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Wasps/bees in paper nest in my chicken yard!

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  • Wasps/bees in paper nest in my chicken yard!

    I cleverly found the 8" diameter paper nest this evening while mowing the chicken pen (it is 40 x 60), when I hopped off the tractor to cut a blackberry vine..wham! I got stung in the back! Yeah, I screamed like a little girl, ran like a fool, slapping at my back. I had to go back and fetch my tractor.

    The little bastards have to go. What is your favorite method of destruction? I have to go into the inner pen to clean and they are in the path. Will they harm my hens??? Grrr... ow....grr... I don't feel well, now. I don't think I'm allergic, but I am a bit sweaty and my tummy is sickish. Breathing is ok.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

  • #2
    Sounds like you've got a nest of yellow jackets. I'm in the process of having the largest nest I've ever seen killed on my property. Way too close to the house & barn. About 300 feet.
    Man mowing on lawnmower found this one. We are SOOO thankful that he just was near it as it is so big the mower would possibly have gotten stuck in it & they would have killed this old guy.
    The nest opening is 2' x 1'. I had professional exterminator out & he put in over 25 gallons of insecticide into the nest. Never even filled it up & didn't kill them all. Many many many still pissed off & flying around.
    Having them out tomorrow & they're bringing the "big truck" which can dump spray on them faster.
    Very dangerous things. I was reading about these bigger nests that people have started finding in the past 3 to 4 years. Scientist say the YJ's are much larger than regular ones & unfortunately these are the ones we have here. They're almost as large as a regular wasp.
    Scary. I hate insects & snakes. Why oh why do I live down here???
    For a nest with an 8'' opening you might want to call a professional. If not you can pour gas into the opening at night & run like hell. Should kill them if there's not too many. Good luck. Hope you're feeling okay.
    Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


    • Original Poster

      This is a paper wasp nest, I'm pretty sure, but they seemed like YJ's in size. Very aggressive!!! We have had such a wet, cool spring I didn't think about bees yet. It has been years since I've been stung, too. I'm worried about my hens and horses, so they are gone ASAP.

      How long should I keep the hens away after we spray?? I'm assuming the hens shouldn't eat the dead bees we spray. Ugh.
      Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


      • #4
        I'd hire a professional to come in and spray it. Wasp nests are one thing not to mess around with.
        Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


        • #5
          Yikes! Wasps and yellow jackets give me the screaming meenies too.
          I use the wasp and hornet spray that sprays from 25-50'. Can you wait until the chickens go into roost in the evening? I spray and then run like hell, sneak back in after a minute and spray and run. Hop up and down a bit too, that seems to help. Then go back and sweep up as many as you can, so chickens don't have many to find and eat in the morning.

          For yellow jackets in the ground I sneak out after dark and dump a couple of handfulls of sweet feed on their hole. Within a day or two a critter will have dug up and destroyed the nest. I think the critter is a skunk, or maybe racoon.


          • Original Poster

            Ah, Leaf, I see you use the Professional Farm Woman's Method of pest control, just like me!

            You ideas are sound, and Mr. CC has assured me he'll stand by (or close by) while I destroy them..he's such a brave man.
            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


            • #7
              Couple of ideas. For both, do it after dark when the little buggers are all in the nest.

              First, chemical warfare. Get a can of "jet spray" wasp/hornet killer and spray the nest thoroughly. This will kill both the current generation and the larvae in the nest (so I'm told).

              Second, napalm. OK, it's not really napalm. Make a torch (an old rag soaked in charcoal lighter, diesel fuel, or other low volatility petroleum product on a long stick like an old push broom handle). Light the torch near the nest and immediately apply the fire to it. This will burn the wings off the adults and they will fall to the ground (chicken feed, I presume). The nest will "flash" and that will kill the larvae. Those that don't burn will fall to the ground and make more chicken feed. If you use this method be prepared with appropriate fire protection/suppression gear to prevent any flames from getting started.

              We've used each method multiple times. Both work quite well. And both are under $5 (much cheaper than a professional exterminator).

              Good luck in whatever you decide.

              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


              • Original Poster

                Hee hee..."I love the smell of napalm in the morning!"

                No professional exterminators here, far too cheap for that. I'm going with the spray method at this point. I'll lock up the ladies and put on a heavy jacket and gloves to avoid any kamikazee strikes from those bees with night vision goggles....and then let them have it! And run like hell!

                I have a new appreciation for the bee scene in "Hunger Games" now
                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                • #9
                  Good luck!!! Remember face protection as well.
                  What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kookicat View Post
                    I'd hire a professional to come in and spray it. Wasp nests are one thing not to mess around with.
                    Quality Hunter Ponies


                    • #11
                      Calvincrowe and the Professional Farm Woman's Method of Pest Control.
                      Thanks for the chuckle. Goodluck, may the PFW force be with you. Make sure your escape path is free of tripping objects. Mr CC's bravery in accepting the role of standby should be commended, although we know who is truely deserving of all honors and accolades.


                      • #12
                        Just do it at night, not in the day time.

                        Paper wasps build the roundish grey paper nests which hang from eves, or tree limbs.

                        Yellow jackets make a ground nest - might be a hole in the ground, or into a rotted tree, but on the ground. It will usually be a ground nest in the ground. As for the rotted tree, we found that one with the horses, jumping over it on the trail all spring, one day the lead horse didn't pick up his feet and smashed it apart - the last horse, a pony mare, headed into the thick of the pissed off YJs and boy, that was a bucking bronco bucking back all the way home - her owner, a older, small woman, landed on the ground, and was stung too.
                        My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


                        • #13
                          Oh. We went back at night with the jet spray and a flashlight and soaked em but good in the night.
                          My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


                          • #14
                            CC-a few cautions on this process:
                            1. Make sure your 'backup' isn't standing in the path of retreat, because you might have to knock him out of the way.
                            2. Make sure you out run him, because they'll go after the first available target. This is an every woman for herself scenario, and you can't let sentiment get in the way.
                            3. Get a bunch of cans of spray, because you can never have too much spray, and you might need it later. It really pisses the YJ's off if you run out of spray in the middle of the process and don't kill all of them. Just line them all up on the ground at the optimal spraying distance, and toss them when they get empty, but not where you might trip over the empty cans.
                            4. In the coming days watch for relocation points of the survivors. They built under my mailbox one time after they were displaced by my neighbors.
                            You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                            • #15
                              You can use horse fly spray and get those little devils. Those little devils drop like rocks! Ya baby!!!

                              I am the queen wasp killer on my property. My husband has a cease and desist order when he sees them.

                              You can go in the early morning and spray those little devils also. I also have in my weaponry wasp spray. Any cheap spray will do. I like the one which has the longest distance it will spray and the cheapest.

                              Once all are gone, completely remove the nest and toss in trash. Any leftovers other wasps will take this as an invitation that this is a good place to build a nest, and will do so. They leave pheromones when they build a nest. Hey, get a hose, squirt and squeeze a little Dawn on the water stream to clean the area after you get rid of the nest.


                              • Original Poster

                                Thankfully, even in my decrepit 3-knee-surgeries-later state, I can outrun Mr. CC. I'm sure he'll take cover on the hammock to watch the fun, along with our pack of dogs and several cats--useless bunch that they are! No doubt, he'll issue many manly bits of bug killing advice, in a loud authoritative voice. I'll then remind him he's from Alaska--unless it's a mosquito or black fly issue, he stays out of it.

                                I am fetching a can of spray from my brother tonight, and will commence Operation Annihilation at 2100 hours, as it begins to get dark (sun doesn't set here until nearly 10 now...)
                                Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


                                • #17
                                  At the Farmwoman Bravery.

                                  When I sprayed my first paperwasp nest I screamed like a little girl and ran faster than I knew I could.

                                  Definitely go on the attack at dawn or dusk when the nasty little bastids are inactive.

                                  If you are worried about poisoning your hens, use one of the "natural" wasp sprays.
                                  Lowes has one that is mint oil based and it kills them just as fast as the chemicals.
                                  I used it on a nest under the barn eaves because I did not want poison dripping on the horses
                                  *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                  Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                  Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                  Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                                  • #18
                                    You need multiple cans of spray. One can will run out, leaving you with a bunch of angry yellow jackets, and they'll be looking for a target.
                                    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                                    • #19
                                      I had to have the pro out again today. He had to again dump many gallons of spray into the hole. I have a mega-hive in the ground. He said again that several thousands came out after spraying & this hive was already treated with 25 gallons of spray a few days ago.
                                      Hope this finishes them off. Cans of spray weren't even touching them.
                                      Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


                                      • #20
                                        So how did the professional farm woman do with her paper wasps?
                                        Hope all went well.

                                        I see that we know the differences between wasps and yellow jackets.
                                        Whitfarmhano, gallons of insectcide? Man, I hope I never run into Georgain yellow jackets!

                                        The sweetfeed trick really works on the YJ nests I have known. I've used it three times with success.

                                        If possible, when you don't need a quick kill, try it. Rather than more chemicals, (my dad used gasoline), try hiring a local skunk.

                                        Instead of a scorched earth policy, all ji-haad like with napalm and Nukes, try the sweet feed.