Wasp Nests?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've noticed that some of you made mention of finding wasp's nest in the ground. I thought they were usually high up on things. Please explain. I live in So. Calif. and I have to mow about 3.5 acres of high weeds pretty soon and don't want to be surprised by something like that. Thanks for the help.

-- Jody (jahtbc@yahoo.com), June 04, 2001


Here on the right coast we have ground burrowing wasps; their usually in a sloped area such as a river bank or simular area. You may not have the same type of wasp there, just phone any major extermainator and ask. To rid playareas or yards, I just use my propane crisper (weed control torch), give them about a 5 second burst and the hit the sparker, in non people areas I just leave them alone for natural balance.

-- mitch hearn (moopups1@aol.com), June 04, 2001.

Jody please be very very careful of the Yellow Jacket ground nests!!! These are nasty little buggers who will not hesitate to sting the hell out of you if you bug em. I'm not kidding!!!......Kirk

-- Kirk Davis (kirkay@yahoo.com), June 04, 2001.

When I used to work in the woods, both here in Orygun and in Northern Californication, I would invadvertantly disturb these nests fairly often. In hot, dry years, I'd get attacked about two or three times a week. When I did get attacked, it would always be at least two or three wasps going after me, and occassionally, I'd get forty or fifty stings. The worst was when I was in a brushfield, and coudn't get away very rapidly.

I've gotten rid of them with wasp and hornet spray, I've burned them out with gasoline (don't start a forest fire), but the best, I've found, is to pour a generous portion of boiling water down their nest (assuming this is possible, with the lay of the land and all). The boiling water won't pollute the air, the groundwater, or anything else.

I don't normally cotton to killing any creatures, but I have a real hard on for these little shits!


-- jumpoff joe (jumpoff@ecoweb.net), June 04, 2001.

For everyone's information: If you get stung by a bee or wasp, make a paste out of activated charcoal (get at healthfood stores) and apply to sting. Put a wet piece of paper towel on to keep it moist.

My husband was attacked by paper wasps and had 6 stings. After the charcoal treatment, he had no more pain. No fever and other then tenderness upon pressure, no other symptoms.

-- Dee (gdgtur@goes.com), June 04, 2001.

You shouldn't have a problem if you are mowing out in the open. They usually like to build their ground nests in a sheltered place in the woods or under a stump or building where the rain won't flood them out.

-- Skip Walton (sundaycreek@gnrac.net), June 04, 2001.

Yellow Jackets are a pain in the a.. if you ask me!! I don't mind the bumblebees, honeybees, mud daubers,brown wasps or the paper wasps, but the yellow jackets have a bad attitude!! What I do in the early spring when the big queens are around "house-hunting" I put up a wasp trap filled with sugar water. They can't resist them! For every queen that drowns I figure that's one less nest in the ground that my granddaughter might stumble upon!!

-- Marcia (HrMr@webtv.net), June 04, 2001.

Here in North Alabama its yellow jackets and bumble bees that build in the ground. They will build out in the middle of a field and when you go over them with the tractor and bushhog you stir them up and on the next pass they nail you. Gas works but if not a good idea. Remember in Atlanta years ago a man found a nest had been built under the carport where the soil had settled away from the concrete. He poured the gas into the hole where they came in and out. That killed them but then he decided he would burn the little varmits to. The gas fumes had collected all under the carport and the explosion destoryed the carport floor.

-- David (bluewaterfarm@mindspring.com), June 05, 2001.

Jump Off Joe, Remember when you hit a nest in the brush and have to run, TAKE THE SAW WITH YOU! I hate having to go back for my tools!

Yellow jackets-aggressive ground dwellers, usually under stumps, or old root tunnels. Usually have two or three entrances. mark the holes and go back at night and spray engine starter fluid in the holes and squish 'em shut. Work quickly and as dark as possible, the flashlight will bring them out at you. This method is from Joel and it works real well.

Bumble Bees-nice size holes in the ground, one or two door. Nice mellow creature just bumbling through life until he's trapped in your safety glasses.

Bald face hornets-Darker colored bee with a light face. Traditional looking paper hornet nest with a hole in the bottom of it. DON'T stick your finger in there to see if anyone is home! These nests are usually hanging in a bush or tree at just the right height to be knocked down by an innocent passerby or an idiot swing a tool. Run fast and jump in the creek, they let go in fast moving glacier water.

Various wasps-identified by their slim waspish waist. They build their nests up high in sheltered places, attics, under eaves, tree hollows and church belfries. Don't tease them and they won't sting you. If a wasp colony so chooses to live in the belfry of a Catholic Church, they will be bashed by a Irish organist swinging a very large Bible.

Honey bees- Don't run barefoot in the clover or under a blooming locust tree.

This is the total sum of my knowledge of winged stingers. Oh yeah except close encounters can be painful.

-- Laura (LadybugWrangler@hotmail.com), June 05, 2001.

FOr those who don't have charcoal around, macerated (bruised and squished) plantain leaves also work fairly well as a poultice and they're usually found dang near everywhere (for those who don't know or can't recall, plantain is that ubiquitous lawn weed with a rosette of flat wide leaves that have veins running the full length of the leaf, and send up a single, 6"-ish stalk with a brown fuzzy tip at the end later in the year).

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), June 05, 2001.

We have ground dwelling wasps of some type here in Virginia. When we first moved in we had about a dozen nests we had to eliminate from the back yard. Our dogs would always be the first ones to find the nests and we would know by their swollen faces. They were particularly located up against the cement walkway around the pool. I suspect they found pockets of air in the ground where the cement pulled away from the dirt. Hubby would go after them with hornet spray which sprays about ten or twelve feet away so he wouldn't get stung. We don't have anymore nests in our yard and since we keep the garden area grass mowed as well we don't have any bee problems there either.

-- Colleen (pyramidgreatdanes@erols.com), June 05, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ