Get Rid of Yellowjackets
What Does a Yellowjacket Look Like?
Plagued by Stinging Yellowjackets in Your Yard?
When you have a yellowjacket nest in your yard, it's likely that someone will get stung. Getting rid of these hornets becomes a priority before more people get hurt. Here's what worked for me with these pests.
I first noticed them when I tossed a few logs onto my log pile. A yellowjacket hornet flew out of the wood storage alcove under our deck. It stung me on my hand and as I tried to brush it off, it stung a second time. Ow, that hurt like the dickens.
Once I realized what an active colony we had, we tried several methods to rid ourselves of the yellowjackets. Unfortunately, a guest was stung on the ankle before we found a solution. I felt terrible that this happened while we were entertaining visitors.
Several weeks went by as I tried different methods but those just weren't working quickly enough for me. Finally, I tried Rescue Yellowjacket traps and you'll see below how those helped our situation.
Our First Ideas for Dealing With Yellowjackets
We had some sprays on hand which had worked well for the black-bodied hornets. Those are fairly slow-flying insects, so the stream sprayed on one knocked it down immediately. This didn't succeed with the zippy flying speed of the yellowjackets. I just couldn't spray quickly enough to hit it in mid-air.
The didn't sit still long enough for me to spray one either. Besides, it wasn't just one or two of these pests. There were dozens, and they flew in and out under our deck where the woodpile was. We couldn't see the nest to spray it and it was too risky to stick our head into the alcove where we could see better.
We thought about hiring an exterminator, but being thrifty by nature, we wanted to try to take care of the problem on our own.
Fatal Funnel Traps
These were inexpensive and used a plastic soda bottle which we had on hand and your own concoction for an attractant. What you received were instructions, a batch of yellow flower-shaped entrances that you inserted on the soda bottle after you sliced an X with a knife through the plastic.
I mixed up a batch of attractant as instructed using apple juice and some meat scraps. It looked pretty vile in the bottle. I knew the yellowjackets liked sweet drinks, as they pestered us when we drank wine on our deck. Apparently, they are also carnivores.
The first few days, the Fatal Funnel seemed like a dud. Perhaps the apple juice and the meat needed to ferment a bit. Then a few yellowjackets entered and drowned in the liquid. It wasn't enough to remove our problem though. Dozens still remained and were a threat each time we walked past that area.
After several weeks, some animal knocked over the bottle and all the liquid drained out. Fortunately, the trap was sitting in the garden so it didn't make a mess on the deck. It really looked gross by this time, so I tossed it in the trash.
To be fair to the manufacturer, I set up another one of these in early September. This time, I read the instructions more carefully. "Raw meat" it said, so the fat that I trimmed off the cooked ham last time may not have been what the critters wanted. This time, I put half a slice of turkey deli meat in it. That's cooked too, so still may not appeal.
I didn't have apple juice on hand, but use Coca Cola which should be plenty sweet for the yellow jacket's sweet tooth. I had lemonade in the fridge and that might have worked also. We will see how it goes.
Here's the Product That Worked for Me
The Rescue Disposable Yellowjacket Trap
You can get a single one of these or multiple ones to hang around the yard. Place them at least 20 feet away from house entrances or food gardens.
Don't Rip Open the Bag
Read the instructions first
Instructions and Video Review of Rescue YellowJacket Trap
Using the Rescue Yellowjacket Trap
Read the instructions first
Rip open the bag
You can repair the bag with duct tape if you ripped it open
Hang the trap 20 feet away
Hang too close to doors or gardens
Add water to the level marked on the bag
Overfill the bag with water
This trap does not attract beneficial honey bees, so you don't need to worry about that.
Video Review Comparing Different Hornet Traps
Hurrah, the Rescue Yellowjacket Trap Is Working
By the second day, several yellowjackets were inside the trap. In the following days, I estimate about 5 to 8 additional ones entered and drowned in the liquid.
The instructions say the trap continues to work as long as the liquid hasn't all evaporated. Today (after 2 weeks), I don't see any yellowjackets zooming in and out of their nesting area.
My Yellow Jacket Trap
Rescue Makes a Refillable Yellowjacket Trap Too
Now that I know the disposable trap works with their attractant, I plan to get a refillable one for future use. It should be more economical to buy additional Rescue attractant instead of getting more disposable ones.
Here's what the reusable one looks like.
I Was Finally Able to Knock Down the Nest
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Hanging a Fake Nest Now
I Made a Nest of a Gray Plastic Bag
I made it look sort of football shaped, but a little bigger at the top. Then I filled the interior loosely with other plastic bags. This should withstand the winter weather and deter the yellow jackets returning to their nesting spot in the spring.
Apparently, over the years, they can make the nest bigger and bigger. I don't want a repeat of this summer.
What to Do If You Get Stung
A yellowjacket sting is painful, but for most people the pain goes away before long. You can treat it with a paste of water and meat tenderizer or put an ice cube on it. If one is allergic, like I found I was, the area swells up and you have burning, itching pain for days. After about a week, the swelling did go down.
For people who have a strong physical reaction, it is a good idea to have Benedryl in your medicine cabinet. Avoid areas with wasps. You also want to clear out existing yellow jackets before anyone gets seriously hurt.
I recommend getting the Rescue Yellowjacket Traps (either the disposable ones or the refillable).
Tips for Treating a Yellowjacket Sting
Called the nurse hotline. She said apply moistened meat tenderizer, later use a cold pack for 10 minutes, take Benadryl for itching (or Clariton or Zyrtec). It could take a week for the swelling to go down if you are allergic to the sting. I have to watch out for red streaks which could indicate an infection.
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