DIY yellow jacket removal

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Riggerjack
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by Riggerjack »

So, I had a ground nesting yellow jacket problem at one of my rentals. It was under a tree, and the tenant had let the fallen branches build up to the point that I couldn't find the actual nest. I used up 4 cans of wasp spray, to no effect.

So I ordered a beekeeping hat, put on my winter riding suit, welding gloves, and boots, and got ready to dance with yellow jackets.

First, I used a rake to move enough branches to find the nest. This had me surrounded by about 60+ angry wasps. I tried to just chill, and let them go back to their routine, but they were having none of it. Trying to hold still, while a few dozen wasps are diving at you, and your hat is holding wasps only a few inches from your ears isn't as easy as you would imagine.

After a few minutes with them not calming at all, I retreated to the other side of the yard. Here, there were only a dozen or 2 harassing me. But this is where one got in, and stung me in the Adams Apple. A lot. Now, the problem is my gear is holding most back, so I can't strip it off, but it is also preventing me from doing anything about the one stinging me under my beard, and moving south...

So I ran around front, and started stripping. The hat doesn't come off easily, but by the time I got to where I could grab that wasp, he was down to crotch level. Fortunately, either I had transformed in wasp thought to environment, or he was out of venom. No stings below my throat.

I waited a while, went back, and sprayed the nest. Then went back, and dug it up. It was about the size of a honeydew melon.

Now, if the branches weren't there, the right way to do this is start a lawnmower, and just park it over the nest. Lesson learned: pick up fallen branches, before wasps move in.

GandK
Posts: 2018
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by GandK »

:lol: :lol:

I was not thinking "insect" when I saw the title, and assumed you were either graciously giving away a 1970s-era mustard toned sport coat, or you were having a massive brain fart. I mean, why start a thread? Donate it already.

And ouch! Glad you're OK after that fiasco.

George the original one
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by George the original one »

I'm doing some buyer-required repairs on our old house this week. Was scraping paint under the eaves on the gable end of the house and spotted a small wasp nest. Forgetting it was "that time of year", I swatted the nests and discovered they were live... while I was 20' up a ladder!

It was a cool morning, so only one found me, biting me under the jawbone. But it was a bit tense while beating a hasty retreat down the ladder (and fighting mild vertigo).

Tyler9000
Posts: 1687
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:45 pm

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by Tyler9000 »

Ouch!

Yeah, wasps love the eaves of my house. Wasp spray works like a charm and kills on contact, but the trick is to proactively get them while the nest is small. A large hive protected by branches would be ... tricky. Glad you made it out ok.

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C40
Posts: 2548
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by C40 »

Ok, here we go:

Step one: Go into your workshop and build a flame thrower
Step two: Make sure your will and beneficiary information are updated. And your health insurance.
Step three: Acquire and don safety gear
Step four: ATTACK!

BRUTE
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by BRUTE »

brute would be interested to find out if life insurance covers deaths involving self-made flamethrowers

vexed87
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by vexed87 »

Haha, fire/smoke was also the first thing that came to mind. Have you looked into smoking them out?

jacob
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Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by jacob »

Yeah, I knew it would come to this: XM42 for responsible adults.

(The website recommends it for insect control too. I disavow any kind of responsibility for whatever kind of "fun" might obtain from this!)

enigmaT120
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by enigmaT120 »

I use a shop vac with all the extensions I have on the hose. Must be 15 - 20 feet. Far enough away that I can move slowly and calmly and prop the tip right next to the nest entrance with none taking interest in me. Start the vacuum and listen to the satisfying sound of hornets bouncing along the inside of the hose. Leave it on for a long time.

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Sclass
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by Sclass »

Wow that sounds awful.

My neighbor back in the Bay Area tried to do this. She was uninitiated and thought a scarf and sweater were all that she needed. I came running over and stopped her before she attempted suicide.

She was from the Netherlands and she said these wasps are not aggressive in Europe. She'd just spray them and walk away. Right. They were yellow jackets.

We made a bee keepers hat with a big straw hat and some orchard netting. I gave her my elbow length hazmat gloves. She put on two pairs of jeans and went at it. Nailed them without a sting.

I'm sorry your net failed. That sucks. It reminds me of being stung while riding my motorcycle in my 20s in Alameda. One flew up my pants leg and one flew down my shirt...at the same time and they started stinging. It took serious willpower to stay calm and keep the bike up. :shock:

Glad you are okay.

EMJ
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:37 pm

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by EMJ »

"The stinger is a modified egg laying device, so only girls have them."
https://askentomologists.com/2015/09/23 ... sps-sting/

Good that only one wasp found you!

FBeyer
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:25 am

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by FBeyer »

jacob wrote:Yeah, I knew it would come to this: XM42 for responsible adults.

(The website recommends it for insect control too. I disavow any kind of responsibility for whatever kind of "fun" might obtain from this!)
Googled XM42.
Is now no longer a staunch minimalist...

Riggerjack
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by Riggerjack »

Really, 1 wasp was no big deal. I've never been all that bothered by bees. My wife was in the house, filming. I thought I might make my first YouTube video, "fat man dances with wasps". But the video is boring.

I thought about the flame thrower, as I have a propane weed burner that shoots a very intense flame about a foot. If I had access to the nest, image have gone that route. But starting a fire under a Doug fir, in a residential neighborhood in August seemed reckless.

The beekeeping hat was on Amazon for 15 bucks. I just thought I'd share.

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Sclass
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Location: Orange County, CA

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by Sclass »

Riggerjack wrote: The beekeeping hat was on Amazon for 15 bucks. I just thought I'd share.
How many stars are you going to rate that thing? :shock:

Riggerjack
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by Riggerjack »

Oh, I'd give it 4 stars. It did what it was designed to do, even though it was designed for honey bees, much less aggressive than wasps. And usually, calmed by smoke.

If I had just used the rake, and run away, then came back, I wouldn't have had a problem. I just thought I could out wait them. Bad strategy on my part.

It came with straps to go under my armpits, and a elastic band at chest level. I can't think of a way they could reasonably have improved it, other than make it bigger, overall. More room between my ears and a wasp covered bit of netting would be nice. Maybe make the hoops that spread the netting another 4" bigger in diameter.

I had a roll of duct tape, for sealing seems, and decided it was unnecessary, both times.

I just thought I'd share this story, because I thought it was funny, and it might help others in the same position, someday.

enigmaT120
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by enigmaT120 »

I have destroyed several nests of yellow jackets and bald faced hornets with my boring vacuum cleaner solution. OK, only one nest of the bald faced hornets. They're not as common. Probably because they sting for the fun of it.

ajg01
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Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by ajg01 »

For in the ground nests a road flare should do the trick. If its in a brush pile wait until winter. If you have winter where you live... Or if you're in a hurry just wear lots of clothing as stated by OP.

Now what about hover flies? They look like bees but they just fly in your face and bite you all over ...

enigmaT120
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: DIY yellow jacket removal

Post by enigmaT120 »

ajg01 wrote: Now what about hover flies? They look like bees but they just fly in your face and bite you all over ...
If you are talking about what we call sweat bees, they never bite me. I didn't know they could bite.

We do have things called deer flies that are yellow (but no black stripes that I noticed) that will follow you around and try to bite you. I've had one follow me for at least a mile and a half when I was running in the woods, until I got tired of him, stopped, extended my left arm while slowly whirling my right around my head. and killed him when he landed on my left arm. I hate those things.

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