Lawn guy 1.... Yellow jackets 0 !

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Rons Rightway Lawncare, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    Well last week, on one of my accounts, I had my first yellowjacket nest spotting. They are flying in and out of the bottom of a Railroad tie used as part of a planter in a customers lawn. Lucky for me, I spotted the little bastards flying around all confused after I had zipped by with the string trimmer and I didn't get stung. Told the customer about it - he needs to spray with wasp killer, I just pour gas in their hole, but this hole is horizontal and not vertical and no way to pour gas in without killing grass -

    This week as I am cutting the lawn, I made sure to really zip the hell out of the tie with the trimmer as I go by, and must have really made em mad cause they swarmed out. Next week I am going to get em with the wasp spray...

    So then today, I have yellowjacket nest spotting number 2.

    I am mowing a lawn off Sardis Road, near Matthews NC. The lawn is a vacant lot and is fairly large. In the " Back" of the lot, what was sometime ago a backyard, a old planter/bed made up of old railroad ties. Since this is a vacant lot and I am just mowing to keep the owner from getting a ticket from the city, I don't usually trim around stuff like these ties. But today I thought... WTF, why not just mow around them a little so they aren't totally covered up with grass. Well, after mowing around them all and up and over one tie and onto a area about 30 feet away, I look back over at the ties and see the bees buzzing around, enough of them to know I had to have run over a nest somewhere near the ties.

    So I go over closer with the mower, and just watch them to see where their hole was. It looked like they were flying down under one of the ties, so just for the hell of it, I decided to use the mower as a bulldozer and push on some of the other ties that butted up to the one the bees were flying near and as soon as I did the tie the bees were flying around flipped over and there was a nest the size of a basketball attached to the rotted out bottom of the tie! The yellowjackets went nutz!!!!

    So I finished the lawn, loaded up the Isuzu and drove it into the lawn so I could get close to the nest without getting stung. I drove up to the tie and bumped it with the tire and the bees went crazy trying to sting my truck! It was weird hearing them fly into the windows ( closed windows, I'm not stupid! ) and make little thumps.... It made me shiver to think that they would be flying that hard into me to sting my legs and arms and so on!!! So I did what any yellowjacket hater would do and I ran over their nest with my front tire and crushed it, then drove off.

    Believe it or not, it made me itch sitting there watching them and makes me itch thinking about it now as I write this. The stings hurt, but it is the itching later that makes it such a pain in the butt.

  2. Audrey

    Audrey LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 570

    :laugh: LMAO!

    Crazy SOB!


  3. KTO Enterprises

    KTO Enterprises LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,286

    You are lucky Its been a wierd year for me. I havent been stung yet. Lastyear, every week beginning in mid june to mid august I got stung by yellow jackets. All while bush hogging.
  4. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    I only had a crappy radioshack camera with me and the bees just didn't show up in the pics.... sucks cause there was what seemed like thousands of them! I took one of the windshield and you can see one just in the edge of the picture

  5. TAZ

    TAZ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 344

    LOL I hate unexpectedly running into those damn things.

  6. yardmanlee

    yardmanlee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 898

    I was just thinking when the first nest would be spotted, it has been really dry here and would not be suprised to fin one this time of yr. most times its late july to august before we start finding them !! not looking forward to that !!
  7. Mark in MD

    Mark in MD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I'm scratching my calves right now...

    They usually don't show their ugly faces here in Maryland for another two weeks-- Just before July 4th...
  8. Rons Rightway Lawncare

    Rons Rightway Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    Yes, usually here it is late summer before I find them too... This drought we have had maybe got them to do their thing early.....
  9. scchamblee

    scchamblee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    Ran over onr last year bout this time... Stung twice in the head (cause I fell onto the nest when I jumped off the mower) and twice on the back. I went straight to the gas station and got two Benadryl, then had to go home and lay on the couch for the rest of the day. I left mower, hat, shoes (i ran out of them) and all there, came back the next day and finished.
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I hate them fukers...

    I haven't seen a single lone yellow jacket this year.
    In fact, I haven't seen many bees at all.
    Just a few brown wasps.

    Just as I was telling someone else, I saw the only honey bee I've seen all year yesterday and it wasn't quite full grown.

    I sorta thought maybe whatever killed off the honey bees got some of the other populations too. But I guess not. I'll be more alert now.

    One of my big fears is getting swarmed by yellow jackets or hornets... or bitten by a poisonous snake way out on some of the remote sites I do. It would likely be the next day before I was found... and probably by my wife....

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