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Bees/ yellow jackets in outdoor arena footing

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  • Bees/ yellow jackets in outdoor arena footing

    My 2 year-old river sand-footed riding arena has a bunch of burrowing bees or yellow jackets that have taken over one whole corner while we were out of town for a couple of weeks of vacation. There are bunches in many small holes in the sand. No idea if they are aggressive or not- I'm scared to find out! What do I do to get rid of them? I tried spraying some of the holes with Raid from a distance, but there are so many that it didn't make much of an impact. Help!!

  • #2
    If they are yellow jackets they ARE aggressive!!! If bees, maybe. But in any event they pose a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of you and your stock.

    Check with your Extension Agent, Co-Op, or TS to see what they have in insecticides to remedy this situation. And do remedy it!!! Having your horse stung while you're riding a canter circle will not be not a happy experience for either horse or rider.


    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    • #3
      after dark, pour a wee bit of gas in the holes. As in, a TBS at most. That'll handle it.


      • #4
        If by Raid you mean the foaming wasp spray that lets you stand back 20', then ok. I would still do it after dark, and I'd wear my knee high Bogs, ski pants, a parka, a scarf, a hat and goggles. But that's because I'm now allergic to wasps, after getting stung 20x a few years ago after I irritated a ground wasp nest under a hedge I was trimming.

        Gas would work, but for a spot with multiple ground nests and holes, you're going to get swarmed before you're done running from hole to hole. I'd stand back and spray, personally.

        A hose is a good thing to have handy -- I've knocked down nests that then led to 50+ angry wasps flying around. A hose on full blast can keep you safe while they take their time dying.

        Wear sneakers and be ready to run. Good luck.


        • #5
          Normally I would agree with what has been said and Imwould add "light a match and run like h***".

          if if you have as many as I think you be,mgiven your description, burrowing bees ARE indeed aggressive --

          Keep every living creature out of there u til you call a pest control company who is experienced in killing bees. Those are. Or honey bees that we need to save. They are aggressive stinging bees and enough stings to some one or something could be disastrous.

          Pay the bill for a professional and know you can sleep tonight


          • #6
            We call these ground bees, and yes, they are very aggressive when you walk on their nest!

            My SO sprayed them and ran then came back a few times to finish them off.


            • #7
              Sprinkle Sevin dust at the entrances of the bee holes (or possibly just a generous sprinkling in that corner of the area might work). It doesn't kill them instantly like the sprays. It will take a couple of days, but it will kill the whole nest once they track it in. You can buy Sevin at Lowe's. I have gotten rid of so many Yellow Jacket nests this way including a couple on the perimeter of my sand arena. One good treatment should do it, but the stuff is cheap.

              A blog featuring the musings of a semi-neurotic adult amateur rider on riding, training, showing, life.


              • #8
                Please do not use gas or fire!


                Someone who was under evacuation advisory for 6 weeks last year due to a wildfire started when a neighbor was trying to deal with wasps.

                I see you're in Kentucky, so the fire danger is not as bad, but still. Something that bad, I'd really be inclined to call in a professional. The Sevin (permethrin) dust is a good idea, but I'd be concerned that for such a large infestation, getting enough in there is going to take a lot of powder, to the point where you are in danger of creating a toxic problem for beneficial insects as well. Consider it might wash into any waterways and kill fish in a big way.

                The advice to do whatever you do in the early morning, with your body covered with gloves, long sleeves, and a hat, is wise.

                The wasps are terrible at my place this year but at least they're not that bad!
                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                • #9
                  A tbs of gas on the ground won't burn anything down. No one said throw a match at it. Same with the sevin dust. She's working on an arena's sandy footing. Not the headwaters of the Missouri.


                  • #10
                    Please identify the wasp variety before doing anything! Locally we get Cicada wasps. They are HUGE at 2 inches long, have visible holes in sandy areas, but are NOT AGGRESSIVE at all!! Just scary to look at!! They are actually very tolerant, tend to ignore even being bothered without retaliation. We have a couple colonies at the ends of the barn, which have not been any problem for over 30 years. I walk horses by them twice a day, tractor is parked and driven beside the holes on a daily basis. None of us have ever been stung or even swarmed.

                    We have observed them closely, just because they are so visible, interesting to watch. Small son reconsidered poking them when it was pointed out a sting would probably hurt lots MORE than a regular wasp sting. They did not ever sting him.

                    The Cicada Wasps are visible for about a month in summer, then disappear again until next year. Not here yet this summer.

                    Not all wasps are agressive, though many can be. Just take the time to learn which variety they are before going full destructive on the gentle type. We do need wasps as well as bees for pollinating various crops.


                    • #11
                      Could they be sand wasps? Sand wasps nest in sand and prey on horse flies and are very beneficial. They are non aggressive unless you step on them. They are yellow and black.



                      • #12
                        I agree that observing and ID'ing the species is a good first step. I have 5 species of wasp that frequent my yard (native and European paper wasps, black/yellow mud daubers, thread waisted wasps, and yellowjackets) and only the yellowjackets are really a problem. But if you have yj buggers in an arena, peaceful co-existence is probably not an option. That said, multiple holes kinda sounds more like solitary wasps than social wasps (social species are more aggressive about defending nests, and therefore are bigger a-holes), which is all the more reason to ID species before going all scorched earth.

                        If they really are yellowjackets, the Mousetrap Monday guy has a video where he tests yellowjacket traps. The homemade trap he demonstrates in the second half looks like a good way to eliminate a large portion of the adult population before attempting any DIY spray or dust + dig up nest operation (and if you don't dig it up I'm not sure you could be sure you won't get another round when larvae deep in the nest hatch).

                        Alternatively, if they are indeed yellowjackets it's entirely reasonable to get a pro with better gear/training to remove the nest.


                        • #13
                          Something I haven't yet seen suggested would be to call a commercial, ie *professional* , pest removal service.

                          They should be able to identify the insects and have the appropriate remedial treatment for them.
                          Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge