Yellow Jackets?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pattytastik, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. pattytastik

    pattytastik LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Has anyone in the Philly/Northeastern area noticed an unusually high amount of bees and more particularly yellow jackets in the last few days?

    Also, If you are asked to do hedge trimming and you notice that there are a bunch of bees flying around the bushes, what do you do? I am not exactly looking to be attacked by aggressive yellow jackets, is there a way to get rid of them? A spray only works when there is a nest, there doesn't apear to be a nest here, just a bunch of busy working bees.
  2. riverjunkie

    riverjunkie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    By this time of year the yellow jackets have developed their nests to enormous structures and become more noticeable. There isn't much you can do other than spray the nest and mow over it quickly.

    The busy bees around the shrubs could be honey bees collecting pollen. I trimmed some shrubs a week ago that were covered with honey bees. When I started trimming they went away. Didn't bother me at all, although I hated to cut down their source of pollen.
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  3. pattytastik

    pattytastik LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Nope these are actually yellow jackets. I know how aggressive these wasps can be and I do not wanna mess with them and risk getting swarmed.
  4. riverjunkie

    riverjunkie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Yellow jackets will definitely swarm you. I'm not sure of any kind of spray that won't just piss em off. Some will die but the rest will hunt you down. The best remedy is if you could find the nest it's more than likely In ground or under old debris piles. Wait until just before dark when they are all in the nest, and lay the spray to em. The ones that survive will clear out by the next day then you can trim the shrubs
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  5. pattytastik

    pattytastik LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    I agree with what that, but the issue is that there appears to be no nest....
  6. riverjunkie

    riverjunkie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    I had a house last year where we couldn't find the nest. The yellow jackets had actually went through a nail hole in the siding of the house and built a nest between the exterior and interior walls. The homeowner didn't find it until they finally ate through the drywall and began to get into the house. they are crafty little insects and hard to find unless your not looking for them.:D
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  7. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Wear white and they won't see you. If you do find a nest, don't touch it. The bugs from hell can smell it on you and your gloves.

    When I do find a nest, I get the client to pay extra for me to remove it. (75 plus tax)

    I go in the evening when the wasps or hornets are all mostly in the nest.
    And I watch them for a while.
    I count how many sentries there are. On average, there are a couple that will stay on the exterior of the nest guarding it, and up to seven fly back and forth every few minutes.

    I have to time my attack in between sentry missions.

    I use two types of spray that you can get any-where. One is a liquid that will spray about twenty feet. The other is a foam.

    You can't get scared. They can sense it. Have an escape plan worked out in your head and be ready to run like crazy if you have to.

    With one hand I spray the heck out of the entrance hole with the liquid spray, and keep spraying. They will start coming out of the hole, so you have to keep spraying them from a distance and keep washing into the hole. It's like a fire hose being spraying on a rioting crowd.

    At the same time, you have to coordinate an exterior attack with the foam. Hit the bugs that are walking on the outside of the nest first and then coat the nest.

    So, with one hand I am continuing to spray the hole and with the other I am spraying to cover the outside of the nest. The whole time I am watching to see what every one of those bugs from hell is doing.

    Then I run like crazy and monitor from a distance...... and go back in a bit and spray any of the crazies that are crawling on the ground towards me, trying to kill me.

    When I'm sure it's safe and without touching the nest, I snip the branch it's attached to and put it into a plastic bag and stomp on it for fun. I love the way it squishes under my boots.

    If you don't know where they are coming from, use a long shaft hedge saw and just do a quick touch-up from a distance. Those bugs will be gone in September and you can do a better job then. Have fun!
  8. K & K Mowing

    K & K Mowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    If your certain there is no ground nest around the shrubery then you shouldn't have much of a problem mowing around it. They shouldn't bother you that much as they are not there in defense of a nest. Like mowing clover with honey bees on them. Most bees will only sting if they feel their nest is being threatened. If you find a hole in the ground where their entrance is, at dusk (and not before) pour about a pint of gasoline in the entrance hole. The fumes will smother them in the nest. No need to set afire except for the pure injoyment of it. Be mindfull of hornets in the shrubery. They love to build their nest in them. A hornets sting is doublely worse than any other bee sting. Their nest are the characteristic gray ball hanging from a branch or rafter or under an eve somewhere.

    Regards, Kevin:usflag:
  9. riverjunkie

    riverjunkie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Right on! Dr.NewEarth, you sound like a guy who loves what he does! That's some S.E.A.L. Team 6 stuff right there. That's the same way they got Bin Laden.
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  10. chagh2.0

    chagh2.0 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    pouring gas in a hole will cost you a large fine if caught and i don't think your clinets would like it.

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