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That is one BIG nest. I'd have taken the photo and ran!

It appeared to be vacant, but I almost filled my shorts finding it. [:)]

Here's a thought. Some people blow up a paper bag and hang it out on the porch. They say it looks like a wasp nest and keeps other wasps away. So maybe this lovely specimen is serving a purpose as a deterrent?.

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I find them all the time. The yellow jackets and other wasps aren't too aggressive unless you screw with the nest and then they git pissed. Those damned bald-faced hornets - the gray-blue ones - they'll attack you when you just get within eyesight of their nest. Mean little buggers.

Last week I was doing a crawlspace and pulled the insulation out of one corner behind the front porch to look at the rim joist and broke one of those in half. It was bonded to the floor, rim and the top of the batting, so when I yanked the batt out the air suddenly got very busy with pissed off yellow jackets. The only thing I could think to do was cut the light so they didn't know where to look for me. It worked, I could hear them swarming angrily and bumping into everything around them as I skeddaddled out of there and left the batt hanging for the bug guy to correct when he comes out to nuke them.

I'm glad turning the light off worked, those suckers can sting multiple times and I would have been in really deep kimchi if they'd been able to find me in the dark.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I don't know what variety of yellow jackets ya'll have up there, but those that we have around here are just plain aggressive. Typically they nest underground. Far worse than red hornets--and their sting hurts much longer afterwards. All this despite the fact that the red hornets are about twice the overall size of the yellow jackets.

Than again, I wonder if the flying stinging thingies are all mellower up there. Perhaps it's due to the presence of peaceful vibes or the lack of heat...

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I've always called the ones that make the large nests in the attic paper wasps: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_wasp

Yellow jackets often nest in the ground here, and are agressive. No as aggressive as bald faced hornets, but close at times.

Yellow jackets will nest in the ground or in an attic or in a bush or in a tree or under an eave. By the end of summer their nests are usually basketball size. They look like the first picture that Erby posted. The bald faced wasps that Mike referred to are a type of yellow jacket; they're slightly larger and slightly more agressive. I don't know about other areas, but around here, yellow jackets are the most agressive wasps around.

The paper wasps that you're thinking of build open comb nests - there's no outer covering. In our area we see them all the time under eaves, inside plumbing vents, and under mushroom vents on roofs. They have a painful sting and can sting multiple times, but they rarely do. As Marc described, they'll dive bomb you & make threatening gestures, but you practically have to grab one to get it to actually sting you. Whereas if you look crosseyed at a yellow jacket nest, they'll come after you with a vengence - especially the bald faced ones.

We have terrible problems with yellow jackets out here at my place. I suspect it's because of all the gophers. There are hundreds of old gopher holes on my property and the yellow jackets use them as places to start their nests. I declared war on them one year. I put out a dish of cat food & watched which way they flew after snatching up bits of it. This way, I was able to track them to their nests. That year I found 5 nests - each about the size of a basket ball. I destroyed all of them. It didn't even put a dent in the population. By late September, my front yard looked like a moving sea of yellow jackets.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Sorry, Mike L. I had to have a go at this.

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tn_20108913814_psp%20pic.jpg

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Almost bumped my head on it. [:0]

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tn_20108913837_psp%20pic2.jpg

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That's good. Without the wasp nest pic you would never know where that pattern came from.

Yellow Jackets are a scourge. They attack for no reason and the bite is extremely painful. Their activity around here amps up around Sept 1.

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