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  #1  
Old 06-21-2010, 09:22 AM
Palo Verde Palo Verde is offline
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How to get rid of a bee nest

My neighbors are out of town for an extended period and are paying my children to take care of their chickens. When the kids went over there they noticed a swarm of bees near the gate they have to go through. I took a look at it and you can see that the bees have found a hole where a water pipe attaches to the house, enlarged it and built a nest inside.

So how do I get rid of them? I don't really want to call in professionals because that would be really expensive and mostly for my neighbor's benefit. But since my kids will be going over there regularly, I want to get rid of them.

Has anyone have good experience with the bee killer stuff you can buy at the store? How do I do it without getting stung?
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2010, 09:32 AM
crazyjoe crazyjoe is offline
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You spray it at sudown, when the bees are more dormant. Soak it really well. In the morning, dead bees.
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2010, 09:34 AM
bardos bardos is offline
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(at sundown, yes)


i have had many experiences with wasp's nests.they make their nests in the worst places. (for us). I have used several methods depending upon where they were. The most innocuous and least harmful method i have used once was water. they had a nest in the wall of the vegetable garden. Using a hose from a good distance away, I directed a continuous burst at their nest. they abandoned ship. I then rebuilt the wall a bit using mud and stone and closing the "hole".

At other times I have used poison spray. It's always the last resort. I like bees, even wasps. But if a nest is in a bad place for me, I have to roust them out. It's like i get fairly well covered up, I even have an old bee keeper's hat/helmet thingie. And dive bomb their nest and spray it, running away at the same time. It's a timing issue. Even when all gone, I would spray the next day as well, because the poison kind of wears off in a way.


Over the years on our farm I have been stung by wasps many times. usually because I am unawares walking close to their nest. That's when they will be up for stinging, when you threaten the nest.

Other times I have cohabited with many, many wasps at our pool and as it is not near their nest, they go there for the needed liquid, I have never ever been stung there although they are mass flying around.

Vinegar poured on the sting will relieve pain issues pretty quickly.

Last edited by bardos; 06-21-2010 at 09:35 AM..
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2010, 09:40 AM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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those knockdown sprays are a nerve poison. kills on contact. as suggested doing at dusk or night when the bees have returned to the hive. because it is a concealed hive you might only kill those near entrance, survivors will carry out the dead. you may have to retreat.

use with caution. wear eye protection. don't get on plastics like watch crystals or eyeglass lenses.
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  #5  
Old 06-21-2010, 09:45 AM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Soapy water. They can't fly and they can suffocate as the soap clogs their breathing apparatus.

Get a spray bottle, fill first with water and then put a little bit of Dawn or other dish detergent in it. AFTER so you can actually fill the bottle with something other than foam. Spray bees anywhere, even in the air. If they're in the air, it will knock them to the ground, unable to fly. Step on them. One summer I killed over 300 wasps from an unreachable nest in just about 2 weeks using this tactic, without getting stung. Another summer I used it to knock down and kill all the wasps before I took down their nest. If there is a hole in a wall to the nest, spray intensely and continuously into the hole to soak the nest and the bees with the soapy water.
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  #6  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:18 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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The Raid wasp/hornet spray. It comes out of the can in a single powerful stream that you can shoot a good 10-15 feet, so you can fire it from a relatively safe standoff distance. As has been noted, do this in the evening, or even after dark, when they're all home and in a mellow mood. Soak the nest - hose down the part you can see, and keep hosing it down so that the stuff seeps/splashes to the interior and wipes out as many as possible.

Eye protection is good, but I'd also recommend long pants, long-sleeve shirt and rubber gloves; get as little of this stuff on you as you can.
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  #7  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:31 AM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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I've knocked down several smallish wasp nests near our house simply with a hose. Just spray until the nest falls, then leave it alone for a while. When you're sure there are no bees around, stomp the nest then run away. They usually don't rebuild the nest.
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  #8  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:40 AM
Ionizer Ionizer is offline
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Or maybe just plug the hole/entry with some of that expando-foam stuff ('Great Stuff' is a brand name, iirc) or similar barrier material. No nerve-agents that could get into the home through the walls (if I am understanding this correctly). Plus it will keep other bugs out at a later time, and maybe get a thank-you from the neighbor, too... Its easy to trim off the excess hardened foam with razor-knife later, so no need for it to be pretty when first applied.

I wonder if there would be a huge racket from the bugs trying to find a way out? Might be interesting
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  #9  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:45 AM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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It depends upon whether you mean honey bees or some sort of pest like yellowjackets or wasps.

Wasps or Yellowjackets - kill with a commercial spray. Try to avoid getting the spray around the chickens.

If you are talking about honey bees (which sounds posssible) then the cavity they occupy will be quite large and a spray won't do much good. Even if you did kill all the bees, you would leave a hive full of comb that needs to be removed. Call an exterminator and they will probably be able to refer you to someone who would like to extract the bees. This will probably involve openning up the wall of the house so you may want to contact your neighbors.

Last edited by shiftless; 06-21-2010 at 10:46 AM..
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  #10  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:45 AM
NurseCarmen NurseCarmen is online now
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I just used the raid stuff this week. Worked great. Don't use the whole can for that first spray, save some for the next day, a couple were still oogily crawling around the next day. One more shot did them in. The next I sprayed was about the size of half a soccer ball. The Raid was on sale at my local hardware mega store for $2.50.
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  #11  
Old 06-21-2010, 01:08 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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It sounds like you're saying the nest is in close proximity to a chicken coop - make sure you carefully check the packaging of any product you might buy for destroying the insects, to make sure it's not harmful to birds.

Last edited by Mangetout; 06-21-2010 at 01:08 PM..
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  #12  
Old 06-21-2010, 01:43 PM
Si Amigo Si Amigo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
I've knocked down several smallish wasp nests near our house simply with a hose. Just spray until the nest falls, then leave it alone for a while. When you're sure there are no bees around, stomp the nest then run away. They usually don't rebuild the nest.
You are quite brave (lucky brave that is); this sounds like a great way to piss wasp off.
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  #13  
Old 06-21-2010, 01:56 PM
Level3Navigator Level3Navigator is offline
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Seriously? How about calling a beekeeper? A little googling will result in your state's beekeeper association, and they would be more than happy to "take care of the problem" but in a way that doesn't kill anything. That swarm is gold!

With the decline of bees, you really don't want to go around killing those wonderful creatures. Now if they are killer bees (and your local beekeeper will recognize that) than they ought to be Raid-ed, but seriously: Don't kill any bee swarms!

ETA: If this swarm was recent (within a month ago), the bees have not had time to build a lot of comb and honey in there. Now is the best time to remove them to a hive before the honey attracts other insects and pests.

Last edited by Level3Navigator; 06-21-2010 at 01:59 PM..
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  #14  
Old 06-21-2010, 01:57 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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Originally Posted by Ionizer View Post
Or maybe just plug the hole/entry with some of that expando-foam stuff ('Great Stuff' is a brand name, iirc) or similar barrier material. No nerve-agents that could get into the home through the walls (if I am understanding this correctly). Plus it will keep other bugs out at a later time, and maybe get a thank-you from the neighbor, too... Its easy to trim off the excess hardened foam with razor-knife later, so no need for it to be pretty when first applied.

I wonder if there would be a huge racket from the bugs trying to find a way out? Might be interesting
You want to foam over the hole AFTER you kill everything. There won't be a huge racket, but they'll look for any way out of your walls, which could be into the house through electrical outlets or light fixtures. Even if they go outside, they might just use the new entrance rather than move the colony.

I had wasps build a nest in a bathroom fan's ventilation duct and we discovered it first because they would sometimes come in through the fan rather than out through the flaps on the duct.

If you're worried about poisoning yourself, don't be. The sprays are not exactly safe (you wouldn't want to intentionally get it on yourself) but they're much more toxic to the critters than they are to you or your family.
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:00 PM
dracoi dracoi is offline
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Originally Posted by Si Amigo View Post
You are quite brave (lucky brave that is); this sounds like a great way to piss wasp off.
One of the interesting things about bees and wasps is that they don't seem to recognize water as a threat that they can fight. This makes sense - in nature, water would mostly come from rain which can't be fought. You can spray them pretty much with impunity - I have never seen them put two and two together and come after the source of the water. (Which is not to say I want to give them the chance. I like bees, but I'll take the "nuke them from orbit" option when it comes to wasps.)
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  #16  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:12 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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Originally Posted by Level3Navigator View Post
Seriously? How about calling a beekeeper? A little googling will result in your state's beekeeper association, and they would be more than happy to "take care of the problem" but in a way that doesn't kill anything. That swarm is gold!
I think it's a fair bet that the OP's insects are in fact wasps - most threads like this turn out that way.
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  #17  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:14 PM
Suburban Plankton Suburban Plankton is offline
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The answer really depends on whether or not your 'bees' are honeybees, or wasps/hornets/yellowjackets. If the latter, then a commercial spray killer as has been mentioned should do the trick nicely. But if they are actually honeybees, you'd be doing everyone a favor if you can get a beekeeper out to collect them. With the current state of things, I wouldn't be surprised if you could find someone to take them off your hands for no charge, since they will get to keep the bees...
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  #18  
Old 06-21-2010, 02:32 PM
Level3Navigator Level3Navigator is offline
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Originally Posted by Suburban Plankton View Post
The answer really depends on whether or not your 'bees' are honeybees, or wasps/hornets/yellowjackets. If the latter, then a commercial spray killer as has been mentioned should do the trick nicely. But if they are actually honeybees, you'd be doing everyone a favor if you can get a beekeeper out to collect them. With the current state of things, I wouldn't be surprised if you could find someone to take them off your hands for no charge, since they will get to keep the bees...
Absolutely no charge. And I will often give folks that called me a quart of honey as a thank you. A healthy hive can return 60-100 pounds of honey when managed right, and the cheapest way to start a new hive is to capture a swarm (rather than mail order a swarm in from a bee dealer at $50-100 a pop). I captured four swarms these past two weeks (now is the season for bee swarming), although only two took to the hive boxes I put them in. But I am pleased as punch at the results, and can't wait to see how they continue through the year.

If your children observed a swarm, a large collection of insects roughly the size of an American football (about 3-5 pounds of bees) plastered to the wall, or a dripping sheet of bees on a branch, you are likely dealing with honeybees. I've yet to see a wasp swarm where they cluster like that, rather you get a buzzing cloud of angry wasps when you disturb their nest.

Bees swarm when they move house, usually when there are too many bees for a single location. When they are running out of room, and the flow of nectar is good, the workers build a queen cell and grow a new queen. She goes on her mating flight, taking a good part of the hive with her to find a new home. The swarm is the least threatening situation you can have because they are focused on getting to a new home. You need to worry and get back when you kick an established hive/nest because then they are defensive of the brood and honey. When handling a swarm, many beekeepers don't even bother putting on a suit as the bees don't tend to sting and are gentle as lambs. Even at that, outside a swarm, should you disturb them mightily, bees will buzz angrily but really aren't interested in stinging unless you really work hard to piss them off! So take a breath and keep calm, should you ever see a swarm. Scary sounding, yes. Good Hollywood material, you bet. But hardly a threat. Best bet is to pull out a chair, get a nice cool drink, and watch them. Your own nature film in your backyard!

Please let us know what they are (bees or wasps), along with your location (if you are in my area, I'll be right by!). That way I can advise further.

Last edited by Level3Navigator; 06-21-2010 at 02:35 PM..
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  #19  
Old 06-21-2010, 05:11 PM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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There are guys out by me who will remove wasps nests free of charge if the nests is large enough to make it worth their while. They sell the wasps to researchers at the university who are developing medications from the venom.
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  #20  
Old 06-21-2010, 05:40 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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Originally Posted by Si Amigo View Post
You are quite brave (lucky brave that is); this sounds like a great way to piss wasp off.
I was very very far away. I made sure to turn the hose on full blast. The nest was rather small too, so that was another thing in my favor. Trust me, as soon as I knocked it down I ran into the house and closed all the windows and doors
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  #21  
Old 06-21-2010, 06:37 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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Since threads like this often seem to attract anecdotes to the general effect "I destroyed a nest by [insert amateur method] and it was just fine", let me add mine, where it was somewhat other than fine.

I observed wasps (Vespula vulgaris) coming and going from a hole underneath a wooden play house I had made for my kids.
I bought a large can of 'foaming wasp nest destroyer' and used it as directed - spraying it directly into the hole. The next day, there was no sign of activity - but there was a large pile of dead adult wasps outside the hole.

I sprayed again, just to be sure, then the day after, I tilted the play house on its side to check underneath. In the void space underneath was a spherical paper nest about the size of a soccer ball.
Still no wasp activity, but dead adult wasps everywhere - I decided I would transfer the nest into a plastic sack, tie the top tightly, then dump it in the dustbin.

I laid the sack out ready, then carefully skewered the nest with a garden fork. It immediately broke into pieces, releasing a swarm of fast, highly active and agitated adult wasps - they spread out and began frenziedly stinging everything indiscriminately - trees, fence posts, my arms and torso, but especially my legs.

I ran away, batting them off as I went, but I had received dozens of stings. I experienced a feverish hot sweat for the rest of the afternoon and the stings were sore for days. I think the wasps must have chemically marked me as an enemy, as I found that other wasps simply wouldn't leave me alone for a couple of weeks afterwards.
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  #22  
Old 06-21-2010, 08:05 PM
BorgHunter BorgHunter is offline
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
I ran away, batting them off as I went, but I had received dozens of stings. I experienced a feverish hot sweat for the rest of the afternoon and the stings were sore for days.
Well, it could have been worse. Just ask Penn Jillette: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nei7Z5QKXEA (just a video of Penn talking, but language is NSFW so I broke the link).
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:11 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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I haven't read the other responses, so this may be redundant.

I live in a brick house, and several years ago I noticed a swarm of yellowjackets above the upper corner of the main entrance. There was a small hole in the mortar between bricks, and they had built a nest within the wall. I tried spraying into the hole, but the little buggers proved to be stronger than the spray. Finally I took some putty and simply filled in the hole.

The yellowjackets trapped inside probably suffered a slow death; the ones trapped outside spent a couple of days swarming around where the hole had been, then died off.
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  #24  
Old 06-22-2010, 01:25 PM
Palo Verde Palo Verde is offline
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I called several bee removal places and they all say that the vast majority of bees in this area (Tucson) are Africanized (killer) bees and thus useless for honey production.

But they want $250 to come take it away! That seems awfully steep to me. I have emailed the family that actually owns the house and asked them how they want to proceed.
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  #25  
Old 06-22-2010, 01:57 PM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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I think some exterminators get a lot of milage out of calling them "killer" bees. In Tucson any wild honey bees you find probably are Africanized but that doesn't mean they are useless for honey production. ALL of the bees in the south these days (from what I hear) are Africanized including the ones used by beekeepers for pollination and making honey. These bees can be very aggressive so it is a good idea to get it taken care of one way or the other.

If I was you I would look for a local beekeeper club. Try this:
http://www.bees-on-the-net.com/arizo...ing-clubs.html

Whoever removes the bees will probably have to open up the wall to take out the comb.
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  #26  
Old 06-22-2010, 02:03 PM
Gymnopithys Gymnopithys is offline
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When I was a kid I once plugged the hole of an underground wasps nest with cow dung. In the morning I saw that the bugs had dugged their way out through that muck !

They never forgave me. I was stung many times since then.


(I hate wasps)
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:14 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
I bought a large can of 'foaming wasp nest destroyer' and used it as directed - spraying it directly into the hole.
I tried that "foaming" stuff once. It was crap. It formed a layer of foam on the surface of the nest, and never really soaked into the interior. Ultimately it peeled off and fell away without killing many yellowjackets. My favorite is still the Raid wasp/hornet killer. It doesn't foam up, it's just a liquid, and it'll soak in nicely. Great stuff if you are dealing with a nest in a hidden location with limited access.
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  #28  
Old 06-22-2010, 02:20 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Originally Posted by Ionizer View Post
Or maybe just plug the hole/entry with some of that expando-foam stuff ('Great Stuff' is a brand name, iirc) or similar barrier material.
Great-Stuff won't work. I started a thread either here or on GB about that. I had bees under my siding where the AC lines enter the house. I closed it with great stuff and by the next day they had just eaten it away. I went through a bottle of great stuff and a bottle of the minimally expanding great stuff. Didn't even slow them down. What did work is a powdered insect killer. I tried all kinds of bee/wasp/flying insect killers and none of those worked either. Finally with the advice of Weird Dave I got a powdered bee killer. It comes with a straw that I shoved into the hole and blew the dust in. All the bees gone within about 2 days and two or three applications.

Also, I believe the front of the bottle said that it was carpenter ant killer, but the back said it was for bees.
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  #29  
Old 06-22-2010, 02:52 PM
Ionizer Ionizer is offline
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I can see Great Stuff being useless against carpenter bees (if that is what OP's friend has within the wall). I have used it on wasps/hornets and 'ground' bees with good success, but species makes all the difference, of course. A few days ago, I used some on a 4x4 post in back yard where a few carpenter bees were digging homes with sawdust piles underneath on ground, and no sign of any exit, so hopefully they were smothered by the Stuff. In a more open/voluminous area, it would certainly not be anywhere as effective. I never thought a bug would want to chew on that Stuff - interesting.
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  #30  
Old 06-22-2010, 03:32 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Originally Posted by Joe Frickin Friday View Post
I tried that "foaming" stuff once. It was crap. It formed a layer of foam on the surface of the nest, and never really soaked into the interior. Ultimately it peeled off and fell away without killing many yellowjackets. My favorite is still the Raid wasp/hornet killer. It doesn't foam up, it's just a liquid, and it'll soak in nicely. Great stuff if you are dealing with a nest in a hidden location with limited access.
I agree. I have a pretty big double layer deck and wasps just love to build nests on the underhangs. That Raid spray kills them within seconds and I have never once been stung as I am standing 15 feet away unleashing a stream of chemical death on their asses.

I also have issues with carpenter bees every year, but those I just kill with a flyswatter since only the females can sting you. Its actually quite fun batting the males out of the air with a swatter like a badminton birdie, as they are big enough to emit a satisfying "plop" sound when you nail them. I haven't seen but a couple this season so maybe they are finally getting the message that its uncool to bore holes into my deck.
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  #31  
Old 06-22-2010, 04:05 PM
robby robby is offline
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
I think it's a fair bet that the OP's insects are in fact wasps - most threads like this turn out that way.
I don't understand this tendency to use the terms "bees" and "wasps" interchangeably. I first heard that from one of the adults up here in New England at a Boy Scout summer camp. They kept referring to "bees" and "bee nests" in the latrines and outbuildings. The nests in question were in fact paper wasp nests.

I don't think that bees and wasps look at all alike. Bees are hairy; wasps are shiny smooth. And a beehive looks nothing like a paper wasp nest.
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  #32  
Old 06-22-2010, 06:12 PM
FluffyBob FluffyBob is offline
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I have had great success eliminating wasps nests with a good strong vacuum. If the nest is deep inside a small hole this might not work, as I have always been able to get to the 'mouth' of the nest when Ive done this.

Any wasp that flies out gets sucked up, and you can suck up most of the nest through the opening. I've usually used a shop vac with a bunch of existing dust/dirt in the tank. The swirling dust seems to disable them effectively, though there is sometimes some buzzing still so I usually leave it a day before emptying.

This is easy, quick and has worked for me multiple times. No stings, no more wasps, and no toxic insecticides.
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