Thursday, September 15, 2011
I think I should preface this by admitting that I rather like wasps.
For the most part I've had an amicable relationship with them.
I have never been attacked by a wasp.
I've worked around them and their paper combs without incident.
The instances where I've been stung, is because I've done something careless, like put my hand on one because I wasn't paying attention... or didn't expect her to be there.
I allow them to build their paper combs in my eves, and their pipes of mud stuffed with insects for their larvae on my brick walls. When winter comes I remove them.
Can't say much for Yellow Jackets though.
Yellow Jackets are pretty much the Pyschos of the Wasp World.
They are aggressive little machines with a sting first... and hard and mabbe a few more times for good measure... and ask no questions.
Fall is a particularly bad time for Yellow Jackets. Its like the start to realize that the Big Death... Winter... is fast approaching... and that it might be a great idea to sting a few humans, pets or anything that gets in their way... before they clock out.
So I thought Fall would be an appropriate time to share my method of dealing with them.
This only works when they have a hole in the ground nest... thankfully most of them do.
"My" Yellow Jackets, decided to take up residence in the middle of my organic vegetable garden a few years ago. Which either meant leaving the veggies to rot there (because no one could get near them), or dousing the garden with pesticides.
Neither solution was acceptable.
After some thought, I decided to drown them.
All you need is a garden hose and a flash light.
This is how to do it:
Prepare for attack:
Find out how many turns of the faucet it takes for you to get a full on amount of water out of your hose. Then figure out how far you have to turn the faucet to cut the flow back so that about a third of the water is coming out the end Make sure you have enough hose to reach the Nest.
During the day, bring the hose as close to the nest as you can, without danger of being stung. Leave it there and wait until dark.
The best time to do this, is several hours or more after dark. You want to make sure they are resting. If you can do this in total darkness, do it. If not use the flashlight, but make limited use of it.
Bring the hose to their hole in the ground, and stick it in the hole. NOTE!!! You can do this and still be a few feet away from the end of the hose... at no time do you want to get within a 3 feet or less off the nest. How this is done, is stand at a distance, and push the hose along the ground until it reaches its goal.
Turn on the water full blast. Let it run for about an hour, then cut it back to 1/3 the way and let it run for the rest of the nite.
The following morning will be a sad site, so be prepared.
You'll see the stragglers that didn't make it back to the hive before nightfall buzzing around what used to be the entryway of their home, the home which is now a collapsed field of mud and death.
In a few weeks, when its colder, you can spade up the earth and add some lime.
Good luck... and remember, if you have allergy , do not attempt to get rid of these critters... have someone else do it for you!
If you can't get a hose to your location, check out GHK1962's suggestion for a variant of this idea that uses a lot less water but does not use pesticides.
Its the first comment and on another page because of all the comments this blog recieved... I thought it had accidentally been deleted...um... mabbe because I'm a dork? ha
Have a fun day!