posts: 86
Location: LAKE HURON SOUTHERN SHORE
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hugelkultur forest garden chicken
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Greetings fellow premies.
I would like to weigh in here; firstly, because I also had a severe reaction to wasp stings. the distal part of my body from my heart would swell up like a sausage and burn for days. very unpleasant to live with and to look at. my worst scare was when i got stung on the face. I was terrified my face would swell up and suffocate me. Clearly (since I am still alive) that didn't happen. I was told by my MD that allergy to wasp stings is never deadly (as in anaphylaxis). Honeybees are the only common trigger. It was also at that time that the MD also told me that this kind of sever reaction will get worse with each exposure then at some limit (known only to my immune system I suppose) it will cease to exist. Not very comforting at the time but. . . with over half a century of experience I can now say he was right. I have only a negligable reacton to wasp and hornet stings even multiple angry ones. AND on the topic the same thing happened with poison ivy. My last severe exposure had the medical establishment ready to administer IV steroids when alas cooler heads prevailed and an older seasoned MD said wait. it will go away. be patient. And it did. never to be seen again. now poison ivy also causes no reaction. Worth noting tho my naturopath in gave me homeopathic Rhus tox (made from poison ivy) to treat the poison ivy. Apis will treat a bee sting (as in honey bee) It is incredible how many people dont know the differencbetween a bee and a wasp. Even some advice pages on the internet lump them together. You folks tho are way smarter than that.
So I stand on the side of be cautious but live and let live. work with nature and she will work with you.
btw very nice poster with the different bees and wasps.
 
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I hung a coconut windchime in a tree, and a bunch of waspers nested underneath a coconut lid. Maybe they would stay off your houyse if they had little h ouses in the trees.

]You may alsoi be able to find some natural, smelly chemical to put on your doors and windows etc. to run the waspers off but not kill them.

Waspers control mosquito larvae. Not sure what yellowjackets do.

I had a strange experience with yellowjackets. They stung me 8 times one day. Soon after that, my carpenter poured gas down a hole in the yard to kill them out. It was unnecessary, since the jackets were a long way from the house where we were doing carpentry. I would not have killed them. Anyway, next dayt, he came over to my other house, where I had a SECOND yellowjacket nest in the yard. That is where I had gotten stung. We were up on a roof and I ponted towards their nest, but we were not talking about them. Then we climbed down off the roof, and all of a sudden we were engulfed in a cloud of yellowjackets. We were on my back step, nowhere near their nest. They were all hovering benignly and harmlessly around our knees. The carpenter was petrified. They did not sting us and soon left. I think they were trying to make a "truce". I have had waspers do the same thing. I am convinced they are very sentient. I got waspers to land on my hand.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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I think during one of Paul's podcasts he mentioned that in a previous podcast he talked about dealing with wasps. I've been working my way through them - about 50 more till I'm caught up - but still haven't hit that wasp one yet.

I did come across this:

Paper wasps sometimes nest in metal grid beam if the tubes stay dry. If you store your sticks outside, handle them cautiously until you make sure they’re not inhabited. We’re not into killing wasps — they destroy garden caterpillars and other pests — but if you must remove them, a spray of anhydrous (water-free) isopropyl alcohol kills them on contact, and leaves no toxic residue.



Jergenson, Phil; Jergenson, Richard; Keppel, Wilma (2008-06-01). How to Build with Grid Beam: A Fast, Easy and Affordable System for Constructing Almost Anything (Kindle Locations 1091-1093). New Society Publishers. Kindle Edition.
 
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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paper wasp nest in a car

 
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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I think I would rather get a parking ticket for abandoning my car!
 
gardener & author
Posts: 612
Location: Equatorial tropics
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I sent this video to Paul last night - he told me to post it here!

After seeing the paper wasp video when it came out, I had the great fortune to see - and film - a wasp tearing up a caterpillar in my garden:

 
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paul wheaton wrote:Christy Nieto tells us about the caterpillars (currant worm) attacking her gooseberries and currants. She used to pick the caterpillars off by hand until that fine day when some paper wasps moved into the neighborhood and took care of her problem for her.

This is a great permaculture solution: work with nature instead of against nature. The predators will come.



I'm new to the forum and usually just lurk, the new "kid" on the block. I posted this in response to this on Facebook, so Paul invited me to repost here.

Except those are hornets, but the point still remains. My experience in my own garden is that garden pests usually indicate a phosphorus deficiency. If they get enough phosphorus, the plant no longer tastes good to the bugs. The bugs may still be present (and still need the hornets) but they won't want to dine on those plants as readily. But I'm not really sure it would be safe to have hornets nearby humans, unpredictable as they are. As for the phosphorus, it would be a matter of growing something that dissolves phosphorus that's locked up in the soil, or help it along with 2 oz. of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water & water it in around the plant's root systems (usually about 1.5 quarts per plant). Calcium would be another important mineral that makes the plant's structure stronger. Dandelions are great for dissolving calcium in soil. Or other calcium dissolving plants. For a really quick fix from a bug infestation, I've used foliar spray that contains 8 oz. of soda pop that contains phosphoric acid (the cola drinks) in one gallon of water. The phosphorus enters within 20 minutes. I don't like the caramel color or corn syrup (and do not use aspartame sweetened drinks), but at least it's edible unlike other foliar sprays. For calcium, you can add milk (even spoiled milk or moldy yogurt - I found really impressive results from yogurt -in the soil- due to the microorganisms) - 2 oz. in a gallon of water (either root feed or spray, but I combine the spray with the soda & milk, my root feeds have different formulas). There are 3 types of calcium in milk and it'll go into the plant's system in 20 minutes also (by spray). If anyone knows what plants help unlock phosphorus in the soil, I'd love to hear about it.

 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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Thanks and welcome, Julianna. If you don't like the caramel color then use one of the clear sodas.

This is the first time I have heard of three types of calcium. Interesting. Would like for you to send me more about that in a PM.
 
Julianna Holden Mohler
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Steven Feil wrote:Thanks and welcome, Julianna. If you don't like the caramel color then use one of the clear sodas.

This is the first time I have heard of three types of calcium. Interesting. Would like for you to send me more about that in a PM.



Hey Steven, thanks for the welcome.

Clear sodas contain citric acid, not phosphoric acid. If they did, I'd get those instead. Better yet, I wonder why we can't get phosphoric acid that isn't soda pop. Milk contains phosphorus, and so do leaves. But I'm not well versed in what plants or other things more natural contain it.

There are many types of calcium, some are byproducts and manmade, some from limestone, gypsum, etc. But the three types of calcium in milk are calcium phosphate, calcium lactate and calcium caseinate (except really it's phosphate). I'm not a chemist, I just learned this from a fellow farmer who grows for CSAs, farmers markets and their own farm stand.

I'm completely new to gardening even though I'm not young! I made a zillion mistakes when I started and just this year learned about permies, permaculture and sustainable agriculture. If you'd like to chat more, send me a PM.
 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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Oh, I see what you mean about the calcium. Actually there really is only one calcium Ca. The different things you are talking about is what the calcium is BOUND to. Once the calcium precipitates it becomes plain old Ca again! Does that help with your chemistry degree?

How about soaking banana peels in water and then using that?

We get 75% Phos Acid in 55 gallon drums at work! What concentration do you think it should be diluted to?

Wondering if that would make a good short term fix for my blueberries too???
 
wayne stephen
steward
Posts: 1748
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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I have an old shed and carpenter bees have drilled alot of holes into the roof slats where they raise their young . I noticed alot of potter wasps in the shed this year . They are solitary wasps that build little mud mounds to lay their eggs. Black and yellow striped wasps. Yesterday I caught a glimpse of them with a lime green stripe along their bellies , so I got up close for a better look. They had moved into the carpenter bee holes and were carrying caterpillars into the holes , all day long.
 
Posts: 489
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
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Old thread

I had a few seedling trees looking a little stressed (yellow, slightly wilted).  And in the forecast is 4 days of rain.  Today was supposed to be mostly sunny.  Since if the ground is too dry, it takes quite a while before plants will start to take up new rain (I think, maybe, sort of), I would give these plants a little bit of water.  Seedlings with a mesh of wire  stapled to the ground, a cage on top of the ground (to keep the various deer away).  And wood chip mulch to work as in insulator and moisture source, depending on time of year.

I go to water the last walnut I thought could use a little help, and I got attacked by wasps.  I got stung twice, yellow jackets.  It seems not unusual for yellow jackets to take up residence in wood chips.

I gather wasps will leave a scent (pheronome?)  on the target, to help other wasps to find the "culprit".

Later in the day, many miles away, I had yellow jackets "interested" in me.  I will guess that this scent is not hive specific.  It seems likely it might be species specific.

So maybe the thing to do after getting stung, is to go have a bath or shower.

 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1698
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Bees DO release that type of pheromone to guide others to the target area. Fairly certain wasps & yellow jackets do to. Pheromones are species specific though. Plink. My 2 cents worth.
 
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