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Sun Jul 8, 2012, 11:28 AM

beac 2 , Yellow Jackets 0 -- It worked AGAIN!!

Some of you may remember my battle last summer to eliminate a ground nest of yellow jackets.

After many fruitless attempts and much frustration, I found a tip that called for pouring honey into the hole. The idea is that the sweet stuff attracts a nocturnal creature who then digs up the nest for you. And, lo and behold, it worked just as advertised!

Well, this year's Yellow Jackets made their nest right next to the picker fence surrounding the tree and mini-garden in my front yard. It made watering quite a challenge and it was impossible to add any nice annuals to the things already growing there.

So, first I marked the spot by dumping some diatomaceous earth into the hole (in the late evening, after the wasps had gone to bed.) This started the killing process by drying up the wasps who dug through the earth the next morning and made the hole really easy to see for the next step (diatomaceous earth is a bright white powder derived from fossilized microscopic algae [diatoms], for those unfamiliar.)

The next evening, I poured the better part of a 1lb jar of cheap honey into and around the hole. Just like last year, nothing happened the first night. But the morning after the second night, I went out to find this:


What had been a quarter-sized opening with yellow jackets swarming in and out was now a 5" hole surrounded by the debris left from the ransacking.

I have no idea if it was a raccoon or a skunk who did the deed and I really don't care. The wasps are gone and the method was 100% organic and safe for all other creatures and insects.

Hope this will help some others out there battling ground wasps!*



*please note that I only do this with nests that are in areas that must be mowed or in places otherwise likely to cause a person to accidentally disturb the nest. Yellow Jackets are beneficials in general, so any that nest in the wilder areas of the property won't be harmed.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 12:35 PM

1. interesting, easy

So you think the nocturnal creature wasn't harmed? I guess not if he stuck around to dig that size of a hole.

And you haven't noticed the yellowjackets returning?

I really have a problem with yellowjackets, as my property is on a mountainside with terraces. They like to get into the wood beams of the terraces. There is at least one around here now that we have to be careful of. Maybe two. I sent your tip to my spouse, who is in charge of wasp removal. Thanks for posting it.


Cher

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Response to NJCher (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 02:23 PM

5. When I found the original idea (can't find that link now, darn it) it did mention that

the "creature" wouldn't be harmed. I suppose if you've adapted to eat honey, you've also adapted to be immune, or at least indifferent, to stinging.

Another trick I recently heard it putting a clear cover, like a cake cover or a jar over the opening at night. In the morning, the wasps try to get out but don't dig a new opening b/c the clear cover gives them "hope" that they can fly out eventually. Has to be weighted down and relatively well sealed to the edges so they don't find a way out. My yard is too uneven for that, but it might work for a hole in a wooden terrace.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 12:56 PM

2. May I ask,

why the diatomaceous earth prior to the honey? Isn't that overkill? Or is there a reason for using both?

Great idea though. I have had problems in the past, but just ignored it and watched when I was in the area of the hole, but it is good to have an easy solution if I need it. Thanks for posting.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 02:17 PM

3. Probably IS a bit of overkill BUT the diatomaceous earth is easier to sprinkle from a distance

(I rigged up a measuring cup on a bamboo stake!) and it helped me to find the hole for the honey quickly in the dark the next night, minimizing the time I needed to stand near the opening to slowly pour it all in (I do the pouring in total darkness and the diatomaceous just after sundown.)

Speaking of overkill, last year I also poured in a few cups of Mosquito Barrier (a strong garlic repellant) when nothing happened the first night. I guess the "creature" wasn't put off by it b/c he dig up the nest anyway, but I decided to eliminate it this year and see if honey alone would do it.

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Response to beac (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 02:22 PM

4. LOL!

You sound like me when I really get into a project too. I can't help myself, I want results, and I want them NOW.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 04:43 PM

6. Do you think this would work for the woodchuck that moved in under my shed?

I know I can get pick up a couple of gallons of honey at the store.

Anyone know where I can buy a 200 lb or so black bear in the Detroit area???



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Response to Denninmi (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 08:55 PM

7. Maybe Ednahilda would ship you her local one for a small fee?

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Response to beac (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 11:07 PM

8. Hey, that's a thought.

I wonder if it would fit into a Priority Mail Flat Rate Large Box?

Probably not...alas.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #8)

Sun Jul 8, 2012, 11:20 PM

9. Postal Worker: "Does the package contain anything perishable or dangerous?"

Ednahilda: "Um.. er...""

Package: "Rawrrrrrrr!"

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Response to beac (Original post)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:17 AM

10. "Cheap honey"

Isn't that an oxymoron?

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Response to roody (Reply #10)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:53 AM

15. I usually buy wildflower raw honey for our own comsumption, so I guess

the generic grocery store stuff seems cheaper to me.

Though, you are right, honey is still pretty inexpensive for what you get no matter what.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:35 AM

11. Doesn't work for European hornets - they bore holes into the vinyl siding.

 

Nasty fuckers. They're aggressive as you get and over-winter in the siding. There's no environmentally friendly way to rid yourself of them. Keep in mind here that I'm a bee lover and our yard has more bees on any given day than the entire rest of the neighborhood combined - we don't poison the grass.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #11)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:42 AM

12. Yup, definitely only a solution for ground-dwellers.

I've been known to break out a short burst of un-eco wasp spray when I see their annual nest begin to form on our porch. Ugh.

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Response to beac (Reply #12)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:45 AM

13. We had some ground hornets near the house in NH - step-dad suggested pouring gas down the hole.

 

My first thought was, "YEAH! GREAT FUCKING IDEA!" He's a Republican.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #13)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:51 AM

14. Yeah, I read that "tip" in multiple place while I was searching last year.

Some geniuses even suggest that after pouring you SET THE GASOLINE ON FIRE!

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Response to beac (Reply #14)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 11:59 AM

16. Oh, yeah, that would be SO good next to the house.

 

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #16)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 12:33 PM

17. Wasps- gone! House-- gone!

Problem solved!

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #13)

Mon Jul 9, 2012, 05:16 PM

18. doubled over

with laughter!

This one is less harmless than gasoline and the ending is very sobering:


A friend of mine told me about an Omaha woman who was watering with the hose/nozzle. She noticed a ground wasp's nest and, not really thinking this through too well, aimed the nozzle in the nest.
Very bad idea.

The tremendous number of bites put her in the hospital and there were complications. I think it was six months later that she died.


Cher

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Response to beac (Original post)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 11:26 PM

19. That's a neat idea

i usually do a non-environmentally friendly method. I can't stand them, they're not native, they're invasive and they're really aggressive.

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