Having trouble with a yellow jacket nest. A picture is worth a thousand words so I have included a photo. The nest appears to be build underground with the entrance under the raised bed frame. The entrance is the dark spot in under the board (near the center of the photo). Last night at 23:05, I went out and used the hose end sprayer to put about 10 gallons of soapy water on the area, but there are still there this morning (maybe a little shinier due to their bath). I went out the store and bought a can of yellow jacket spray, but I fear using it because it would be soaking the stems and roots of my raspberry bushes. I was thinking about pouring a gallon of boiling soapy water on them tonight, but I wanted to get ideas here first.
I agree with GeorgiaAdobe about the potential harm to your plants from the hot water treatment.
Are the wasps causing you any problems? The nest should be done by fall and wasps do not often reuse old nests. Also they a quite beneficial predators and rarely are they aggressive without first being molested.
"Study books and observe nature. When the two don't agree, throw out the books" -William A Albrecht
"You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." - Benjamin Franklin
Your best bet is to get a duster of some kind and blast boric acid or diatomaceous earth into the hole after dark. Sevin works even better if you are so inclined. Sevin will kill them almost instantly, the other dusts will take time to work.
If you can get to the nest directly a quick squirt of Wd 40 will cause them to abandon shop, itle also disolves their wings. I typicaly don't encounter the nest near plant's so it's up to you. You can do the same process with neem everyday for a week and they'll leave from being tired of repairing a paper nest covered in grease. You don't want the wd40 drizzling into your soil so if you choose that option don't over do it. Hot boiling water and yellow jacket's trying to get at you is a bad combination unless scalding is your thing.
I've used dry ice to kill yellowjacket ground nests. Put it on in the evening, cover with plastic, weigh down the plastic. In the morning there were a few stragglers, and since there was no queen, they were gone in a few days.
Intermountain (Cascades and Coast range) oak savannah, 550 - 600 ft elevation. USDA zone 7a. Arid summers, soggy winters
Unless I find a yellowjacket nest near a frequently travelled area, I leave them alone! I value their predation services far more than I worry about their stings. While the stings are painful, they affect me less than bee stings and I'd never get rid of a bee hive because of stings. YMMV, of course, especially if there are allergy issues.
My favorite solution: Place vacuum cleaner hose at entrance. Turn vacuum on. Come back in a few hours. (It might not be a bad idea to wear bee netting or some such when retrieving the vacuum.) Maybe the captured yellowjackets would make good chicken food, if you had a simple way of killing all of the captured one without using poison like I did last time. Granted, there are probably some more practical solutions out there.
This is a very old thread, but I wanted to add my thoughts.
I HATE YELLOW-JACKETS WITH A PASSION. A whole nest full attacked me when I was a child, and it's been a feud ever since.
Here's what I've learned about the little suckers.
1. They love sugared water (soda pop) and meat. Some people even call them "meat bees".
2. You have to get them before they breed, so buy yourself a couple of hanging yellow-jacket traps, and put them out right after winter. As the little suckers wander in and die, leave them there! Some people say you should empty the trap, but that advice is dead wrong. Yellow-jackets are attracted by dead things, including dead yellow-jackets. Just let them pile up year after year. You'll notice less and less of them as the years go by, because for every one you catch early, another 50-100 never get born.
This is the only trap I've ever seen that works, and it works great! Rescue - Reusable Yellow Jacket Trap Find them online or at your local big-box store. Remember you will be buying the traps only this once, and you do not need to buy extra bait. Just hang them high and away from people and pets, then forget about it, and enjoy years of yellow-jacket free living.
I also dislike yellow jackets very much. I don't care so much if they sting me, but they harass my beehives endlessly in the fall. I'm usually a live-and-let-live type of person but I think my bees are more important in my ecosystem than wasps. I have plenty of other beneficial predators (frogs, lizards, chickens, etc) and my bees can do the pollinating...
We recently got one of those rescue sticky traps from lowes and it seems to work quite well with all kinds of wasps. Caught at least 50 of them after the first couple days but no bees or other bugs. Apparently the green pattern attracts the wasps but the other bugs don't notice it. I plan on getting some more and maybe one of the traps you describe. The wasps aren't messing with the bees now but I'd like to put a dent in their population before they get the chance...
I first discovered these traps when we moved to a new housing complex which was surrounded by mostly open land. A nearby electronics factory had these hung all around their property. At first I couldn't understand why they didn't empty them, as each one was at least half full of dead hornets. Then I remembered my mom's overnight trips to the country, and how the hornets were attracted by her car's radiator which was covered in dead bugs. Then I put two plus two together, and realized the dead hornets would be their own bait. HOW CONVENIENT! No need to ever again mess with the trap. It just doesn't get much better than that!
My friend collects yellow jackets and hornets for anti-venom production. He recommends, as an earlier poster suggested, to vacuum the hive and then do it again the next day. He said the hive will collapse after that. He tapes pvc pipe to the vacuum hose and places it right at the hole.
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