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Tom Raymond

Yellow jackets

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Question for the bug guys.

I have what I believe to be a yellow jacket hive in an exterior wall of my house. Do they leave at the end of the season or do they hang out indefinitely?

I'd hate to spray them if they are going to leave on their own. What would you do?

I'll upload a video clip when I have WiFi.

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They stay. At some point they'll turn on you and there will be no angst in your soul when you commit genocide.

First they start hitting you in the face, head and ears. That is followed by searing pain as each one stings you multiple times and then for good measure, they actually bite off chunks of your flesh. They are truly assholes.

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Question for the bug guys.

I have what I believe to be a yellow jacket hive in an exterior wall of my house. Do they leave at the end of the season or do they hang out indefinitely?

I'd hate to spray them if they are going to leave on their own. What would you do?

I'll upload a video clip when I have WiFi.

The colony will die at the end of the season and you'll be left with a bunch of nesting material and dead bugs in the wall. Sometimes a secondary infestation of mites moves in, but there's little other downside to leaving the nest in place after its dead.

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Question for the bug guys.

I have what I believe to be a yellow jacket hive in an exterior wall of my house. Do they leave at the end of the season or do they hang out indefinitely?

I'd hate to spray them if they are going to leave on their own. What would you do?

I'll upload a video clip when I have WiFi.

The colony will die at the end of the season and you'll be left with a bunch of nesting material and dead bugs in the wall. Sometimes a secondary infestation of mites moves in, but there's little other downside to leaving the nest in place after its dead.

Does the colony repopulate? I had a three-season infestation in my shed in the spaces between air dried lumber.

edit:

The queens overwinter with enough eggs to make a new colony, and a few new queens. Just kill the queen.

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Here they live in the ground but saw one nest where they chewed right through wood lap siding over a doorway. Here I blast them with the long range bombs...usually some scavenger animal will dig the nest up later...hope they don't get sick on it.

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Just hit them at dusk with a cup of gasoline, or white gas is better, no stain.

Yes most of them die and of course a queen will survive into the Spring, but I don't see them reusing old nests here. They just love to build new.

Last week I was on the ladder poking into a cavity where a dormer connects to the main roof, 12:12 pitch, and a half a dozen yellow jackets came rolling out of there. Funny, I've never seen wasps roll before and luckily they were landing in the gutter and not in my shirt pocket. I made a rapid descent. They are not good at tracking you if you stand back and act casual.

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They will overwinter here, depending on the location of the nest. They are trying to get the nest deep enough into the building to find enough heat/protection to keep them alive all winter. Most nests fail to do that, but I've seen them chew through just about any material necessary to get in.

I always blast the nests with spray in the early evening or early morning, when most of them have landed. They will keep coming back to the same place. I don't think the spray has much residual effect at all.

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They are deep in the wall. My house is double plank and I can hear them behind the drywall. That means they either found a gap or chewed through 3" of solid wood.

I wonder if I could a get a shot of the nest with the IR camera...

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You need to get rid of them. They'll chew through or widen a small gap. You need to kill them and close off the entrance. They will be inside your house soon.

They are deep in the wall. My house is double plank and I can hear them behind the drywall. That means they either found a gap or chewed through 3" of solid wood.

I wonder if I could a get a shot of the nest with the IR camera...

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Question for the bug guys.

I have what I believe to be a yellow jacket hive in an exterior wall of my house. Do they leave at the end of the season or do they hang out indefinitely?

I'd hate to spray them if they are going to leave on their own. What would you do?

I'll upload a video clip when I have WiFi.

The colony will die at the end of the season and you'll be left with a bunch of nesting material and dead bugs in the wall. Sometimes a secondary infestation of mites moves in, but there's little other downside to leaving the nest in place after its dead.

Does the colony repopulate? I had a three-season infestation in my shed in the spaces between air dried lumber.

edit:

The queens overwinter with enough eggs to make a new colony, and a few new queens. Just kill the queen.

The original queen dies in the fall. Dozens of new queens leave the nest and overwinter elsewhere, not in the original nest site. If you're getting infestations in the same place year after year, it's because that's an attractive place for a new queen to start a new nest in the spring. The queens are "programmed" to look for certain qualities in a nest site and your shed has those qualities. It doesn't matter if you sprayed the area the previous year. The spray has no residual effect that I know of.

In the south, it's a different story. Some species there can sustain a nest for multiple years. As far as I know, none of the northern species can do that - even in protected areas.

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. . . They are not good at tracking you if you stand back and act casual.

They'll zone in on you more readily if you're wearing dark clothing.

Also, some recent research suggests that when they attack you, they're also "marking" you with a chemical that tells the other members of the nest that you're a target. So if you get stung a few times and run away (you can outrun them), they can still find you and even pick you out from others in a group of people.

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Recently, I poked a ground nest with my probe tool while checking deck posts for rot. They came at me as I ran across the yard beating myself all over. I busted my glasses which were hanging on my shirt. They got me with about a dozen stings before it was all over. Up my pants leg and down my waste line. Those two got me several times before I successfully smashed them under my pants. The buyer had a 3 year old son who would have been playing out there eventually. I'm glad I found the nest before he did.

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Got a good Delta to take some IR pics.

The entrance is pretty disappointing, just a little blip.

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From inside things are a little more exciting.

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For scale, the vertical line to the right of the hive is a 5" casing and a 2" sash rail, plus about an inch for the jamb liner.

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I'd suggest just leaving them alone and letting the nest die off when the cold weather comes. If you spray them and don't kill them, they'll panic, chew through the wall, and get into the house. If you leave them alone, they'll have little reason to try to chew through the drywall.

Mid winter, plug up the hole to prevent them from starting a new nest in the same spot. If you want, cut out the drywall and remove the debris.

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A house last week had nest building all over it. Under the lid of the propane can is a favorite spot for some reason. I took this pic, then decided to flip this nest off with my trusty dagger. Better than writing it up and more gratifying, too.

Then up on the roof, 2 more nests. Well they can have the fake chimney for now. I ain't running on a 8 in 12 roof.

My clients will be all freaked out when they go to paint up there. Maybe paint next year, yeah that's a better plan. [:)]

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A house last week had nest building all over it. Under the lid of the propane can is a favorite spot for some reason. I took this pic, then decided to flip this nest off with my trusty dagger. Better than writing it up and more gratifying, too.

Then up on the roof, 2 more nests. Well they can have the fake chimney for now. I ain't running on a 8 in 12 roof.

My clients will be all freaked out when they go to paint up there. Maybe paint next year, yeah that's a better plan. [:)]

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You do realize that those aren't yellow jackets, right?

Those are Polistes paper wasps. They've very docile and have much smaller nests that yellow jackets. Their nests also have open combs with no outer covering. They're very beneficial insects and rarely sting.

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Here is Southeast Georgia we get frequent calls about wasps, bees, and other stinging insects. If the culprits are bees, we call in a bee keeper to extract them from the house. If they are wasp, a can of wasp freeze usually solves the problem. Yellow Jackets are aggressive but rarely nest inside a home. However, when they do, we drill small holes through the sheet rock (quietly) and inject a pesticide dust (Drione) to kill them. We try to do it during the evening when most of the workers have returned to the nest. Once they are dead we cut out a section of the sheetrock and extract the mess. My advice, call an expert like you would for anything else on your house that you are not familiar with. These critters can be deadly if provoked.

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This is the remnant of a very large wasp's nest I found in a crawlspace today. I have seen them bigger than beach balls in crawl spaces.

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The wife wanted them gone, so I sprayed them. I used a foaming spray with a 6" wand, half a can in the morning and half at night. Two cans in two days. No bees for a week.

I actually saw a new queen enter the hive yesterday. Round two starts in the morning.

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The wife wanted them gone, so I sprayed them. I used a foaming spray with a 6" wand, half a can in the morning and half at night. Two cans in two days. No bees for a week.

I actually saw a new queen enter the hive yesterday. Round two starts in the morning.

Bees or yellow jackets?

Out here, the queens haven't yet emerged. Is your weather getting cold?

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