In the south they nest underground, so there must be a hole. I've found
it takes only a tablespoon of gasoline. Sometimes waiting until sunset
has helped me locate holes, but papas grass could make it tough.
You could wait until dark and toss a piece of liver where you think the
hole is. Liver attracts skunks. A skunk who finds the hole will
destroy the nest.
Another trick is an electric bug zapper on a long pole. Stick it where
you think the hole is and shake it until the yellow jackets attack it.
Because I had one in my compost heap. The entrance was right on top of
the pile with what looked like a marbleized plastic spill around the hole.
I saw the wasps entering and leaving the hole. Because mine was on top
of a pile, I just dug it up with a pitch fork and destroyed it.
Find the entrance. Get your Wet Vac out and place the suction hose
close to the entrance. Turn the vacuum on and go get a cup of coffee.
Read the newspaper.Get the aerosol hornet killer out and shoot a small
amount into the still running suction hose. Place the hose back at the
entrance. Go get another cup of coffee. Repeat as necessary.
First, use a little care.
Yellowjackets start with one queen at the beginning of the year, the
rest die during the winter. By the end of August the colony is
generally about 1500. The fatal dose (assuming no allergies) is
between 500 and 1000 for the average human. So, do the math!
Living in Virginia, I usually find one nest a year while mowing the
lawn. I think they start in a mole tunnel then dig it out.
I kill them with soapy water. I set a couple five gallon pails of
water and laundry soap near the hole, wait until dark, and pour it
in. No risk like with gasoline or pesticides. I've never had this
method fail, though I've sometimes had to do it a couple of times. It
took a little nerve the first time, I thought they might wake and come
flying out the hole, but that's never happened.
I've tried the sprays and other methods. The sprays all get soaked into
the ground before they get to the nest, here anyway. Spraying with or
trying to fill their hole(s) with water doesn't generally get rid of
Pouring, quite a bit of, gasoline or kerosene down the hole near or
after dark and ingniting it from a safe distance works. Don't wait a
half hour after pouing the gas though. The stuff will woomph all around
you. You might just get singed.
About a dozen people have suggested the 'cleansing fire' solution in
this thread, just like all the times before when somebody has asked
about the same problem. Just like before, it is a dumb idea, and can get
you in trouble with the law for putting the ground water at risk.
Doesn't matter if it works, the downside is too large.
I know, playing with fire is fun, but you can't buy real M-80s any more
There is a law that says you can't use fire to get rid of yellow jackets???
You don't use enough gasoline to fill a well. A quart or so is generally
all it will take but I have seen a nest that was over 5 ft deep.
Why light it? When you pour the gas down the hole, the fumes will
displace the air, so the fire won't go down the hole. The soil will
keep the heat away from the nest.
I have found that the fumes from a tablespoon of gasoline will kill a
nest. I imagine soil organisms can soon break down that small amount.
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