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Ground hornet need to eradicate

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by kirk1701, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. alanauer

    alanauer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    Thanks for the great photos, rlitman, especially the last one. Just to be sure: these are called Cicada Killers and they don't sting, but there are other species of underground wasp- or hornet-like ones that DO sting. If that's correct, how do the stinging ones differ in appearance?
  2. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,745

    There is a giant hornet I've read about in Japan that looks similar (but even larger). It's responsible for many deaths annually, and is quite scary for real. Not something you would see in North America though. You may want to google this one for some scary reading.

    Ground hornets are nasty things.

    Most recently I had a nest of them in a place that didn't get noticed, and both my son and I got stung. When I finally found the nest, I dumped about a cup of Sevin dust all around the multiple openings that night. The nest was dead within a day, but a year later I had to dig it up and cover with lime to get rid of the rotting smell (it was pretty bad).

    I had a nest where they got under the flashing in a basement window, and started a nest in the foundation's cinder block hollows. When I sprayed a can of wasp killer into the opening I saw, it never made it to the actual colony because of the horizontal path they used to exit, and within a day, they were using a new entrance. I popped the tops on six cans of foaming wasp killer, and put one in each of my wife's hands.
    She kept the opening completely covered in foam, as I worked my way in with an axe. I dusted everything with boric acid before I replaced the flashing. :) There's something particularly gratifying about this scorched earth approach.

    They're easier to deal with when there is just one entrance in the middle of the ground. . .

    But ground hornets and all of the wasps I've seen are all WAY smaller than a cicada killer (even carpenter bees are quite a bit smaller). First time I noticed a cicada killer in my back yard, I was thinking hummingbird, and not a wasp.

    Anyway, if you see several wasps coming and going from the same hole in the ground, you've got a colony to be concerned with.
    With cicada killers, you won't see more than one wasp enter and exit one hole. The female will burrow in, hunt down a cicada, and return with it, but you won't ever see two of them fly out of the same hole, and the larva will overwinter in that same hole in a cocoon, emerging the following spring (which is why treating with a pesticide will probably not kill them).
  3. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Had a lady get stung last week because she was pruning shrubs near a nest. Our mowing crews have also been stung over the years, but it's rare. Only the female cicada killer wasps "sting". At most, the males can "prick" using the sharp tip from their belly, but it doesn't hurt much at all. However the female sting can swell up & cause an allergic reaction. Males are a little smaller than females. Females are normally solitary, while males can appear in "groups".

    We've killed them 2 ways: Sevin "dust" or "drenching" the nest with liquid insecticides.

    I never heard of kerosene, but here's an article :confused:

  4. alanauer

    alanauer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    I should think that a nighttime dumping of a pail or two of topsoil over the nesting area would do the trick.
  5. Hogjaw

    Hogjaw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I DON'T RECOMMEND - but have eliminated over the years several underground operations by pouring diesel mixed with small amount of gas in entrance, waiting a few minutes then igniting with long trail of mixture.

    However, this was in my younger years when I was more mobile, less conscious of the dangers, and could run considerably faster than now.

    One problem is you don't know which direction tunnels run and may find yourself on top.

    CAUTION: Explosion is rather like a boom, rattles everything for some distance, and take a chance on blowing yourself up.

    PROGNOSIS: eliminated pest permanently.

    AGAIN, I don't recommend or suggest this method.

    I am highly allergic to both wasps and yellow jackets.
  6. teejet

    teejet LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 232

    Here is a novel idea. go out in the evening, stick your spray wand down the hole. Then spray some insecticide.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Be Careful sticking your wand in a hole and spraying Fertilizer, It can be very costly.
  8. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I did something similar the other day, had the power washer out washing the mold off the north side of the garage and house so stuck the tip down in the hole of one of these nests and drowned them out :laugh:

    Later that same day I was picking up the walnuts and one of those suckers point blank hit me in the ash while I was picking them up (didn't sting). Sure enough, I was cluse to its food :laugh: and while picking up the walnuts I found a dead cicada I guess it was attempting to get to the nest.
  9. alanauer

    alanauer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241


    New Weapon in Emerald Ash Borer Detection

    August 10, 2011

    Researchers confirmed that Cerceris fumipennis (Cerceris), a native wasp that preys on Emerald Ash Borers (EAB), was found at Emerson Park in suburban Skokie, IL. The discovery was a result of a partnership between The Morton Arboretum and the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association.

    Now, researchers hope that the wasp will serve as a sort of “canary in the coal mine”, or an early warning system for EAB infestation, in areas where EAB has not yet been found, according to Dr. Frederic Miller, Research Associate at The Morton Arboretum.

    “By the time humans are able to detect EAB visually, the infestation is usually well-established. We hope this wasp will serve as an effective monitoring tool, giving us an earlier read as EAB makes its way across the country,” says Miller.

    Researchers hope that earlier detection in ash trees will help communities’ better control and manage infestations.

    Cerceris wasps nest in the ground, commonly in open areas of hard-packed sandy soil with ash trees nearby. Athletic fields, such as ball diamonds, volleyball courts, horse shoe pits, and even parking lots are common nesting locations. The nests are characterized by pencil-diameter holes on top of little mounds of sand. The wasps are most active during summer months, when they feed on a whole family of wood-boring insects called Buprestid, of which EAB is a member, according to Devin Krafka, Research Assistant at The Morton Arboretum.

    “Cerceris is a parasitic wasp. It goes out to find a buprestid, or a wood-boring insect like EAB, stings it, and brings one back to its nest. Later, it will lay an egg on it and place it in its own chamber. When the egg hatches, the larva will eat the beetle,” said Krafka.

    Hunting for wasps

    To help in the hunt for the wasp, The Morton Arboretum set up a new ‘biosurveillance’ program. The Cerceris Identification and Awareness program (CIA for EAB) enlists the help of park district staff and park users to look for wasp nests and EAB carcasses near them. The Cerceris wasp is a good candidate for this pilot program, as it doesn’t harm humans. This new program asks the community to be ‘Citizen Scientists’ to help fight invasive pests.

    “We need park professionals and residents to watch ball fields for signs of ground-nesting wasp activity or the actual nests,” said Edith Makra, Community Tree Advocate at The Morton Arboretum, who leads the CIA citizen science effort. “We first need to locate and confirm the presence of Cerceris so that we can enlist ‘Citizen Scientists’ in future monitoring that can help manage EAB to protect ash trees.”

    Once park districts alert The Morton Arboretum about possible nests, Krafka and other research assistants will confirm they belong to Cerceris wasp.

    The Cerceris is different from the Oobius wasps the city of Chicago recently released to fight EAB. Cerceris is native to the area and can thrive in our environment. Tiny, almost invisible, the Oobius wasps are from China. Federal officials introduced Oobius wasps in hope they will reduce the number of EAB in the city. Whereas researchers hope Cerceris, a much larger wasp easier for biosurveillance, will help them locate EAB infestations early.
  10. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,519

    They don't kill people they kill cicadas, also they do sting but not very likely
    Posted via Mobile Device

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