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Deterring hornets nests?
Old 08-18-2008, 10:12 PM   #1
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Deterring hornets nests?

We have recurring hornets nesting in the crook between our wall and ceiling in our backyard...

Can we do anything to deter the repeated nest building? It's usually in/near the same site.

SO uses a spray to kill the nest when they come, but just wonder if there is something we can do to prevent them from building in the first place.

And I'd appreciate advice that did not include flame throwers or other such destructive devices!
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:19 PM   #2
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Canadian Tire has a fake hive for sale. It says that yellowjackets are territorial and will see the thing and vamoose.

My kid has them in his old Corolla. We keep having to kill them every year. Haven't tried the fake hive yet.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:32 PM   #3
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they don't care for mothballs.... though that's not as much entertainment as other things. Maybe hang the MBs in little mesh bags like they fill w/ rice at weddings and thumbtack them in the nest locations
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:44 PM   #4
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A show on TV highlighted a chap who got rid of killer bees with soap spray. It wets their breathing gills (or whatever they are) and they smother immediately. Works on aphids, too, etc.

My BIL used ammonia to chase them away.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:49 PM   #5
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Some of the commercial wasp & hornet sprays have a residual effect to keep them from coming back around...at least for quite some time. I usually use 'Raid Wasp & Hornet' or the store-brand of foaming wasp & hornet spray from our local 'Do It Best Hardware Store'. Both are VERY effect at immediately killing on contact, and also at keeping them away for most, if not all, of the season.

One year at work we had a HUGE beehive right outside the front office door about 8 feet above the sidewalk.....they didn't like people in their neighborhood, and would dive at anyone who dared get near. Since that door was the only convenient way to access the office, the hive had to go! We couldn't locate any bee-keepers nearby.....so I grabbed the 25# CO2 fire extinguisher and gave them a lesson in cryogenics! Froze the entire hive and it's residents into a solid chunk of ice......no survivors! Used the remainder of the CO2 to chill a 12-pack of Coke for co-workers and myself to celebrate! Then called the fire extinguisher service company to recharge the CO2.
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bright eyed View Post
SO uses a spray to kill the nest when they come, but just wonder if there is something we can do to prevent them from building in the first place.
I would never chase them away. Waging war on the the fully built nests is way too much fun to pass up.

Ha
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:19 AM   #7
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We had a problem with wasps entering the small drain holes at the bottom of our window frames. The guy at the lawn and garden store suggested we use an insecticide powder called Sevin, which can be blown into any openings using a tool called a puffer. We blew the powder in there and found the wasp activity had ceased after about two days. This also worked with some cracks in the soffits where they would enter and exit on the way to their nest inside the attic area.
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:28 AM   #8
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And just a footnote to my previous post:

I only wipe 'em out in areas that us humans frequent.....around the patio, the garden shed, and anywhere near entrances to the house and garage. If their nests are out of the way, like up under the overhang of the gable-end of the house or garage (their favorite spots...and there's no way to for them to gain entry into the attics from there), or somewhere else in the great outdoors, I just leave 'em bee be.....because out in the gardens they're my buddies....along with all of the bees......the pollinators of my plantings!
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:38 AM   #9
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I agree that if they arent bothering you just leave em alone.If they are getting in the house use some mosquito screening to block their entry.
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:48 PM   #10
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Sevin dust does work well blown into seams where nests have been established, or poured on in-ground nests...preferably at night.

You can draw and kill the wasps with a wasp trap baited with a pheromone scent, but it doesnt work for hornets. If you put the trap out early enough, you may capture the emerging queens and head off any nests.

As far as I know, nothing repels wasps or hornets from an area.

Dang yellow jackets used to build ginormous nests in my attic all the time, using any crack or seam to get in. Blocking them up would have been a two week project.

So when they'd get started, I'd hook a 20' piece of 3" pvc drain pipe up to the intake on my leaf blower and stick that up to the crack they were using for an entry/exit and start tapping. They'd all come flying out and attack the pipe and get sucked down into the blowers leaf shredder. Bee mulch. When they stopped coming out after half an hour, I'd reverse the setup by putting the pipe on the blower end and sticking it back up to the seam, turn the blower upside down and dump a half cup of Sevin into the intake hopper. POOF! Plenty of Sevin blasted into the crack. Then in the winter I'd go up in the attic and dig the nest out of my blown-in insulation. The last one was about 3' long, 7-8" thick and about a foot across.

I got this idea from a bee catcher who came over to take a bee nest out of my neighbors tree. He used a vacuum with a capture box and the long pipe. Sucked them all down into the box and he took them off to sell them. Interesting part is that bees get motion sick and actually throw up when you do this. The whole inside of the box was covered with bee vomit.
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:10 PM   #11
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Good post CFB.

One point of clarification on bees vs wasps vs hornets.

Honey bees are good unless they are the Killer Bees.

Hornets come in two types...true hornet which build a paper nest above ground and look a lot like a wasp except they are yellow and black and are a LOT more aggressive.

Yellow Jackets are actually hornets that nest in the ground or in CFB's attic, walls, hollow trees, etc. but not in an open paper nest. They are also VERY aggressive.

Raid Wasp and Hornet spray works well on wasps and hornets...both kinds. Kerosene works well on ground nests but is not recommended due to the Darwin Effect (gasoline is the ultimate Darwin Effect for Yellow Jacket nest....especially when ignited on a hot summer day).

As was already noted in a previous post. Most Wasp and Hornet killers will leave a residual effect. I used to spray under the rafters of my deck to keep them from building nests there in the early Spring and then again in early Summer. It worked well. Also, if you inspect around your house in mid-Spring to early Summer and kill the nests in their early stages it will usually not have to be repeated since you won't usually find two nests close together. Once one is built no others will be close by since the queens have already created them and don't move after it is started.

Perseverance is the key. You might also see if you can get rid of the favored area by making it less attractive to the wasps/hornets. Enclose open beams and paint with enamel or epoxy paints which make it hard for them to anchor the next.

Good luck and good hunting.
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:26 PM   #12
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First one I got was pretty interesting. I walked into the bathroom one morning and I could hear what sounded like a low hum. Walking around I isolated it to the ceiling over the bathroom window. When I tapped, the hum got louder, then after a few seconds softer. When I pushed on the drywall, it felt a little soft and the hum got louder again.

I thought it was some weird electrical thing at first. Until I went outside and saw the giant black cloud of yellowjackets swarming over the window...

Seems they like nesting in ceilings and walls, and they will eventually come through the drywall. I'm thinking this to be a bad thing.

Amazing picture I saw a few years ago. Some guys were working behind an unused building at one of the local colleges and pulled a dumpster out from a wall. Behind it, fortunately empty, was a wasp nest about the size of the dumpster (oh, 6' tall, 6' wide, 3' deep).

Heres a nest inside a wall, and a nest made from drywall bits the boogers nibbled off...so I'm guessing it would have been resistant to the usual gasoline dousing...


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