How to exterminate yellow jackets #477461 - Ask Extension


How to exterminate yellow jackets #477461

Asked August 11, 2018, 4:40 PM EDT

We are overwhelmed by yellow jackets coming out from railway tie walls around our house. I have used yello jacket spray(filling their entrance/exit holes after dark for several nights) next morning they are back. Family and guests have been stung , one person withsevere allergies was stung many Times. We have contracted to have ties removed and replaced with cement but in the meantime we must kill them.

Grand Traverse County Michigan

Expert Response

Thank you for your question,

Managing yellow jackets is not an easy task but it can be done. The best information I found about it is pasted below. The original article comes from Clemson University. I think is very good. If you check the original article, it also explains how to construct a home-made trap.

Control at Picnics

Frequent removal of garbage around picnic sites will reduce problems with yellow jackets. All food and beverage containers should be covered until served. Open soda containers should be checked carefully prior to consumption. Live yellow jackets have been swallowed by persons resulting in a life threatening sting in the throat area. Garbage can lids should fit tightly to reduce foraging. Garbage cans and dumpsters can be sprayed with an insecticide labeled for that use.

Control of Underground Nests

Visit your local hardware store or garden center and purchase a product labeled for yellow jacket control. Follow all label directions. Insecticides should be applied late evening or at night when all foragers are inside the nest. The nest entrance should be identified and marked during daytime. A quick knockdown insecticide is preferred because yellow jackets may fly out to defend the colony when disturbed. Yellow jackets are attracted to light, so do not hold a flashlight while applying an insecticide to a nest. Direct the insecticide dispenser nozzle toward the nest entrance for best control. Check the colony entrance the next day for activity and reapply again if necessary. If daytime control is necessary, the person should wear protective gear including a hat, veil, coveralls, and gloves because returning foragers will likely attempt to defend the colony.

Control of Above Ground Nests

Remember, yellow jacket colonies do not normally survive the winter and the first hard freeze will eliminate most colonies. If the colony is located in an out of the way place where human or pet contact is not possible, you may allow cold weather to freeze the colony. If this is not possible, you should visit the local hardware store or garden center and purchase a container of pressurized insecticide labeled for yellow jacket or hornet control. The product should allow a straight stream of knockdown insecticide to be emitted from a nozzle. If yellow jacket control is necessary during daylight hours, begin spraying the insecticide in a fanning motion as you approach the nest to repel colony defenders and returning foragers. For complete nest elimination, spray the stream of insecticide directly into the nest entrance which will normally be located at the bottom of the nest. Check the nest for activity the next day and reapply if necessary. Protective clothing is highly recommended.

Control in Buildings

Elimination of yellow jacket nests in buildings can be difficult. Use an insecticide that is labeled for yellow jacket control in buildings. Since yellow jackets are attracted to light, they may find another exit and may enter the inside of the building, especially if control is done at night. If this happens, you must close off any alternate exits.

Trapping Yellow Jackets

There are several inexpensive non-toxic bait traps available for yellow jacket control including the Wasp Trap, the Oak Stump Farm “Yellow Jacket” Wasp Trap and the Yellow Jacket Inn. These are available at garden centers and mail order catalogs. Traps should be placed around the perimeter recreational areas well in advance of outdoor activities. Traps may be placed along side dumpsters or restaurant loading docks. Most trap directions call for a reservoir to be filled with an attractant such as sugar water. Exhausted yellow jackets fall into the liquid and drown. Traps should be serviced daily to remove dead insects because the odor can become very offensive. Wash the trap with soap and water after several days use. Monitor the traps’ attractiveness to beneficial insects such as honey bees and alter the bait if necessary. Raw bologna has proven to be a very successful yellow jacket bait and it does not attract beneficial insects.

Another good publication I found is from Washington State University:

I hope this helps,

Jaime Pinero Replied August 23, 2018, 3:11 PM EDT

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