Yellowjacket Biology Page
Common Mistakes in Eliminating Yellowjackets, Hornets, Bees
- Trying to kill yellowjackets with a Wasp
Freeze rarely works. A wasp freeze is designed to sharp-shoot a
stinging pest or their exposed nest. This is fine for visible paper
nests under the eaves of your home but a waste of time for nests in the
ground or in voids of a structure. A wasp freeze has a quick knock
down on most insects but has no residual and will not spread out inside of a
void, as will an insecticide dust.
- Spraying a liquid insecticide into a void will not penetrate the large
nests of yellowjackets. The insecticide solution will follow the path
of least resistance, not blowing out sideways as will a professional dust.
- Many over the counter dusts found in lawn and garden centers are simply
too heavy for this job. You need the precise formulation of a
professional dust for the job.
- Do not attempt to eliminate an underground colony or one that is in a
wall void during daylight hours! You will get a better kill and will
have a safer outcome if you wait until dusk. More about this in our
yellowjacket elimination section.
The best yellowjacket elimination job starts with locating any possible
entry points leading to the nest. This is true of ground nests as well as
wall nests. It is best to locate these entrance holes during the afternoon
hours. During this time period, the workers are easily seen as they forage
for food and return to their home. To create a safer environment for
yellowjacket extermination, place a small object close to the entrance hole so
that it is easily seen. This is very important, as you will see in the
second step of the operation. If you can see entrance holes, go to the next
step in yellowjacket elimination. If you are unable to pinpoint the
exact location of the colony's entrance, it might be due to grass, weeds, ground
cover or landscaping. In this case, it might be necessary to broadcast
the general area with a professional liquid insecticide, using your hose end
sprayer. A pump type garden sprayer is not suggested for this job.
Eliminating yellowjackets, bees in a wall void or other such above ground nest,
follow the guidelines in Yellowjacket elimination in voids.
When broadcast treating an area, there are two
pesticides that work better than others: Cypermethrin and Talstar. Both of
these products are synthetic pyrethrins that are safer to use than Dursban,
Diazinon or other harsh products. These two products are also far better
in performance. Yellowjackets, wasps and hornets do not like Cypermethrin!
Pour 4 to 8 ounces of Cypermethrin insecticide concentrate into your hose end
sprayer. Attach your sprayer to a garden hose. You may now safely
spray your pesticide solution over the entire area. Begin with fence
lines, flower beds, tall grass or weeds, or any area where you suspect
yellowjackets to forage or where possible entrances to their colony could be.
If there is not too much flying insect activity, you can broadcast your liquid
insecticide during daylight hours. Watch your step! The power of
your garden hose sprayer will give you the reach and distance needed to do the
job but you should still be on the lookout for yellowjackets and their colony
entrance holes. After your Cypermethrin treatment, you may go on to the next
step in yellowjacket elimination.
Once a nest or colony entrance has been located and
marked, you will be able to apply your pest control products in the correct
area. However, do not attempt to eliminate an active yellowjacket nest in
the middle of the day. This is very dangerous as it invites multiple
stinging workers to your exposed face and skin.
The best time to do this pest control job is at dusk. During this time you
will have some visibility but the insects will be settling down for the day.
Wasps, bees, hornets, yellowjackets prefer to rest at dark. This gives you
two distinct advantages:
- All workers will be in the nest, instead of foraging and gathering food
for the colony. This gives you an excellent kill.
- If workers are at rest in the ground, you know where they are.
This means there is a far less risk to you!
Now that you have located and marked the entrance holes to your
yellowjacket nest and the sun is just going down, you are ready to apply your
product. Injecting a professional insecticide dust into the entrance hole
is your best bet. The two best products for this job are Delta Dust and
Drione Dust. Both have their advantages. Drione Dust has a faster
knock down on any bug, especially stinging wasps, hornets, honey bees or
yellowjackets. Delta Dust is almost as quick as Drione but has the
advantage of being water proof. If the soil in or around your colony is
damp, Delta Dust will give a better residual than Drione which is severely
damaged by moisture. When in doubt, combine the two dusts together.
This combo will kill more stinging yellowjackets than you can imagine. The
Drione container is large enough (due to settling of the material) to add 1 Lb.
Delta Dust to the Drione Dust. Close the Drione lid and shake the
container to thoroughly mix the two products.
Once your products have been prepared, carefully approach the colony entrance
holes. Walking heavily or tripping over lawn equipment or children toys,
pet toys, pet food and water dishes will create vibrations in the ground that
might arouse the unsuspecting yellowjackets. Flip open the top of your
Drione Dust container, insert the tip into the entrance hole and quickly
"puff" the insecticide dusts down into the colony. Six or seven
puffs or bursts of dust will create a cloud of dust that penetrates and travels
through much of the colony. As workers move through the colonies they too
will distribute the dust even further throughout the paper nest.
During this application, you might hear the sounds of insects starting to move
about. If so, go back to the house. You can finish the job another
evening. Safety first!
Locate bee or yellowjacket nest entrance holes, in the same manner as inspecting
lawns. The difference in eliminating stinging pests in voids is that
only one dust is necessary and you will need a small tool to do the job
Once the entrance holes have been located, inject Delta
Dust into the holes with the use of a Crusader
Duster. Any crack, crevice or small opening in the general area of the
entrance holes should also be treated. Just as in lawn colony elimination,
this job should be done just before dark when bee activity has stopped but there
is just enough light for you to see to work. If work must be done after
dark, the use of a flashlight might backfire. Any emerging pests can be
attracted to the light source. If a light must be used, cover a flashlight
lens with red transparent material. This red light will not be as bright
as white light but it offers you extra protection. Insects do not see well
into the red spectrum of light.
After thoroughly dusting all possible holes, wait two to three days to examine
the situation. If there are any living bees, wasps or hornets remaining
after this time period, reapply your Drione Dust. Two to three
applications might be necessary for large nests.
To help prevent further infestations, spray the exterior of your home 3 to
4 times each year. Use Demon
WP (a Cypermethrin product) for this job. These types of pests cannot
The insecticide also gives a great chemical barrier that is safe for family and
pets but works great for spiders,
and many other household pests.
Pest Control Supplies Pesticides