Bees in the outside rafters

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Every springtime I notice a few bees buzzing around my back yard. I notice that they nest in the outside rafters. I have hosed them down before to get rid of them. I don't know what kind they are. I thought they were yellowjackets. I bought yellowjacket traps and it did nothing..... until I changed the bait to tuna, then I caught a load of them. The next year I baited with tuna.... and I caught nothing. Doesn't make sense.
During the winter naturally there is not problem. We had a false spring, a few hot days, and they were back in style. Now its raining again and they aren't in sight. I am hoping to deal with them early this year, since i know that they are coming.
Any suggestions in how to deal with them? Or somewhere where I can tell what I have (bees, yellowjackets)?
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snipped-for-privacy@cs.com says... :) Every springtime I notice a few bees buzzing around my back yard. I :) notice that they nest in the outside rafters. I have hosed them down :) before to get rid of them. I don't know what kind they are. I thought :) they were yellowjackets. I bought yellowjacket traps and it did :) nothing..... until I changed the bait to tuna, then I caught a load of :) them. The next year I baited with tuna.... and I caught nothing. :) Doesn't make sense. :) :) With your Yellow Jacket traps, in early to late Summer they feed on meat rather than liquid sweets, so you had luck changing to tuna fish. The next year you may of placed the traps later in the season when they had changed their diets to sweets. If it is the inverted umbrella type nests it is paper wasps
http://www.arrow-pestcontrol.com/paperwasp.JPG , which usually is of no concern. Others that might build around the rafters would be carpenter bees that drill a nest in the wood or it could be yellow jackets, paper wasps or honey bees, building nests in the wall voids. You can see different pictures here... http://www.ipconetwork.org/pests/bscview.mv
--
Lar

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Thanks for the great replies.
I think that these could be carpenter bees because I have noticed some wood in the area. However they don't look a lot like the pictures. They do look like yellowjackets, and I did catch some at one point. So would that make since that they are yellow jackets and my baiting may have just been badly timed. Hey, if they are, what do I bait with in early spring (like now). I put tuna out there and got nothing.
They definitely are not paper wasps.
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Senin wrote:

I suggest you may want to contact some local sources like your country extension office. Insect problems and solutions are not always the same from area to area and the best treatment may be different.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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This is Turtle.
I read the artical and it was very good explaining it but the left out one thing. The Old timer in South Louisiana when they get taken over by Carperter bees and used as a last resort. They paint the area Blue and the carpenter bees will just leave. Now this is used as the last resort with the carpenter bees.
TURTLE
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Blue, red, breen, brown, whatever. They go for unpainted wood.

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I don't know about mine, whether they are carpenter or yellow jackets. They seem about medium sized. Not huge, if that is what carpenters are. So you think I should dump the tune for something sweet right now?
Hey, what kind of fogger did they use? Tell me and I will buy some.
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On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 19:02:00 -0600, "TURTLE"

Turtle good points visually.
Now another thing I've noticed, if you tresspass on their area, a carpenter bee will 'bump' into you. No real harm down.
A yellow jacket is different, he will sting and bite, and call on 50 of his buds to help kick your butt.
So, becareful everyone. No need to find out for the first time you are alergic to stings, at the top of a 20 foot ladder.
tom
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Okay, guys, based on everything that I have read so far, it seems that these are yellow jackets. Its sunny here again so they are coming out. Since it is early spring should I put something sweet in the trap like Pepsi? I think I will also go to Home Depot and get some of that 20' spray. Any other suggestions?
The Real Tom wrote:

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Ive killed 10 nests or so with Ortho 7 powder and liquid form in the lawn spray bottle I tried once. The powder gets on their wings and they bring it into the nest and it kills the rest fast. I use a meat baister and spray in the powder you can do it when they are asleep, I don`t. The liquid should work the same but im not sure, but you need it in the nest. Sprays, traps, I have no luck with. Ortho 7 is easiest to use on inground nests.
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snipped-for-privacy@cs.com says... :) I think that these could be carpenter bees because I have noticed some :) wood in the area. However they don't look a lot like the pictures.
Carpenter bees will be easily distinguished from yellow jackets..they are a large bee closely looking like a bumblebee.
:) They do look like yellowjackets, and I did catch some at one point. So :) would that make since that they are yellow jackets and my baiting may :) have just been badly timed. Hey, if they are, what do I bait with in :) early spring (like now). I put tuna out there and got nothing.
Early Spring is the emergence of the queens starting new nests. Sweets will work and after they start to lay eggs meats should attract them too. The traps are a numbers game, in the late Summer there will be thousands of insects per acre in which the traps may catch hundreds. In the Spring you may be dealing with just a fraction of the Summer numbers, so traps aren't always going to attract the wasps.
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Lar

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Do you ever see any sawdust below where they get in or around the area? They could be Carpenter Bees.
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I found a good photo of a carpenter bee. If you have those kind, the large males will hover around the entrance hole and act menacing. They can't do anything because they don't have stingers. But they are huge bees and look scary. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/carp-bee.htm
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How about fogging them? We had a similar problem with yellowjackets getting in through our rafter-tails, which led to them coming in to the house via a gap in a light fixture.
Anyway, after waking up on Christmas morning (we are in California, year round problem) to literally hundreds of yellowjackets in the room my wife stored the gifts(!), I called an exterminator. After inspecting, he went to his truck, pulled out a little can of fogger, and sprayed it in the gap in our fixture. The problem has been solved for over a year, with no reinfestation. The exterminator charged me 10 bucks.
As a note, a charactaristic of yellow jackets is that they are supposedly quite aggressive when outside in their natural habitat (which I didn't notice) and are very docile when inside a house (which I did notice. You could literally shove them around with the flyswatter and they wouldn't fly away.)
The Chairman
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This is Turtle.
The old timers tell me that there is something about blue that they don't like. Sometimes them old timers have things figured out from way back and just know it. Now one old timer did tell me that he thought that the blue was messing them up because of the ski is blue and they get up and down mixed up. Now this was just his thoughts on it and no facts.
So blue !
TURTLE
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Yeah, my experience is that they aren't particular when it comes to painted/nonpainted.
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I'm telling ya, the best spray is TAT.
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the soffit and began nesting. The local bee guy is swamped, and it could have cost me up to $300 to have them removed.
I sprayed water under and into the soffit gap from about 15'. Did that until the traffic coming in and out of the soffit stopped. Then I got on a ladder and sealed the hole with Henry's Roof Patch. This was just a temporary fix but...
I think the gas from the tar killed them. Not a peep from the bees trapped up there. The bees that were buzzing around outside all split after about an hour.
This was right over my front door, so...I'll remove the starter board in a few days and see what happened.
DF
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The only problem with trapping them is that they could find another way out. Hopefully they won't find their way into your house.
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