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keith3267
Militant wasps
keith3267

I went out to wash the car the other day and as I approached the hose, I got stung several times by wasps. These wasps are solid desert tan color and about an inch long. The have built a nest at the top of the bay window just under the log above the window (log house). They come out in formations of three abreast, fly about 20' out and about 20' up and hover. If you get within about 10' from the nest, they dive three at a time and hit you on all sides.

So off to the store I go and get a can of Raid Wasp spray. I stand about 20' away and spray, OK it doesn't spray 22' as the can says. After another couple of attacks from the wasps, I retreat into the house. I read the directions on the can and it says to spray at dusk or dawn when they are not active.

At dusk I go out and since I can't see them very well, I get about 8' from the nest, despite the instructions on the can, they are plenty active and I retreat immediately. The next morning, I get up early and try again. This time they are not active and I get a good spray into the crevice where they go in and out. They wake up and come out, well lets just say they are not happy. I retreat. I have pretty much emptied the can so off to the store again.

Spectricide wasp killer is on sale at Home Depot so I get a can. The next morning I empty this can in to the crevice and they once again are rudely awakened and none to happy, I run for it again. All day they patrol around the nest waiting for me to come back out.

I sneak off and make it to Home Depot again and get a can of Spectricide Pro. It is supposed to kill instantly and keep them from coming back for 4 weeks. I believe this is the answer because it carries way more precautions about using it safely. Don't spray when windy, don't get the mist on you, don't breath the mist, wear eye protection, and other precautions not on the other cans.

This morning I take all the precautions and hit the nest again. This time I am optimistic as the wasps start emerging and fall to the ground. I give it a good soaking and so far have not been attacked. I feel good and go back into the house for breakfast. After breakfast, I go out to inspect my handiwork and what do I see, they are back on patrol again and going in and out of the crevasse like the fighters going in and out of the death star, and they look serious.

In the past, I used Ortho wasp spray and it was very effective, but I can't find that on the shelves anymore. I'm not sure though whether the Ortho product was that good or if these teenage mutant ninja wasps are immune to any known pesticide. Have I breed a super wasp by using these sprays in the past or are the sprays weaker due to EPA restrictions.

Anyone have any suggestions?

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Militant wasps
HoustonRemodeler

Spectracide Pro is the wasp spray of choice. Shake your can well before use.

Wasps are temperature dependent. Hence the dawn and dusk advice. A flashlight may help as the light doesn't make a difference. If its still warm at night the dawn to dusk part will not matter so much.

Wasps react to quick movement. Running, waving your arms, either is not a good idea. If you stand still, they will most likely leave you alone.

Wasps attack with the pheromone that smells like bananas. Do not eat or handle bananas before dealing with wasps (or bees for that matter)

Wasps can sting multiple times unlike bees that can only sting once per bee.

A. Spruce
Re: Militant wasps
A. Spruce

Ditch the poison spray and go to the auto parts store and get yourself a can of starting fluid. It doesn't have the range of wasp spray, but it will knock those nasty buggers down. Word to the wise, don't do it with a cigarette in your hand or the wasps will be the least of your worries.

Starting fluid is ether, it is highly flammable as it leaves the can, however it will dissipate and evaporate extremely quickly, so there will be no fire hazard a few moments after spraying, and it won't leave any nasty, oily residue behind like the wasp spray will either.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Militant wasps
Mastercarpentry

In a pinch I've used carburetor cleaner for this- almost melts the buggers on contact but highly flammable and will also melt plastics, kill plantings, and burns like you wouldn't believe if your eyes take a hit.

You're either going to have to find and kill the nest, kill the queen, or so badly deplete the workers that the queen dies to get rid of them permanently. BTW, get yourself some benadryl tablets and take a couple immediately if you get stung (like within one minute but the faster the better). It takes the bite out of the stung some but stops the longer term swelling, itching, and aching at the sting site. Learned that one from a beekeeper friend!

Phil

keith3267
Re: Militant wasps
keith3267

Good things to know. The one exception is the part about standing still, they still attack, I tried that. If you are near the nest, they go for you, and they always come in from behind.

I went out early this morning and finished emptying the can of Spectricide Pro into the crevasse where they fly in and out of. I knocked down 20 or so, but one got out and flew away. I think it went after reinforcements, like this nest is just an outpost, the main base is somewhere else.

I just checked the nest again. There aren't any wasps flying in and out of it, but there are wasps flying in from somewhere else, they fly around the area for awhile and then leave as another shows up to take their place. Only one or two at a time and they aren't as aggressive right now, but it is cooler today than it has been the last couple of days.

We have always had wasps here, they even get into the house a lot. It is a log house and its hard to keep bugs out, but I have never seen them this aggressive before, or fly the way they do. Maybe I should have called in the Pentagon, they may have wanted to breed them and use them against Isis or something.

Anyway, I hope they abandon the nest (outpost) in the next day or two. If they don't I'm afraid I am going to have to come up with a homemade compound and use a garden sprayer. I am thinking of a premerthin insecticide with a citrus detergent and some sodium borates mixed with water or antifreeze in the garden sprayer and use that to spray into the vent hole they are using.

BTW, the nest is over a bay window. The window has its own little roof sticking out of the wall. At each end, there is a vent gap that also shares a seam between the logs. This is their entrance. I'm pretty sure they are nesting between the top plate of the window and the log above, I'm guessing that there is probably a inch gap or more in there. Physically removing the nest would involve some serious dismantling of the window or the roof section which I am not up for.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Militant wasps
HoustonRemodeler

Sounds like wasp protection will be a routine task for you.

Does Amazon offer Spectrcide as part of their monthly / weekly delivery system?

dj1
Re: Militant wasps
dj1

I think I know what you're doing wrong.

When you spray the wasps, and when you see them fall down - do you step on them? if you don't, they may be regaining consciousness and return to the nest.

Kill them good before you retreat. The pesticide will send them into a coma, your shoe will send them to hell.

Fencepost
Re: Militant wasps
Fencepost

As for the Benadryl, the liquid stuff (marketed as "children's Benadryl") acts much more quickly than the tablets do. If you're working around bees/wasps/hornets/yellow jackets, it's a good idea to keep some of the liquid stuff around.

brewster
Re: Militant wasps
brewster

keith,

After reading your descriptions & your posts, I'm not sure you are getting the spray on the NEST; the nest of these social wasps (can number up to 2,000 per nest) is large, approx, 1 ft. wide X 1 1/2 ft. long, is made of chewed up plant material built by the sterile females & is usually lite brown or dull grey in color with an entry hole at the bottom; since it is made of chewed wood pulp, it has the appearance of uneven paper material; the females & males are there to protect the queen, whose only job is to lay eggs for the next generation of wasps.

The wasps are most vulnerable during late evening from midnite to 3 a.m. when they go into an inactive stage & the nest can be approached most easily then---the 20 ft. wasp spray cans sold by the home improvement stores are most effective, providing you have a clear shot at the nest itself----from 20 ft. away you can thoroughly soak the nest with the spray---then run like hell away from the area----it is more effective if you can punch a hole in the nest with a long stick or a long piece of 1/2" X 20' steel reinforcing rod (rerod) before spraying.

If the gray/brown large nest is completely enclosed inside the area above the window, you may have to hire a pro (Yellow Pages, Pest Control Services) to get at it, but the nest has to be destroyed (hole punched in it & hit with wasp spray)---once it is, the surviving wasps will quickly abandon the area to start another nest far away elsewhere.

keith3267
Re: Militant wasps
keith3267

The wasps are still patrolling around the hole. They are hanging closer to it and there are more on patrol today than yesterday and they are more aggressive today, but today is hotter than yesterday. They are not going in and out of the hole though.

I think I am going to start prepping a home spray like I described earlier. One reason I want to use a garden sprayer is that I cannot get up to the hole with a spray can. The house is on a conventional foundation so the top of the window is about 8' off the ground. I could use a short ladder but that would make me vulnerable to wasps leaving the nest while spraying. I think the wand will reach the entrance.

Once I get a good spray into the heart of the nest, they will lose interest, that is my hope anyway.

If the wasps would just allow me to get to the hose so I can wash my car, I would not bother them, they are beneficial actually, but these are just too territorial for me. They attacked first.

Lynne
Re: Militant wasps
Lynne

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