yellow jacket(?) removal

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by Cricket, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. Cricket

    Cricket Member

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    Any eco-savvy ways to stop a nest of Western Yellow Jackets? I think that's what they are since the nest is in the ground. These stingers are next to my gate, so almost everyone gets stung coming up the stairs. Doesn't help that one of my dogs is a Blue Heeler mix, so assertive. She's staying, so...

    If there aren't any natural ways to get rid of the nest ASAP, which chemical is least offensive, malathion or carbaryl dust?

    Thanks! Cricket
     
  2. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    The only "natural" cure I have heard of: boiling water into the nest opening- didn't sound too comfortable to me. I use Malathion, shooting a stream from a distance then leaving.

    Ralph
     
  3. Cricket

    Cricket Member

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    One friend used boiling water to no effect. It was my 1st thought. Guess I''ll get the malathion. An autumn clematis is planted at the base of the nest. Any idea if the well-established clem will get hurt?

    Thanks! Cricket
     
  4. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    A very good possibility that boiling water would hurt it. The Malathion, particularly directed at the ground nest entrance should cause no harm to the Clem, but don't eat it for at least 14 days!

    Ralph
     
  5. Cricket

    Cricket Member

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    No worries there - not a clem fancier food-wise (hmm, dark chocolate covered clem?).

    Any ideas where to buy the malathion? Nursery, hardware store? Definitely not chemical savvy - organic garden 29 yrs. (mine for 4).

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    I don't think it's actually still available to J.Q. Public anymore, but try a Buckerfields in the yellow pages, or Green Valley in Abbotsford. I'm a farmer, so my supply line would be quite a bit different from yours.
    Having said all that, for one nest I'd be very surprised if there wasn't a retail level aerosol that would do the trick for a few bucks and a lot less trouble, even if it took a couple of tries. I usually do this kind of operation at dusk, just before you can't see to aim. They are supposed to be more lethargic at this time, but I don't usually hang around to prove that theory.
    If they are yellow and black, be careful. If they are white and black, be very careful - those are bald faced hornets and are much more agressive and powerful stingers.

    Ralph
     
  7. Cricket

    Cricket Member

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    Will try anything at this point. Thankfully, the hornets I have are the yellow & black, but still powerful stingers. A friend's daughter was stung recently by a bald faced hornet - thanks for naming it; her ankle swelled to twice its size.

    Buckerfields, here I come.

    Many thanks & happy harvest.
    Cricket
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Well, I'm late to the game, unfortunately, but for future reference here's my story:

    We had a yellowjacket nest last summer in our black bamboo pot on our apartment balcony. Our method of control was to cover the soil surface (plastic garbage bag and tape) at night, then spray into the contained area a pyrethrin-based aerosol. Pyrethrins are a neurotoxin that are extracted from the flowers of a chrysanthemum, which break down rapidly (note: never use near water bodies!).

    This was very effective, although it did knock back the black bamboo a fair bit (although it's recovered fairly nicely this spring).

    Here's a good article:

    Getting along with Yellowjackets from the Washington Toxics Coalition
     
  9. Cricket

    Cricket Member

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    The little buggers were definitely yellow jackets, & had to be removed as their underground nest was next to my back stairs - the main entry to the house. Several friends are allergic to the stings.

    I tried everything natural I'd heard of - boiling water, cold water for 1/2 hr. with a rock over the hole, 2 wasp traps, etc. Finally gave up & called an exterminator. He got rid of them, but awful chemicals in my 29-year organic garden - eeegads! It cost $75 in Vancouver, so I didn't pay a fortune.

    Wish I'd known about the natural oils, but will keep that info in mind for future years.

    If it were just me, I'd leave them alone. I was stung only once, & that was when one of my dogs got agitated from the yellow jackets, so it stung me. Every day I wore natural flower oils & a dress (if they'd wanted to sting, they could've gone crazy on me!). Every single person going up or down the stairs got stung, plus my poor dogs. I think it's the same with any living creature - if one shows fear, guess what? Attack!

    Thanks for all the advice!
    Cricket
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If you have future problems do look for a ready-to-use aerosol can at a garden center.
     

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