View Full Version : Yellow Jacket Nest - Alternative to Chemical

8-20-12, 9:42am
I found two yellow jacket nests on my house yesterday. Once every year, I remove the entire window from the frame and give it a thorough cleaning. On the south side of my house, on the 2nd floor I found two nests.

Nest 1 is tucked up into the aluminum casing vertical to window number 1. I found a cluster of insects still sleeping or in semi-dormancy at the end of the casing. The cleaning took place before the sunlight reached them so none came into the house. The second cluster is under the sill on window number 2. I can remove the sill which was a suprise as I thought it was caulked when installed !!! No caulking but, I saw part of the nest with a little insect activity. I cleaned the windows, put the sill back on and left them alone. I have no idea how large the window No 2 nest may go into the wall.

Any ideas on what to do? I shy away from calling an exterminator but the critters have to go. The nests were not there last year. I have to do this soon. The nests are hard to get to. A ladder is out as it is very high off the ground. Any treatment was to be done hanging out the window. Any chemical is going to end up inside I fear. This is right outside my bedroom.

8-20-12, 11:32am
Looked around on google and saw that PETA seemed to have an article on how to humanely get rid of yellowjackets. I didn't get to read it though since that website upsets me...

Good luck if it doesn't work you might have to call an exterminator before the situation gets a lot worse...

8-20-12, 12:32pm
Yellow jackets have nest in the ground. What kind of nest is it........a mud tunnel? a paper nest with cells?
We have them all over the outside of our house and we all live in harmony.
I don't quite understand what the problem is? Are they destroying anything?

Square Peg
8-20-12, 12:39pm
I think you can find an exterminator that uses more organic pesticides, so that might be an option.

8-20-12, 12:54pm
Yellow jackets have nest in the ground. What kind of nest is it........a mud tunnel? a paper nest with cells?
We have them all over the outside of our house and we all live in harmony.
I don't quite understand what the problem is? Are they destroying anything?

I'm very "live and let live" when it comes to insects and arachnids, except when there is danger of human or pet bodily harm. That is, I kill black widows if I encounter them on our garbage bins and in the garage in public areas. And when we had yellow jackets nesting on our house and I found 3 inside the house, on my cat's face, I felt the need to take action and get rid of that nest.

That said, my father-in-law took care of it and used a poison spray on the nest, so I don't have any non-poison suggestions (but I certainly understand the desire to go that route). Good luck!


8-20-12, 12:54pm
One DD and I are both sensitive to stinging critters, not a fatal thing, but does make us both pretty sick if we get stung. As a result this is the one area where I step decidedly off the organic path and bomb them with something that will kill the flyers as well as the youngsters in the nest. Most of the off the shelf wasp & hornet killers are very effective and shoot out in a stream of liquid rather than a fog so fumes aren't a huge problem. Could you set up a fan in the window, or in the room pointed at the window, to blow any fumes out? I'm not a fan of killing anything that's just doing what it does to survive, but in this case there is a threat to my family so I do get rid of them. The best thing I can say about being humane here is that the poison does work right away. The wasps are dead within a second or two.

8-20-12, 3:26pm
Its a totally different issue if a person is allergic, or if the insect is poisonous. It didn't appear that that was a problem in Cypress's post.
I've learned to live with alot of things that most people just freak out over and start swatting.........then that scares the insect, and it goes into the offensive.
I'm just saying that if no one is hurt by it, what's the harm to leave it?
If there is a paper nest or a mud tunnel, just remove it, and keep removing it if they try to rebuild it.

8-20-12, 3:53pm
Hi Cathy A
My experience with yellow jackets is if I make one wrong move, they will not hesitate to sting. Years ago, I accidentally hit a nest in the ground and was stung several times. I had a minor reaction and had to go to the doctor's office for a dose of Benadryl. I am not sure if my reaction was a scare or a true allergic response.

The nest is paper. I almost knocked it off the wall yesterday. I suppose I could try first thing tomorrow before daylight. What if I don't get it all? I admit to being very wary. Won't the nest just get bigger and bigger possibly pushing away the siding from the house? I do not want to kill but they don't think twice before striking. I am out numbered and do not want them finding their way in the house.

8-20-12, 4:04pm
I'm very much a live and let live person. But wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets around the house do get eliminated. We prefer non-toxic, so here's what we use:
http://www.saferbrand.com/store/insect-control/m604#desc and we've been pleased with the results.

8-20-12, 4:24pm
The yellow jackets have never treated me humanely. This is one area I am fine with chemical warfare. I have been stung twice. It really hurts even though I am not allergic to the sting. The first time I was stung in the back so I didn't even know it was a wasp sting. I thought I had been shot by a BB gun or air rifle.

8-20-12, 4:42pm
My husband is allergic to bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets so humane in this instance pertains only to people. We use chemical means get rid of the critters. We’ve paid hundreds of $$$ in the past for pest control but find that do-it- yourself methods work just as well. I do the deed and have hung out of upstairs windows to get to nests behind shutters, in eaves, etc.. I’ve tried lots of stuff and have found that Home Defense Max Wasp foam spray to be the most effective hardware available chemical.

8-20-12, 6:49pm
Can you reach the nest with a long pole, such as the handle of a roof rake? You want to make sure you are at a steep angle away from the nest, not directly under it. If so I would slowly tear the nest apart from the ground. The yellow jackets won't know where it is coming from. You should soak any parts that fall with a hose, to destroy it.

That's what we have to do with the nests near the roof of our house.

8-20-12, 8:02pm
No, it won't ruin your siding. Many times they don't even make it through the winter. Sometimes birds eat the wasps larvae. Its usually hooked to something with one pedestal-type thing, Its pretty easy to break it off and the whole thing falls. They will try to build again, but you can just keep knocking it off. Sometimes you can find it without any wasps on it, and then you can knock it off without being afraid.

8-20-12, 9:33pm
I've seen nests eat through wallboard to get into a house. The homeowner was able to kill them with cans of spray followed by replacing the wallboard and repainting. So I'd vote for getting rid of them sooner rather than later.

Once they are done, clean out the nest so parts don't fall into the wiring.

8-21-12, 4:51am
I do think if you leave them there as other posters mentioned they can get into your house...the nest may be able to gore through the outer material of the housing? Good luck...

8-21-12, 7:04am
I've seen nests eat through wallboard to get into a house. The homeowner was able to kill them with cans of spray followed by replacing the wallboard and repainting. So I'd vote for getting rid of them sooner rather than later.

Once they are done, clean out the nest so parts don't fall into the wiring.

Yes, they can chew their way into the house. A few years ago we heard buzzing in the wall, decided it must be yellow jackets, drilled a small hole into the wall and sprayed wasp spray into the wall through the hole, the buzzing went away. Our pest controller neighbor then told us that the buzzing was to call other yellow jackets and if we hadn't gotten rid of the nest our wall would have been destroyed and our house infested.

8-21-12, 8:01am
With our first house we had a deck on the second story of the house, one day I saw a yellowjacket come out of a small hole in the wood and proceed to start making another hole in the wood. So I do believe they can chew through certain material. A search on the net may give some better facts....

The results of a search I did on google says yes yellow jackets can chew through wood. I wouldn't keep their nests around, they can also get inside the wall and chew through drywall...


8-21-12, 8:48am
I think its important that we're talking about the same insect. In my experience, yellow jackets only live in the ground. Paper wasps don't go through wood, nor do mud daubers.
Tussiemussies, I think you might be talking about carpenter bees. They look like bumble bees. We have alot of those and its hard to keep them from drilling into the wood on the side of the house. But they stay in the wood. What makes it worse, is the woodpeckers go after their larvae in the wood and make the holes much bigger.
Cypress.........can you post a picture of the wasp/hornet/bee you're talking about?

8-21-12, 8:52am
Hi Cathy A, I just did a search on the net and the answers came back, yes they can chew through wood and drywall also. I do remember it very vividly that it was a yellowjacket. I was amazed to see it chewing the hole and then going into it after it had come out of the first hole. Oh well... :)

8-21-12, 8:55am
I've also used the Victor Poison-Free Wasp & Hornet Killer that cdttmm mentioned, with excellent results. We had a yellow jacket nest in the ground under our strawberry bed several years ago and I had tried boiling water and ice water with no results. This product is based on mint oil and was the only product I found locally that I would consider using near our food garden. I went out very early in the morning when the yellow jackets were not active and the air was quite cool, sprayed it into the hole in the ground - and never saw another one from that nest.

8-21-12, 9:28am
We've had issues with yellow jackets and wasps in the past in our deck and in our attic and in our basement (that nest was the size of a basketball). These are paper nests and are not bees, but yellow jackets. We use a foaming spray that kills them and the nest area. For our attic, we waited till it had cooled down and I went up and removed the nests and made sure I closed off their entry way.

Perhaps you could hose them off with a water stream if you didn't want to use poison and then when things cool off, go back and caulk that area.

We are dealing with cicada killer wasps which do burrow into the ground. They are HUGE. Bees I don't have a problem with but yellow jackets and wasps I do.

8-21-12, 9:31am
Ok, now I'm scared. I had a tree fall on my house last year and when the roofer came to fix it I saved money by saying I'd paint it myself. Didn't actually paint it until 10 months later (this summer) and by the time I painted it there were two holes in the new wood fascia but I have seen no bugs flying in or out and this is right above my back door.

I'm also now worried about mowing my lawn in case a yellowjacket nest gets in the ground. If I put down fertilizer that kills pests as well as weeds, will that discourage yellowjackets from building nests in my yard?

I live alone and there is nobody to whom I could foist off such a distasteful and frightening job as killing a nest of aggressive, stinging insects. I have to proactively make sure they don't set up housekeeping in my house and yard.


8-21-12, 1:28pm
As far as the carpenter bees..........they look just like bumble bees, but have slightly different coloring..........
You an see them flying back and forth around the area, guarding it from other bees. Those don't sting. Only the queen stings.
They will probably continue to drill into your siding. They lay eggs in there, and then the young emerge in the spring. They're sort of hard to get rid of. I just let them go at it, and we'll eventually replace those 2 pieces of fascia. Do a google search of ways to deter them. We didn't have any this year.........I think thanks to the drought.
Putting down a fertilizer that kills "pests" will kill alot of good insects. Just wear tennis shoes and socks and long pants when you mow.

Yes, cicada killers nest in the ground. I have a ton of them too, and I'm not sure they even sting. They've never bothered me. Google cicada killer, carpenter bee, paper wasp, mud daubers. Its important to know the difference in order to know what you really have.

8-21-12, 1:38pm
A pressure washer should give you the oomph and distance to get them. Although with my allergies I am a chemical warfare type. (generally I think chemicals are ok, just people tend to use WAY too much of them)

8-21-12, 3:59pm
I would go with the chemicals for yellow jackets. They are just too aggressive. The nests do seem to die out in the winter, but during the summer a 2 time hit with the long distance (20 ft.) spray will usually take care of them. We had one in the ground that still has a hole! It's been years since we got rid of it.

8-21-12, 4:27pm
Well, I guess I have an apology to give. In looking up more information for you, I got educated myself! They can live in human structures, among other places. I never knew that! I guess I've never seen them anywhere else the in the ground.
Here's a link I came upon about a product that is supposedly eco friendly.