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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    19

    Default Ground hornet contol?

    Last summer we had at least 3 nests of ground hornets in our 3 acre pasture. 2 were found by my husband when he drove the tractor over them. Each time he got stung a couple of times but the hornets swarmed around the tractor after he ran. We moved the tractor away from the nest at night. The other nest was dug up by a critter (skunk?) and it was by the base of a big tree.

    After we found the nests, at night we sprayed wasp killer stuff in them and then covered the area with a small tarp. We sealed the tarp down with lots of rocks to smother any surviving hornets. Just a note that there are no horses or other livestock on this pasture and probably won't be for several years.

    Anyways, does anyone know a way to prevent these nests? Is there something growing in our pasture that attracts the hornets? I'd rather be as gentle on the soil as possible but these hornet are very stubborn and we've got young kids. Heck, I'd hate to have anyone, or even a dog, accidently step on one of these nests.

    Thanks.
    "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." Aldous Huxley.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2002
    Location
    Henrico, NC 36 30'50.49" N 77 50'17.47" W
    Posts
    5,781

    Default

    Right after dark, they will all be in the nest, upend a quart of Acetone on the hole and come back to get the can in the morning. Acetone is what is used in killing jars for insect collectors.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    2,035

    Default

    I'd like to know as well. We have had terrible ground wasp infestations in our yard for two of the last three years- not sure what held them off last year, but I'm not counting on it occurring again this year.

    I've been told to carry a fire extinguisher (one of the tiny ones) for defense- it freezes them on contact. not practical for kids or dogs obviously, and do be careful- swarms of wasps and hornets can kill a decent sized dog.

    Looking forward to replies.
    bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
    free bar.ka and tidy rabbit



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2003
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,850

    Default

    Good, timely question. Anybody know if there's something to watch for early in the season while the nest is being occupied so we can get them before there are too many? Do we just have to keep watch around dusk and follow a hornet home ? I keep a lookout around ledge, stone walls and fallen tree stumps and edges of the woods, but other than waiting to get stung to pinpoint the location what can we do??? Ii get nests of normal bees/wasps, etc in the eave and overhang of my outbuildings. I try to spray my hay stall when it's empty with a residual killer/repellant which will last abput 6 weeks and that seems to deter those nasties.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    Location
    south eastern US
    Posts
    2,519

    Default

    Hornets don't generally dig their own nests...they will usually utilize old rodent burrows. It all works together...control the rodents and they won't dig the burrows that the hornets use. Keep an eye out if you see more than one hornet entering a burrow you can be pretty sure there is a nest. Be proactive and if you spot a rodent burrow destroy it. Hornets have been known to build large nests in attics between the joists too. Many years ago...in another life time I was a professional pest control technician and handled many attics nests where the hornets wore a hole through the ceiling and entered the dwelling....this was mostly in mountain cabins that were unoccupied for much of the year. The worst problems we faced were late in the summer or early fall.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2007
    Location
    Sultan WA
    Posts
    885

    Default

    Thanks for that bit of info, PRS. I have encountered the dreaded "ground bees" as a surveyor - they can certainly wreak havoc on your field schedule! Always did wonder how they got their nest going.

    For instant knockdown of the yellowjacket and black paper wasp types that build in our barns and sheds - and under the tongues and the goosenecks of our trailers!! I've found that a half-and-half mix of gasoline and dish detergent, put into a good spray bottle (the kind that will shoot a good stream 20 feet or so) and diluted just enough with water to effectively spray far enough, is a great weapon for those high nests you cant reach otherwise.

    Spot the nests out first, get your aim practiced, and go out really early in the morning when they are still cold and not moving around, and blast them. The gas kills almost instantly, the detergent acts as a sticker (think spray sticker, like for fruit tree spray) and you are far enough away to not get stung as they fall and die. Don't smoke while using this mixture - it's alternative name is napalm.

    I had a nest once between studs in an outbuilding - when I tore off the siding in the winter, it had filled the stud cavity side to side and was FOUR feet high..... Be aware that unless it is sub-freezing for some time, these nests will have guardians that will still come for you! Napalm is your friend then burn the whole dang nest.
    Homesick Angels Farm
    breeders of quality Irish Draught Sporthorses
    standing Manu Forti's Touch Down RID
    www.IrishHuntersandJumpers.com



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2009
    Location
    Penn Valley CA
    Posts
    633

    Default

    I discovered a nest while mowing, didn't get stung luckily. I sprayed with wasp killer then ran the hose down the hole for 30 minutes. That was 4 years ago never came back. If I see a hole that would make a nice nest I run the hose. I've never had a nest again, why I don't know but it has worked.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2006
    Location
    At the back of the line
    Posts
    4,016

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAblurr02 View Post
    it's alternative name is napalm.
    Serously? Like I love the smell of napalm in the morning?
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2007
    Location
    Wilsonville, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    4,346

    Default

    We are on sand loam here and we have dozens and dozens of them everywhere. I alternate between pouring boiling water down the holes to wasp killer to gasoline to whatever is handy but I do like the acetone idea!

    We had a pile of topsoil off to the side that we were digging in and using as necessary and I made one swoop with the tractor and I guess hit the nest in there (didnt even know there WAS a nest in there!) and the tractor instantly got swarmed by hundreds of the little beggars. Luckily we have a cab and I was praying there werent any vents they could come in through, but stinging the bucket was as far as they got ...

    Sometimes I am just driving along minding my own business in the little garden tractor and I get zapped and stung before I know it, and I ended up driving over another new nest that I never even knew existed ...

    NO idea how to keep them all away permanently. I find if we shut down one nest, another one pops up close by



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,994

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDeere View Post
    Serously? Like I love the smell of napalm in the morning?
    Haa haa, "Apocalypse Now" Strange movie...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,994

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubyfree View Post
    I'd like to know as well. We have had terrible ground wasp infestations in our yard for two of the last three years- not sure what held them off last year, but I'm not counting on it occurring again this year.

    I've been told to carry a fire extinguisher (one of the tiny ones) for defense- it freezes them on contact. not practical for kids or dogs obviously, and do be careful- swarms of wasps and hornets can kill a decent sized dog.

    Looking forward to replies.
    Are you sure they aren't Cicada Killers? http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef004.asp

    We had these ALL over our front lawn one year, scared the crap out of me until I learned that they are a gentle as (long as you don't bother them), but scary looking insects.

    They target Cicadas which usually burrow under the bark of trees and cause destruction or death of the tree.

    These guys buzz real close, but more out of curiosity.

    Also, they don't emerge every year.



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