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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
bower
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Yeah those yellow jackets are really nasty! There are a lot around my brother's yard (urban forest) and one of them got into my sleeve when I was clearing up brush there late this summer. Half dozen stings and they were giving me misery for a week. Yellow jackets love to winter under leaves or bark - when I was burning birch I always had to carefully inspect or strip any loose bark before bringing wood in the house. Tons of them.

The paper wasps look really similar but are not nearly as aggressive. They insisted on nesting near the house one summer and finally I just had to work on my nerves and tolerate them. They were really well behaved overall. I got one sting - happened to have a smoke in the yard one day while I was looking over the tomato plants. I reckon they were alarmed at the smoke and thought I was planning an attack on them.



There's a lot of great info in this thread I did not know about, like wearing red (and/or not dark!) clothes. Time to get myself a little red riding hood or such.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
Worth1
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Raised up keeping bees I always knew about dark clothes ticking these critters off.
I watched a show years ago where they put a black spot on white background to show how aggressive killer bees were compared to regular bees.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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I remember that show! It showed and/or recounted some terrifying swarm attacks. I remember that black circle on the white suit and how those bees went at it.

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Raised up keeping bees I always knew about dark clothes ticking these critters off.
I watched a show years ago where they put a black spot on white background to show how aggressive killer bees were compared to regular bees.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
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Originally Posted by bitterwort View Post
We also discovered that adding a couple tablespoons of Dawn to a 1-quart spray bottle and using it on hornets flying around will drop them out of the air. This doesn't work as well on wasps, but we generally leave wasps alone anyway since they're helpful and don't have such a bad attitude, like yellow jackets do.
I read about this last year and it works great, especially down in the garden shed where there's always a wasp or two that get in there and buzz me when I enter. Also on the front porch where wasps where they like to start nests up in the ceiling corners. They mess with me when I'm trying to tend the porch plants. The trick is to set that spray bottle to full stream and once you spray you gotta keep at it, hitting the wasp until it just falls. Then comes the shoe squish.

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We found that a 5-gallon bucket filled with water and an entire bottle of Dawn dishwashing detergent, dumped in the main hole when they're in the nest and least active (a cool night), is a good first start. Repeat daily as needed until you don't see any more and then flood out the rest of the nest with a hose. Dawn is so effective at defatting things that it defats the larvae and prevents them from becoming adults.
This is good to know. There are rarely yellowjackets around here but it seems here comes Dawn to the rescue again.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
matereater
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Read an article about the different types of bees and how to tell the difference in coloring and habits. They listed the yellow jackets the a$$holes of the bee world. I agree !!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
brownrexx
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They are not friendly for sure but they are considered to be mean because they are very protective of their hive and their young but they do eat thousands of insects. As long as they are not in an area near the house and attacking me, I leave them alone.

We have pear trees which drop a lot of pears at the end of the season and the yellow jackets love eating them. We can walk around the area to pick up dropped pears and they do not bother us as long as we don't try to pick up a pear that they are eating. They seem to be mainly aggressive when anyone goes near their hive.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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skunks will dig up and eat the whole nest if it is in the ground. that said, not knowing where you are.. as i didn't look, but here the wasp QUEEN is the only one to winter over and the rest of the wasp colony dies. they don't winter over for us. other than placing a screen barrier so you remember not to get too close to the spot you can't deter them or make them move. i had a tiny colony the other day in my electrical cover in the greenhouse. that one I killed. otherwise I normally leave them alone. that said if you are anaphylactic allergic please don't listen to anyones advice about killing a whole colony near your house. I will in the future spray and kill any hornet nest I find near my house. My husband got stung once a couple weeks ago and almost died. that is the worst experience you could ever have. he wasn't even sure he got stung until he saw the swelling on his arm. he only came in to tell me he got stung just in case anything happened.. within minutes he was developing hives turned beet red, itched everywhere started swelling, pressure on his head, he was hot.. I got him to the urgent care in time for him to pass out there instead of in the car. watch carefully as at anytime you can develop and allergy.
went to see where you live...ah, warm year round. nevermind my advice on the queen. wintering over. I have no idea what they do there. BUT... don't suck it up and let them sting you so you can get the work done. they are relentless. they will sting over and over.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #23
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I got buzzed by wasps and honeybees in the garden today, then remembered advice and went changed my black jacket for a light colored one. They did back off and I got my work done without being threatened.
One thing I've noticed is that yellow jackets or paper wasps are the ones to pollinate the currant bushes in early spring. My bushes are at the far end of the garden, and when I noticed that fact, I made a mental note to always put currants away from the house and vegetable beds, so I don't have to interact too closely with you know who.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #24
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Carolyn, I'm so sorry about your husband's new allergy. I too am allergic to Yellow Jackets, but not bees (yet). Such a bad allergy to have for those that garden. I get stung every year. Right now I am just waiting for frost. The bee and wasp population is quite healthy right now which is very good, but it is dangerous for me to go out.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #25
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Well, I went at the area around the bird-of-paradise with (first) Dawn detergent mix in a hose-end sprayer bottle, then Dawn-detergent mix in a sprayer tank. I am quite sure I was hitting some of the wasps, but I don't know that they actually died. And, getting a better look at them in full sun, I think they perhaps are yellow jackets. I think I definitely thinned the herd a bit, and I didn't get stung while working on the plant yesterday, though sadly I still can't reach some of the bits that need trimming. It was thankfully not as hot as it's been, though being covered head to toe and wrapped in a thin scarf was a challenge.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilroyscarnival View Post
Well, I went at the area around the bird-of-paradise with (first) Dawn detergent mix in a hose-end sprayer bottle, then Dawn-detergent mix in a sprayer tank. I am quite sure I was hitting some of the wasps, but I don't know that they actually died. And, getting a better look at them in full sun, I think they perhaps are yellow jackets. I think I definitely thinned the herd a bit, and I didn't get stung while working on the plant yesterday, though sadly I still can't reach some of the bits that need trimming. It was thankfully not as hot as it's been, though being covered head to toe and wrapped in a thin scarf was a challenge.
You may have a yellow jacket nest in the ground under your tree. More than likely they are just finding something on the tree that attracts them. They are all over my bell peppers right now but they so far haven't bit me yet. I usually get stung a few times in the fall and winter by yellow jackets but usually it is my own fault at being careless and not noticing one and grabbing one by accident. A very quick application of wet tobacco will quickly reduce the pain and reduce the swelling before it even starts. Luckily I am not allergic but the later in the year that I get bit the more painful and the worse the swelling can be due to the fact that yellow jackets venom seems to get more potent in colder weather when they are feeding on meat instead of fruit. I used to get zapped by them every time I was out cleaning fish in the fall or winter.

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Old 2 Days Ago   #27
Cole_Robbie
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The common driveway weed Broadleaf Plantain is also a great first aid for stings. Chew a leaf to make a hasty poultice. It's healthy to eat, too.

Here is what it looks like:
https://www.google.com/search?q=broa...&bih=560&dpr=2
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Old 2 Days Ago   #28
clkeiper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissS View Post
Carolyn, I'm so sorry about your husband's new allergy. I too am allergic to Yellow Jackets, but not bees (yet). Such a bad allergy to have for those that garden. I get stung every year. Right now I am just waiting for frost. The bee and wasp population is quite healthy right now which is very good, but it is dangerous for me to go out.
thank you. it was very scary.
if you all don't know what an anaphylactic reaction is or the symptoms of a true allergic reaction learn them.
his first symptom was not near the sting site but on his feet. he immediately started with itching and hives on the tops of his feet which proceeded to cover his whole body including the whites of his eyes. swelling of the face, pressure on his head. he started getting hot and turned beet red. then lowering heart rate and lowering of blood pressure. it is not always a swelling and closing airway. you can die from the histamines being released into your body and it is shutting down. he passed out shortly after getting into the ER. When the ER doc starts helping to undress a patient it is critical.
he got stung in the mouth a few years ago when he sipped a yellowjacket up a straw... but he did not have this reaction. at anytime you can develop an allergy. he now carries an epi pen in his lunchbox every day.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilroyscarnival View Post
Well, I went at the area around the bird-of-paradise with (first) Dawn detergent mix in a hose-end sprayer bottle, then Dawn-detergent mix in a sprayer tank.
I always spray them at night, after the colony has bedded down. Locate the nest entrance during the day, but since many wasps are out foraging at that time resist the urge to spray since it is possible you'll get stung by returning wasps. At night they are all in the nest, and typically far less aggressive. Put your sprayer head into the nest entrance and give them a really good dousing with your soap mix - a couple of litres is good. If you saturate everything during your first attempt you'll get the entire colony, otherwise it will take you multiple tries.
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Old 17 Hours Ago   #30
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I have never seen a yellow jacket pollinate any type of flower.
I have seen them pollinate soda cans.
They are real bad in early fall.
I am always telling folks to cover their soda cans.
Also for some odd, reason they like to fly around people's faces. I have no idea what draws them to do this.
They do eat insects but are indiscriminate predators, like the praying mantis.
I have only seen them in my garden one time when I put out some alcohol soaked pineapples, (picture in earlier post)
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