getting rid of yellow jackets

lolasmamaJuly 15, 2006

I recently noticed quite a few yellow jackets in my backyard. Though they haven't stung anyone, I have a 16 month old who enjoys playing outside, and this makes me nervous. Last week I purchased a Scotts Eco Sense yellow jacket trap. Since then, the trap has caught 1 yellow jacket and a house fly. WOW! Yesterday I located the nest. It is inside of my BBQ. The yellow jackets have become more aggressive ( and larger in number) in the past week too. I know that they're good for pollinating my garden, and personnaly I try not to kill anything, but I am currently unable to enjoy my garden, I fear for my baby, and I can't BBQ! Is there a safe way to get rid of them, condsidering they're on the inside lid of my BBQ? Also the lid doesn't close, so just closing it isn't an option. Thanks for any advice:)

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You don't have to be apologetic about getting rid of yellow jackets. As summer wanes, they will continue to get more and more agressive, creating some real problems for your family. Hey! Next year, you need to cook out more often! That wouldn't happen at my house! ;-)

Is this a gas grill or a charcoal grill with a top that comes off? Is the nest in the top or the bottom part of the grill?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 11:54PM
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Just light the grill and your yellow jacket problem will be history!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 8:11AM
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Thanks for the quick response! It's a charcoal BBQ, but I don't think that the lid will come off. The nest is inside of the lid, at the top. Would trying to start the BBQ work, or would it just make them mad? I can barely get near it as is, but maybe at night I could light it.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 10:54AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

This is a tough one. I'm not sure that they would let you mess around with the grill even at night. Let's see....what would I do.....? Perhaps you could tie some rags around a long pole, apply a little charcoal lighter or gasoline (?) and make yourself a torch. Let the smoke drift under the lid before you open it up.....and then you can set the nest on fire. Do this at night when they are all in the nest. How does that sound? CRAZY?????

I'd suggest a wasp and hornet spray if this weren't your grill. Can't use that stuff in this case, really.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 12:28PM
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I did it last night! There are definately less of them now. They seem to scoping out a new spot-hopefully NOT on my property!!! Thanks for all the help! :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 11:16PM
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You can use one of the organic mint-based wasp/hornet sprays on a grill. Afterward, wipe off as much spray as you can, then let it burn hot for 15 minutes to remove any spray residue. These sprays have mint oil as the active ingredient so should not be poisonous. Double check the can for any other ingredients.

I love to use them, they smell so nice.

BTW, if you ever get stung by a yellow jacket you will not be so timid about killing them. They hurt! And they swarm and pose a serious risk to your children. These are one of 2 animals I kill without prejudice. The other animals are mice. After all, mice and rats carried the various plagues which wiped out 33% of the European population years ago.

When I had my first child, I would inspect the house every weekend and spray for wasps and YJs. I would remove, on average, 12 nests per season. I would never let the nests get bigger than a half dollar before I sprayed and removed them.

I do not have experience with killer bees, here in Michigan, but I wonder which is more aggressive, killer bees or YJs.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 2:32PM
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Based on some responses here I think some people are not aware of the mint-based wasp sprays. They use mint to kill the wasps, just as fast as the noxious chemicals. It smells great and it costs the same as the regular sprays. Victor makes one, can is mostly yellow. About $4us.

See FAQ below.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 2:43PM
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I was listening to a call-in show today and they mentioned something called a "Waspirator". It looks like a big dummy hornets nest you hang out where you're having a YJ or wasp problem and the problem wasps leave due to their being territorial. I just ordered two (found them in a search on Ebay). I'll let you know if it actually works. The Handyman show host says they actually work!
I just blocked up a nest under my carport and they still won't leave. Even Raid doesn't deter them. We will see who wins out....

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 12:31PM
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I usually get the ground-nesting yellow jackets on my property. I found the best way to get rid of them is to go out at night with about a cup of gasoline and pour it down their hole. Let the vapors spread for about a half minute or so and drop a match! Then open it up with a shovel and finish of the nest. Works every time and never got stung!!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 9:29PM
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Islandgirl, I have a story which illustrates that wasps will congregate around nest-shaped objects, which proves the Waspirator actually works.

I had to replace a porch light on my front porch. Now, usually porch lights are mounted on the wall of the house. This one was mounted under the eaves by a previous owner. I didn't want to move the wiring, it would have taken me 1-2 hours to move the wiring and patch up the old hole. So I put a jelly jar light up there. (My family knows that I attract angry yellow jackets when I sweat, and they do sting me. So I avoid working outside in hot weather if there are YJs around.)

Now this jelly jar light looks just like a wasp nest, if you just look at the general shape. It starts with a thin base that attaches under my eaves, then has a thin stem, followed by the actual light part hanging down, which is fat. Thus, the general shape of a wasp nest. Oh, it's black also. Except for the glass part. So color does not seem to matter.

Each week for the past 3 weeks I have had to spray the light because 10 or more yellow jackets were just sitting on it. Weird, huh?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 10:49AM
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