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Yellowjackets?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by ktoad on July 16, 2005 09:09 AM
Hello All! I've been reading here for months and learning a lot from you (Thank You). Just came up with a question I don't see addressed so I decided to post.

I am a novice this year with a veggie garden, but getting along OK Bell & Jalapeno peppers, green & yellow squash, tomatoes, cilantro, and some mint and Amaranthus thrown in just for fun.

I had a slight problem with beetles and early on with some low yellow leaves on my plants, so my uncle suggested I apply Sevin. My new problem is some stinging creature that I've never had to deal with on the property before. A Google search tells me that all my new gardening may have attracted Yellowjackets.

Obviously, they must leave. But in addition to the fact that I don't want to go heavy on chemicals around food I will eat, I also have pets who use the yard as well. I've been nervous and using the Sevin sparingly due to the animals. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Kelley
by BFVISION on July 16, 2005 07:38 PM
Hi Kelly,
Yellow Jackets can become a real pain in the @#&> [Eek!] . I dont vegetable garden but I do flower garden and have had many yellow jacket encounters.

They are particularly vicious and swarm once you enter their domain. I would not use chemicals as a spray because of the exposure to the veggies but would take the following steps:

1. See where they go. My last encounter was with a nest in the ground. Who knows how big it was but it had plenty of activity and closed down any travel along my front walk. They must have a home in your garden somewhere and it most likely is in the ground, a small hole is all you will see. Look around, watch where they go, you will be surprised.
2. Remove any veggie/fruit that may be decaying or wounded from the area, they need food.
3. Bee bottles are a great way to thin the herd naturally. Check out the local hardware store for details. A little sweetened water in the bottom of these bottles attracts the bees, they fly in and drown. This will not work on reducing a large nest, only slow them down. Soda is a great attractor. You can even use bottles that have a long neck and fill it about half way up.
4. Work on this in the evening. The bees are very active when the sun is shining. Once I identified my last bee home, I was able to pinpoint my spray directly into the nest from a foot away and then an hour later I used a shovel and chopped up the entire area. No more bees.
5. Most important... BE CAREFUL [teacher] . Do you know if you are allergic to stings? Sometimes this is a job for a professional. I only found out I was not allergic after I received about 10 bites on my legs one day walking through an area that I didnt know had a nest in the ground.

Good Luck!

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BFVISION

http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=2122269418&mode=guest
by mike57 on July 16, 2005 09:03 PM
HI ktoad [wayey] if you can find the hole there coming from you can pour sevin dust right into the hole useing a funnel.BUT MAKE SURE YOU DO IT AT NIGHT!the yellowjackets are active during the day.if can find the hole use a flash light and get them all while there in the nest at night.it should work for you.theres another way to get a 5 galon bucket of water and add dish soap to it you might have to do this sevral nights in a row though.pour it into the hole.but the sevin dust works best.use quite a bit of it.hope this helps.your friend in gardening.mike57 [wayey] [flower] [flower]

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No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent.
by MaryReboakly on July 16, 2005 10:18 PM
I just wanted to add I read that if you do this at night like Mike suggested put a piece of red saran wrap over the flashlight so the bees don't see the light and come out since they will be attracted by light.

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by mike57 on July 17, 2005 06:46 AM
HI Mary i have never heard that befor. i have used a flash light with no trouble at all and have never been stung at night anyways lol. guess i have been lucky so far.but that makes since to me just to be on the safe side.your friend in gardening.mike57

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No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent.
by MaryReboakly on July 17, 2005 09:07 AM
Hey Mike [Wink] I looked it up real quick and that was one of the things I read..guess it makes sense in case they get confused and think it's the sun shinin or somethin [dunno] Dunno but like you said better safe than stung! [Wink]

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by ktoad on July 19, 2005 07:19 AM
Say, you guys, thanks so much for the advice! I will try both things: Bottle of soda AND Sevin in the hole. Only problem - I gotta find the hole! I've never seen more than one bee at a time.

When this first came up at the start of the weekend, my youngest pup (a 14 lb. 2 yr. old) had been spotted eagerly entertained and digging in a particular spot for a couple of days. Then I saw that he had riled up a bee and was being swarmed by this solitary creature. I know I am not allergic to bees and it's a good thing because I got stung once in the cheek rescuing the little dog.

The area of the "digging" was inside an enclosed pool fence (my other two larger dogs stay with me in the yard - the little one has to be restrained). The pool fence is used for pole beans, but I also have jalapenos over there to keep them away from my sweet peppers.

What I did initially while waiting for your advice, and continue to do, is tie the little dog away from the site and I don't let the other 2 dogs in the pool area right now because I took my shaker of Sevin and doused the "digging" area with the poison. I put so much down it looked like snow on the ground! But rain was coming so I was worried about blowing just then.

But while I was inspecting the site, I sure couldn't find any holes. NOW, I HAVE seen a little hole on the other side of the house by my Amaranthus I use along the driveway. I was wondering what that was... Could their nest be on the far side of the house and the pup was just unfortunate enough to meet up with an angry worker by the fence? We saw one again today - guess what - in the area I've been tying the dog. Sheesh!

This time the bee was not violent though, and I was able to pick up the dog and get back inside. But that's probably because the dog was too timid to bark and I learned better than to try swatting. We simply left.

Do you guys think that the bottle technique (if I set out several) would give me an indication of where to locate the hole?

Thanks Again!

Kelley
by ninniwinky on July 20, 2005 07:38 PM
We had a terrible encounter with Yellow Jackets a few years ago here. We mow our lown twice a week, and out of the blue, while my fiance was mowing the lawn he was attacked by yellow jackets. He is allergic to bee's, I wasn't here but he called me and I told him to call an ambulance, Which he didn't of course! So I told him where the Benadryl was, and he drank half the bottle (by no means am I condoning, driking half a bottle of Benadryl)
Needless to say, we had to have the nest professionaly taken care of. But the pest man told us, always cover the flash light with red plastic, and also that the yellow jackets ALWAYS have two holes in the ground, like an escape route!! So be Careful!!!! Just for curiosity sakes, do you see the bee's right after you water your garden? I see quite a few after I water my tomato plants, I just water real quick, and get the heck out of there, after the water dissipates, so do the bee's. I think they may just be in search of some water. its been SUPER hot here, and not much rain....

Good Luck!

Ninni
by ktoad on July 21, 2005 07:52 AM
Good Lord! Thank God your fiance was OK after the ordeal! What a risk he took! On another post about ants, I got into the subject of molds causing allergies and recommended Benadryl - BUT NEVER THAT MUCH!

At any rate your post about 2 holes makes some sense to me because I finally found a hole, but it is not close to where I have seen the yellowjackets... I'm still hunting for the hole where I see the actual bees. And, No, I haven't noticed then when watering but we've had so much rain I doubt they are desperate for H2O.

Kelley
by ctgill on September 20, 2005 03:38 AM
Yesterday, Sept. 18, I was mowing my front yard and was "swarmed" by yellow jackets which evidently had a nest in the ground. I got 15 stings and was totally covered with the insects. A true nightmare for me. We have treated the hole somewhat with spray, but my question is that we have probably 7 nests of yellow jackets on the front porch that have never bothered us, but now I am really petrified so I avoid the front of the house. Should I get rid of all of these nests? Thanks for your very much needed advice.
ctgill
by SN on September 20, 2005 05:12 AM
http://www.saferbrand.com/wasp_home.htm

http://eartheasy.com/live_natwasp_control.htm

[wayey]

Please read the information at the links above, for natural pest control of yellow jacket wasps. At the second link, there is information regarding the destruction of nests, without the use of chemicals.

As far as getting rid of all of the nests, I think that would depend upon how much of a nuisance they are to you. If you have allergies, or if you have small children, then it may be something you want to do. If not, it may help you to know they can be beneficial in reducing other insect populations.

I hope this helps.

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Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony... ~Mahatma Gandhi

Rocking through the night
All is silent...Southern Cross

by Karrie on September 20, 2005 09:17 AM
My parents have a hornets nest in the back yard! It was not there a week ago when I mowed because if it was it would have hit me directly in the head on the rider mower. It is huge at least as big as a basketball. Can they build them that fast? I was amazed. We discovered this as my son was stung in the ear by one. My folks wont spray it to get rid of them as they want the nest. I am concerned about my neice and nephew that play in the back yard daily. I read about the red light thing and to take trash bags out there at night to pull up around it and seal. I am alergic to bees, so I am guessing I would also be to hornets. Does anyone know of a safer way to dispose of this without harm to the nest itself? I would just assume they do away with it all, since the kids play in the back. They have had it there for almost 2 weeks now. Any suggestions? They are still letting the kids in the back yard, I keep mine here away from it. My poor sons ear was as big as mickey mouse. He cried I look like dumbo don't send me to school. lol

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It doesn't matter where you go in life... It's who you have beside you when you get there.

Karrie's Photos
by BFVISION on September 24, 2005 08:02 PM
I have never heard of anyone movin a nest to keep it. I once was as amazed as you were at a nest that seemed to me to appear out of nowhere too. It too was as big as a basketball. I went out at night, covered it with a plastic garbage bag,twist tied it around the branch then just clipped the branch and put it into the woods. I understand the need to be harmonious with nature, but one child stung would be ebough for me.

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BFVISION

http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=2122269418&mode=guest
by Karrie on September 25, 2005 09:08 AM
Well what they want to do is to preserve it and then put it in the house with all their other stuffed things. Yeah kinda creepy. I mean we have mounted fish and a deer head that I am quite proud of, but they have been on a mission to aquire alot of odd things, stuffed fox, bob cat, beaver, a baby bear. So I guess they think the nest is an addition to their collection. I don't know how they think they can get the nest without the hornets in it in some way. They think that the hornets will abandon the nest come winter. I believe they just go dormant though. Someone told them if they do as you did with the garbage bag and then put it in two more bags after a few weeks the hornets would suffocate. I don't know though too much trouble for me. One child stung is one too many in my opinion. And with me being alergic to bees I am worried the children may be as well.

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It doesn't matter where you go in life... It's who you have beside you when you get there.

Karrie's Photos

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