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yellow jackets eating flowers

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by 44DCNF, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,585

    What can be done to make porcelain berry vine flowers less attractive to yelllow jackets for dining on. A soap, an oil, garlic? Any suggestions? The berries don't come in like they could because the yellow jackets eat most of the flowers. Thanks.

    The leaf issue is maybe something different, as I haven't seen any yellow jackets on the plant yet. I am trying to figure out who is doing that damage too.

  2. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    The diet of adult yellow jackets consists mainly of food rich in sugars and carbohydrates, such as plant nectar and fruit. Also, foraging adults search for meat that is high in protein, such as insects and fish, which they chew and condition in preparation for larval consumption. The larvae in return secrete a sugary substance that is consumed by the adults. This exchange of food between the adults and larvae is known as trophallaxis.

    In late summer and fall, the normal food materials are in short supply, so the yellow jackets scavenge for alternate food sources which many times leads to major conflicts with human activities. Late-season foods include carbonated beverages, juices, candy, ham, bologna, fish, cakes, fruit, vegetables and ice cream. Large numbers of these pesky insects can totally disrupt a picnic and are often a nuisance around homes and outside restaurants.

    Homemade Traps: A crude yellow jacket trap is made by hanging a raw fish or piece of liver (slightly diced on the exterior) by string about 1 to 2 inches above a container of detergent and water. The detergent will act as a wetting agent and eliminate surface tension which will improve trap efficiency. Foraging yellow jackets are attracted to the raw meat and will often become overloaded with food and fall into the water and drown. This method of yellow jacket control is not as efficient as nest elimination but it may help reduce the population to acceptable levels.

    "Bee Lining" for Fish Bait: Bee lining is a method by which a person may locate a yellow jacket nest by observing foragers as they return to their colony with food. A freshly caught small fish should be diced slightly on the exterior with a knife and hung in a tree about 5 to 6 feet off the ground. Foraging yellow jackets will be attracted to the raw fish and will chew off a tiny particle of the meat. By close observation, a person can follow the flight line of the yellow jacket back to her nest. The foraging yellow jacket will normally make a "bee line" straight to the nest which is often no more than 1,000 yards from the food source. Fishermen have been known to use this procedure to discover yellow jacket nests and use the grub as excellent fish bait.

    Precautions should be taken when working or playing in areas that are likely to be inhabited by yellow jackets. Logging equipment operators often disturb nests in the forest that can make their work very dangerous. A veil, hat and pressurized container of wasp or hornet spray are highly recommended during summer and fall.

    If a colony is disturbed, a person should slowly walk away with both hands covering the face to protect the more sensitive body areas. It is best to walk toward dense vegetation or enter a vehicle or building to avoid the stinging insects. Swift movements will only attract more yellow jackets. Persons highly sensitive to yellow jacket venom should always carry a sting treatment kit during outdoor activities.

    A yellow jacket does not leave a stinger in its victim, so therefore it can sting multiple times. To reduce swelling following a stinging incident, a person may use several sting remedies. A convenient material to place on the sting site is moistened table salt. Mound the dry salt on the sting entry point and moisten with a few drops of water. Leave the salt on the site for several minutes. This procedure must be applied within three to four minutes following the stinging incident to be effective.

    Yellow jackets and other stinging insects often get inside moving vehicles, which may result in a very dangerous situation. The driver should carefully stop the vehicle on the side of the road and all passengers should exit on the front passenger’s side of the vehicle to avoid traffic. The driver should open all windows and leave the passenger doors open to allow the insects to exit the vehicle. Flying insects normally go immediately to the windows when inside a moving vehicle in an attempt to escape and are rarely in a defensive posture inside a moving vehicle unless provoked by an occupant. Persons should refrain from swatting the insect inside the vehicle.

    we seen a guy in georga get killed messing around, 10000 stings!!!!
  3. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    also whats going on with the roots??????
  4. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,585

    Thanks for that info treegal. I'm afraid the yellow jackets will be here no matter how hard I work at trapping them. There is a restaurant dumpster which I believe is a big source, within maybe 1000 feet. I've trapped before but still saw high numbers around the yard.
    There should be good drainage for the roots but we have had a wet season so far. Are you thinking the browning might be root related? In the same bed are ozark sundrops, thyme, mullein, clematis, morning glory, borage, sunflowers, and more and they all seem to be digging the soil conditions.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Pull em and burn em. Extremely invasive and listed as a noxious weed in many areas.
  6. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    did you say you had mullein?? crush and spray???

    The entire plant contains coumarin and rotenone, with the highest concentrations of these compounds present in the plants seeds.
  7. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,585

    I only see it as listed in two states lists on the eastern coast.
    Are there also local lists that override the state classifications? I may yank it someday but it isn't seeming that invasive here. Not nearly as much as sea oats, but then it don't choke out trees and structures.

    Yes I have some standard wild mullein, some reached about ten feet last year. Last week I saw a hummingbird by it. There are often ladderbacks on it. I didn't know it contained those things, but I have smoked the leaf of mullein in a kinnick kinnick mix. I don't follow you on crush and spray though. What would a spray be good for please? I am getting a wealth of knowledge from all you organic experts here, and I appreciate it.
  8. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    Rotenone is an odorless chemical that is used as a broad-spectrum insecticide, piscicide, and pesticide. It occurs naturally in the roots and stems of several plants. It causes Parkinson's disease if injected into rats.
  9. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,585

    Thanks for the schoolin'. You are full of interesting little tidbits. It's great that you share it here.
    Heres the mullein. I saw some ornamental varieties in a seed catalogue this year. I had no idea there were different varieties with varied colors.

    CIMG0096 [320x200].jpg
  10. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    the flower and bug are a thing of beauty,

    we have a orchid bee colony that's taking over a old Kenya hive in our yard, bug watching is better that TV any day

    bugs butterfly's whats the difference, you planted a bug/ butterfly garden there yes????

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