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yellow jacket control

 
paul wheaton
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If you want to part with money, you can get the yellow tube things or the little contraption that goes on top of a gallon jug. The go in, but they cannot get out. I have the chickens trained to "chick chick chick" means I am giving them goodies. So I dump the full cannister and call "chick chick chick". After doing this a few times, the chickens develop a taste for them and start to catch them on their own.

Yellow jackets are drawn to tuna or cat food most. Use that as bait.

I once designed, but never built, a contraption for catching yellow jackets in a 55 gallon drum.  The idea was that I would put this out in the sun and catch thousands of yellow jackets.  It would be really hot in the barrel and the yellow jackets would get turned into yellow jacket jerky.  Then, in the winter, when the chickens were having a hard time finding bugs to eat, I could toss them a scoop of yellow jackets each day.  This little bit of extra protein would make a significant improvement in the egg  production!

 
Charley Hoke
Posts: 66
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
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paul wheaton wrote:
the yellow jackets would get turned into yellow jacket jerky.


This is a fabulous idea, I don't have a problem with yellow jackets, but here in the south we have a huge problem with Japanese beetles. These guys come visit us every year about this time and love foliage. They can defoliate a plant very quickly.  They are easy to catch with one of those yellow funnel traps.

In traps I have set up in the past if they are left in there too long they rot and turn into a gooey mess. But you have had me thinking about this all day. I think what I will try is to empty the trap daily and transfer these little boogers to one of my solar drying trays. I'll let you know how it works out. Thanks for a great idea.
 
Charley Hoke
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Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
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Charley Hoke wrote:
I don't have a problem with yellow jackets,


Actually this is not true, I have discovered a yellow jacket nest in one of my garden sheds. This nest has gotten pretty big and these guys are aggressive. I am looking for a way to safely remove this nest without chemicals of course.

One idea I had is to go down there at night with a 5 gallon bucket and a thin piece of sheet metal. The idea is to raise the bucket up and over the nest then take the sheet metal and slice the nest off where it is attached to the roof, the nest falls into the bucket and the sheet metal covers the bucket.

I would appreciate any ideas or opinions on this.
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paul wheaton
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Well, if you go with the bucket route, you might want to use soapy water.  And you might want to do it at night. 

I think I would go with the traps.  I think that a big nest like that isn't going to have too many adults.  It's just a matter of patience.
 
Charley Hoke
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Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
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What is the purpose of the soapy water?

I'm not familiar with yellow jacket traps, are they anything like japanese beetle traps?

I found this site, does this look like it would be effective?
http://pollinator.com/gallery/yellow_jacket_trap.htm

He also mentions the soapy water, I would like to feed these critters to the chickens.

Thanks
 
paul wheaton
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This is the kind of trap I'm thiking of:  http://www.rescue.com/products/yellowjacket.asp

But, yeah, there are lots of kinds of traps.  I prefer the dry traps.

As for soapy water:  yellow jackets, like many hard shelled insects, have a waxy coating that sort of repels water and keeps them from drowning.  Unless you use soap.
 
Charley Hoke
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Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
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I have scrapped the bucket idea, just do not like the thought of multiple stings.

Don't like the soap idea as I want to feed these critters to the chickens.

I don't want to spend money so I am experimenting.

My first experiment was a gallon plastic jug with a 3/4" square hole near the top. I then dangled a piece of dried peach near the hole, after I rubbed it around the hole.
The only thing I caught was a couple of bumble bees. That was disappointing as I like these guys, they are good pollinators.

I then took a gallon plastic jug and cut a V notch near the top with the point down. I did not cut it across the top so that it forms a little flap that I pushed in just enough the the critters could get in. I did not have tuna or cat food so I took a chicken heart and rubbed it around the opening and dropped a small piece in the jug.

So far 1 yellow jacket and about a dozen flies. I'm thinking that as the heart gets rank it may draw the jackets in.
 
paul wheaton
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I think you can buy the tiny-little-yellow-one-way-yellow-jacket-trap-ish-things and then attach them to anything you want.

I think there is something about the shape and size that makes it work well. 

And I think meat it important, but having it be not too rank helps a lot. 

The dry yellow traps are about ten bucks and available at most hardware stores and farm stores.  It's one of those things where it is helpful to have something that works - and see it work - and then start inventing alternatives.
 
                                        
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Up here in the northwest we use to have problems with those critters every year. There are several guys who come up every year to get as many Yellow Jackets as they can. They sell them to a company that makes anti venom. They worked as a team and removed the nest at night. These guys used a big black 33 gallon garbage bag. They had a ladder and a bucket truck. They would put they bag over the nest and close it up around the nest. They did it very quickly. I watched them one night do about ten of the nests around our property. They also put out traps made from gallon milk jugs. They put a little water in them with a few drops of a pheromone to attract the bees with yellow jackets on, as my daughter called them. lol

They also wanted the bees we call bald face hornets. They pointed out to me that they are not a hornet, as there are no hornets in the United States. They are another variety of the Yellow Jacket. These were the most desirable ones because they weighted a gram per bee. The black yellow jackets were worth about a dollar a piece. Anyway, They were quite good at getting that bag over the nests without missing. Then they put the bags in a cooler full of dry ice. They put them in a deep freeze as soon as they got to where they were staying. They used C02 to spray on the nests to get the bees to become inactive in nests that they thought may become a problem getting the bag over it without getting the bees angry and getting themselves stung. These guys said they earned 25k every summer capturing yellow jackets and other stinging insects. Oh, they said they could not get stung through the plastic bags, but I did not test it out. lol I hope this helps.
Cheers,
dent
 
Charley Hoke
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Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
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Thanks Dent, Interesting business Idea 

We had actually discussed the bag idea, problem is the cross member in front of the nest, actually it's kind of below it.

The nest has grown so much since I took that picture that it was beginning to wrap around that cross member.

I bought a trap yesterday but it was no better than the homemade ones I tried.

Today those nasty little buggers took to swarming every time I went near the shed so I decided enough is enough. I did what any sensible, deranged southern hillbilly would do,  I met them head on.



First I suited up in my homemade bee suit, after it got dark I removed the nest with water pressure. I took the garden hose and concentrated a narrow high pressure stream at the base of the nest until it dropped. I then saturated the nest with a shower spray, then scooped the nest bees and all into a bucket put a lid on it, and done.

No stings, and I think I got at least 90% of the bees, the chickens are gonna eat good tomorrow.


 
paul wheaton
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So you are gonna feed the chickens drowned yellow jackets?
 
Charley Hoke
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Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
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Drowned or washed, actually they didn't take to the yellow jackets right away, but they loved the larva.

I have discovered another nest in the same building, this one is in a bird house that did not get put up this year. More chicken grub.
 
                                        
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As a child around 1070 I saw a nest that was four feet wide and about 3 feet high hanging from the beam of an old saw mill. That year was warm from spring all the way through the fall and the bees developed very large nests. My friends and I were not able to keep messing with the biggest nest we had ever seen and we all got stung a few times trying to run away from a cloud of bees that followed us for several hundred yards. I have never seen that many bee in one place before, nor have I ever seen a nest that large again. The nest surrounded a big beam and was calling out to us. Please throw a rock and see what happens. Please, Please! throw a rock. Well, I watched as my buddy pitch a small rock. He missed and I missed until one of us decided we needed to get a little bit closer and use a larger rock. I found one round river rock about three inches in diameter and gave it a hurl. I hit the nest dead center. A million bees came out of that nest and started to chase me. I ran out of the building and headed toward my aunts house , I got a few of the bees in my hair  and a couple of stings on my head, but I was lucky one of the other guys got ten or so stings on his face and the other guy got about the same. I left exactly at the same time I threw the rock and I still got stung so those bees are pretty fast. When I went back later the nest had fallen to the floor of the mill and there were a ton of angry bees, so I stayed far away. If you got close enough to the bees they took off after you again so it seemed to me the bees had good vision. My rock throwing days at bee nests came to an end that day, however it was really cool to see that black cloud come out of the nest. Cheeers
 
Charley Hoke
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Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
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Well I suited up again tonight and went after the yellow jackets in the bird house. I made preparations a couple nights ago and these guys became quite agitated so I was a bit nervous.

Not a problem, I walked in gently picked up the bird house and placed it in a 5 gallon bucket and hammered on the lid, got them all too.

I discovered that being deliberate, swift, and gentle they had no time to react. I didn't even need the suit, but better safe than sorry.

 
                                        
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Oh, I forgot to say one other way they used to get the bees. They used a vacuum connected to a long hose. They used a stand to hold the hose next to the hole in the nest and turned on the vac. The hose must have been 40 feet long and the stand that help the end of the hose up by the nest looked like a big long mike stand. They took every bee they could get their hands on, so I figured they must have been worth quite a bit of money. I often wondered how much money it was worth to collect nests during the summer, but none of the guys would ever let on who they sold the bees to. I will say after a few years the bees around here declined quite a bit. I have often wondered how it effected the local wildlife that depended on the bees for food.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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