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Old 08-10-2019, 05:15 PM
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What would you do? (Hornet nest)


Last weekend my gf pointed out a hornet nest in a small tree midway between our front door and our garage man door. I immediately wanted to destroy it and its inhabitants, while my gf argued for respectful coexistence and leaving them be.

So, I've since taken a couple of stings (four, but who's counting?) and my gf has capitulated. Last night I sprayed right into the entrance with wasp/hornet spray. This morning I was surprised to see business as usual.

Thoughts.

I own a 16 gauge shotgun, and the nest is an easy shot, 6-8 feet, from our side porch, with a safe backstop. We are in the country, and people routinely discharge firearms at night. (Seriously)
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:19 PM
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Use the shotgun and you will have a swarm of very angry hornets hanging around. It isn't like they will just disappear.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:28 PM
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You're gonna need a bigger (and better) can of wasp killer.

I happily and peacefully coexistent with and even encourage a variety of bees, mainly bumblebees and honeybees, which tend to their own business and are not aggressive.

The other kind of hymenopteroid (wasps, hornets and yellow jackets) look for excuses to attack, and so any nests in my territory (like on a garage or shed) are subject to termination with extreme prejudice.

I would really not attempt a shotgun blast, for the reason already mentioned, unless you want to look like an unfortunate character in a Looney Tunes cartoon.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:30 PM
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Thereís a bald faced hornets nest going up in light fixture above my deck. Itís fascinating to watch and a bit creepy too. However theyíre not bugging us humans and their perimeter surveillance of the area has eliminated the yellow jackets from pestering us.

The last time there was a baldie nest in the yard we watched it grow to nearly 3 ft long! Never a sting but then we made sure not to disturb it with lawn equipment etc. I posted a image on flicker and got an offer from someone to buy the nest after the hornets vacated it. We let it remain and it became a favorite of birds searching for food or what all.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:30 PM
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Call an exterminator. Not only will they get rid of the nest, they can also spray the area with an anti-pheromone so they won't rebuild. I found this out when I first moved into my current place, and wasps kept building nests under my deck chair and I called the landlord because I figured there was some kind of mother-lode nest somewhere.

7 years later, I still haven't had a re-infestation.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:31 PM
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No don't shoot it. They will be mad for days. And rebuild anyway. Maybe closer to the house. Poison is the way to go. You may have to keep applying. I've had one for 3 years. I feel like I make progress during the cool months. If you get a hard freeze this winter you can slip a heavy duty bag over it. And pull it down and burn it. Make darn sure they're dormant first. Little to no movement.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:38 PM
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Shawn Woods to the rescue:

https://youtu.be/Qvo7ULfoowQ
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
Last weekend my gf pointed out a hornet nest in a small tree midway between our front door and our garage man door. I immediately wanted to destroy it and its inhabitants, while my gf argued for respectful coexistence and leaving them be.

So, I've since taken a couple of stings (four, but who's counting?) and my gf has capitulated. Last night I sprayed right into the entrance with wasp/hornet spray. This morning I was surprised to see business as usual.

Thoughts.

I own a 16 gauge shotgun, and the nest is an easy shot, 6-8 feet, from our side porch, with a safe backstop. We are in the country, and people routinely discharge firearms at night. (Seriously)
Yep a baldies nest, donít mow or weed whack near it that excites them. They abandon the nest at first frost, Queen leaves never to return, the rest will die and litter the ground below.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:52 PM
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Shotgun, a hornet nest, and a cellphone will result in someone being entertained.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:53 PM
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The other kind of hymenopteroid (wasps, hornets and yellow jackets) look for excuses to attack, and so any nests in my territory (like on a garage or shed) are subject to termination with extreme prejudice.
There's no "peaceful coexistence" with those that aren't able to hold to their end of that bargain. I'm allergic too. I'm fine with their more cooperative brethren but would have already committed to terminating them with extreme prejudice.

I agree with generally trying more/different weapons of mass destruction sprays as the next step. The shotgun is not awful as a means to physically target the nest. It can inflict a lot of damage all at once and from a distance. Kayaker if you try that though make sure to pre-plan your escape because there will be many extra pissed wasps. Small shot, well choked to give a tight pattern, probably puts more holes in the target. Only have one round in the gun, though. There's no follow up shot if even a single pellet hits the nest. It's *bang* and "run awayyyyyyy!" You don't want to reload by muscle memory under stress or have a second barrel already loaded when you are running. I'd still go the WMD route first. Why deescalate to a strictly conventional campaign?

Last edited by DinoR; 08-10-2019 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:12 PM
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A (possibly useful) tip--whatever you do, do it at night with a bright light set up in the opposite direction from you. I say this because I once moved something in my yard at night and disturbed an underground yellowjacket nest that I didn't know was there. A cloud of them swarmed out--and flew over to attack my porch light. I got only a single sting, when I probably would have got a dozen or more otherwise. I don't know if the hornets are equally phototropic, but it is worth a shot.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:15 PM
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Oh, and if you can kill them with the nest intact? Ebay.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:41 PM
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If the tree isn't extremely dry and it's away from building, fire works. We got rid of a hornet's nest in the overhang of my cousins pole barn that way. Propane torch on an extension pole. Torch the entry first to keep them from swarming out, then let the fire do its thing.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:23 PM
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If the tree isn't extremely dry and it's away from building, fire works. We got rid of a hornet's nest in the overhang of my cousins pole barn that way. Propane torch on an extension pole. Torch the entry first to keep them from swarming out, then let the fire do its thing.
Not only will you have angry hornets, they'll be steaming mad.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:37 PM
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However you do it, please video.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:26 PM
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I had a beautiful solution but it won't help you. There was a yellow jacket nest in a small hole in the stucco on my house. I got some quick setting cement and filled the hole. I held the trowel over the hole until it set. Five minutes later, problem solved. Fixed the hole too.
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:59 PM
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Use the shotgun and you will have a swarm of very angry hornets hanging around. It isn't like they will just disappear.


You can't talk to a man... with a shotgun in his hand... ( shotgun?)
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:20 AM
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After renting for over a year, my parents bought a house after I finished my sophomore year of high school. I soon discovered a small nest on the back fence; I hit nest with bug spray then knocked it down with spray from the garden hose and ran like hell.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 08-11-2019 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:19 AM
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I own a 16 gauge shotgun, and the nest is an easy shot, 6-8 feet, from our side porch, with a safe backstop. We are in the country, and people routinely discharge firearms at night. (Seriously)
Assuming its a pump I would say three fast ones of 8 or 9 shot but I would want to be further away than that; more like say 20 yards. And if its a full-choke bolt all the better. I used a 12 gauge but I have actually done it and it works. What can I say? I was curious. Watch for them to try to reestablish nearby just in case the fine stuff doesn't knock enough of them out or misses the royalty.

That being said I think I would still go for a few more cans of spray or fire. Fire ---- good.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:19 AM
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Yesterday I pissed off some yellow jackets while mowing. I knew they had a nest in that general area because I was stung 2 or 3 weeks ago, but I guessed wrong about the exact location. This time, as I fled the stinging bastards, I saw their hole. FCD got a couple of cans of wasp spray, and about 7:30 last night, we took care of them. They either died from the poison or drowned - and the peasants rejoiced!!!

We watched 3 more enter the nest shortly after the spray can was empty - they wandered in and out a few times, and I'm pretty sure they were dead a few minutes later.

Meanwhile, I have 5 red, swollen, hot areas where I got stung. Last night, I never slept more than an hour at a time, getting up to either take another antihistamine or slather on my hydrocortisone. I'm sore and exhausted. Later today, I'll go check the nest - if I see any evil critters coming out, they'll get a second dose tonight.

We hates them, we do!
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:46 AM
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A few years ago a yellowjacket colony set up for business in an underground nest about 10 ft from my front door. I'm into peaceful coexistence, but it turned out they were not. The third time I was stung for no reason, I swore that was the last provocation I would accept peacefully: "One more, and measures will be taken."

That evening, a skunk solved the problem for me: he / she dug up the nest and destroyed it entirely. The next morning, all that remained was a few dazed survivors standing around wondering where their colony had gone.

Skunks are great.
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:56 AM
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Just be glad you’re not dealing with this.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:11 AM
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Thanks for all the advice! The shotgun idea was just my anger at them and a desire to get even. Last night temperatures dropped to the 50s, so after returning from Devout Brewing I sprayed the nest again. This morning there are dozens of dead hornets on the ground, but no activity yet.

Going out for an early chilly horseback ride, then I'll see what's up after it warms up today. My plan right now is to spray nightly. Fire isn't an option due to proximity to the house. A neighbor told me he paid an exterminator who, at night and in a bee suit, put a heavy plastic bag over his nest. Once he had them bagged, spraying poison in and waiting worked.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:18 AM
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Skunks are great.
It's always awesome when mammals, who might not normally be pals, team up to defeat a team from an entirely different class.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:51 AM
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It's always awesome when mammals, who might not normally be pals, team up to defeat a team from an entirely different class.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:07 AM
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I had a beautiful solution but it won't help you. There was a yellow jacket nest in a small hole in the stucco on my house. I got some quick setting cement and filled the hole. I held the trowel over the hole until it set. Five minutes later, problem solved. Fixed the hole too.
For the love of God, Hari Seldon
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:33 AM
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If the tree isn't extremely dry and it's away from building, fire works. We got rid of a hornet's nest in the overhang of my cousins pole barn that way. Propane torch on an extension pole. Torch the entry first to keep them from swarming out, then let the fire do its thing.
My daughter is a firefighter. A couple of years ago they were called to a raging house fire. The owner decided to make a torch out of gasoline-soaked rags affixed to a pole, climb a ladder, and ignite the torch to burn out the several hornet nests.

The house was a total loss. But - it worked! There wasn't a hornet to be found after the fire was extinguished.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:37 AM
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Drench the nest, and if possible knock it off, with a strong spray of water from a garden hose. Stand as far back as you can while still aiming; but IME they won't connect a person standing some distance off with a sudden flood. Probably not a technique to be used by the allergic, just in case.

Repeat daily until they give up and relocate elsewhere. Shouldn't take more than a few days.


No poisons necessary; though it may be helpful to hit the attachment point with some WD40 or similar after they've given up, to discourage another nest being started there in the future.


-- in sufficiently cold weather, nests can be relocated by hand without danger, though I wouldn't hold the nest directly; use some sort of grabber. Weather needs to be below or close to freezing temps to be safe, though; 50's F will slow them down, but it won't stop them entirely.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:53 AM
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The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Maxim 29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:21 AM
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For the love of God, Hari Seldon
He'd borne the thousand stings as he best could, but when they ventured on insult...
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:30 AM
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Oh, and if you can kill them with the nest intact? Ebay.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:34 AM
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Thanks for all the advice! The shotgun idea was just my anger at them and a desire to get even. Last night temperatures dropped to the 50s, so after returning from Devout Brewing I sprayed the nest again. This morning there are dozens of dead hornets on the ground, but no activity yet.

Going out for an early chilly horseback ride, then I'll see what's up after it warms up today. My plan right now is to spray nightly. Fire isn't an option due to proximity to the house. A neighbor told me he paid an exterminator who, at night and in a bee suit, put a heavy plastic bag over his nest. Once he had them bagged, spraying poison in and waiting worked.
Glad its working out for you. But remember, if the situation ever warrants, I do have a couple swivel-guns and I'm not all that far away..


On ground bees ------ up Stone House, during a tactical display, I stepped on a nest by accident and got stung to hell and back. I got more than 25 stings even through all the layers of wool in my colonial uniform and one of the ladies back at camp picked bees out of the inside layers when treating my "wounds". And they continued to follow and attack me several hundred yards away. Several of my "rescuers" got a few stings as well but they had me targeted like a laser. Since then ------- we had a nest forming in the yard. I hate to say it but I put enough fuel oil and stuff down it to turn a small patch into a near-SuperFund site. I'm with you in not wanting to live around hazards like that. Nothing against them; they have a place in the ecology as well. Just not that close to my place.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:49 AM
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My daughter is a firefighter. A couple of years ago they were called to a raging house fire. The owner decided to make a torch out of gasoline-soaked rags affixed to a pole, climb a ladder, and ignite the torch to burn out the several hornet nests.

The house was a total loss. But - it worked! There wasn't a hornet to be found after the fire was extinguished.
The dumb bit is, gasoline alone is extremely fatal to hornets/wasps. There is no need to ignite it. Even that large nest shown, one dousing with a cupful of gasoline would soak into the paper and kill them all.
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Old 08-11-2019, 12:09 PM
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:03 PM
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Sop here is find the coldest time of day (often 4-5 am) spray an entire can into the entrance. Repeat 2 following nights. Check for activity, if none, knock down and destroy the nest. Wear long pants/sleeves and headgear for the knocking down, just in case.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:37 PM
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Wear long pants/sleeves and headgear for the knocking down, just in case.

And a pair of boots instead of sneakers? You run slower, but you stomp the nest better.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:24 AM
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Shop vac. attach end of hose to long pole (allowing you to remain at a safe remove), position end of hose near hive entrance. Turn on shop vac. Wait.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:53 AM
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You could invest in one of these, turn it into entertainment. Sit on your porch sipping your beverage of choice while aimint it at the nest entrance.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:54 AM
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Sop here is find the coldest time of day (often 4-5 am) spray an entire can into the entrance. Repeat 2 following nights. Check for activity, if none, knock down and destroy the nest. Wear long pants/sleeves and headgear for the knocking down, just in case.
That's basically what I've been doing. Making progress.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:33 AM
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[URL="https://m.imgur.com/a/mT5q4hO"]So, I've since taken a couple of stings (four, but who's counting?) and my gf has capitulated. Last night I sprayed right into the entrance with wasp/hornet spray. This morning I was surprised to see business as usual.
Some sprays are better than others. I had one spray that created a big wad of foam on the nest...which then fell off of said nest without killing much of anything.

OTOH, Raid wasp and hornet killer doesn't foam up. It comes out of the can as a far-reaching jet of liquid and remains liquid when it gets there. It will soak the nest and quickly incapacitate/kill any wasp it makes contact with. Want results? get a couple of cans of this stuff, wait until well after dark, and soak the nest from a safe distance.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:43 AM
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Last weekend my gf pointed out a hornet nest in a small tree midway between our front door and our garage man door. I immediately wanted to destroy it and its inhabitants, while my gf argued for respectful coexistence and leaving them be.

So, I've since taken a couple of stings (four, but who's counting?) and my gf has capitulated. Last night I sprayed right into the entrance with wasp/hornet spray. This morning I was surprised to see business as usual.
That's... inexplicable. Raid or Wilson wasp killer should absolutely kill every single wasp in the nest, and every wasp that comes back and lands on it. Was it an old can? That stuff is incredibly effective.

The foam stuff works, but honestly it's not great. Use the liquid and soak it. The results should be 100% death. I've wiped out a dozen nests effortlessly.

Do not use gasoline for anything except running an engine.
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Old 08-12-2019, 10:48 AM
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That's... inexplicable. Raid or Wilson wasp killer should absolutely kill every single wasp in the nest, and every wasp that comes back and lands on it. Was it an old can? That stuff is incredibly effective.
It was a very old can. I used the last of it last night and will pick up a fresh supply today.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:26 PM
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FWIW, I've removed and/or mechanically destroyed lots of wasp nests, and I've never been stung doing it, and they've never come back. I assume they go rebuild elsewhere, but it's never been anywhere that was a problem for me.

Yes, I'm careful. But wasps don't associate the person at the end of a long pole or whatever with the end that's attacking their home.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:46 PM
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It was a very old can. I used the last of it last night and will pick up a fresh supply today.
Ah. Yeah, that makes sense. Bug spray has a shelf life. It's measured in years, but it does go bad.

Coexistence with a wasp nest close enough to sting people that many times isn't possible. I appreciate your girlfriend's pacifist nature, and I wouldn't want to go out into the woods looking for insect nests to wipe out, but wasps and hornets that near enough to people to sting them just going about their business around their homes are a menace. They're dangerous to kids, animals, and of course anyone with allergies (and you can't know for sure who that is.)
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:13 PM
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You could invest in one of these, turn it into entertainment. Sit on your porch sipping your beverage of choice while aimint it at the nest entrance.
But how are you going to attach to a shark's head?
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:27 PM
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Shop vac. Suck em up, nest and all. Make sure there is already dust and debris in the cannister, that will subdue them, they will all be dead the next day and you can empty it out.

If they fly at you you just point the hose at em. Environmentally friendly, easy simple. Done it multiple times, no stings.
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:39 PM
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IME, sprays do nothing unless you can totally saturate the nest or get a good long spray directly into the opening.

I had a basketball-sized nest hanging under my porch a couple weeks ago. I dressed in a few layers of clothes, with ski-goggles, cowboy hat, and handkerchief across my face. On a cold night I quietly scootched a garbage can directly under the nest, carefully lining it up. I took a long telescoping pool-cleaning pole in one hand, a can of spray in the other, and looking like the world's worst renaissance fair actor I lanced the nest down scoring a perfect landing into the trash can. I sprayed mad hell all over the porch and inside the can and plopped the lid on. I then turned tail and ran inside, without a single sting.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:38 PM
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Without using bug spray, you could have dropped the nest early in the evening, staying well away from the cloud of angry wasps, and then put the lid on the can a few hours later when they had gotten cold and calmed down.

(I don't like using bug spray, nor getting close to that cloud of angry hornets.)
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:28 PM
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I've never tried this, but it seems like it would work. Some people use bug spray and a lighter, and I was thinking "well, he should have a fire extinguisher on hand if he tries that." But then I realized that just the fire extinguisher might work. The CO2 would be cold enough to induce torpor, and deprive them of oxygen. A 5-10 second blast with the extinguisher, and then a quick Hefty Bag grab might -- and I want to emphasize the might -- do the trick.
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:52 PM
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puzzlegal is offline
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Actually bagging the nest right after attacking it seems risky. The trash can (to be lidded later) seems WAY safer.

I mean, I routinely remove small paper-wasp nests from my windows, and I just knock it down, maneuver it into a glass jar, lid the jar, and take it outside. But those are SMALL nests, with maybe a dozen wasps, all of whom I can track as I do my thing.

But if you do end up handling a nest, it's worth knowing that the default direction for the wasps to fly is up and towards light. So, for instance, if you put a glass jar over the nest, and slide something opaque over the mouth of the jar, it won't take long for the entrapped wasps to be batting against the clear glass, and away from the opaque piece of paper, so you can slip a more solid covering over the mouth. Or, after taking the jar outdoors, you can unscrew the lid with the lid DOWN, so the wasps aren't close to your hands. Of course, that works better if you have a dozen wasps than if you have a few hundred, because there is some randomness.
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