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yellowjackets in woodpile

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by johnsopi, Jul 22, 2009.

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  1. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    Unloaded some wood on to my woodpile and stired up a nest of the little buggers. 'll have to kill them before doing much with the wood.
    I hate wasps. All ways be on the look out for them.

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  2. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    If I can find the nest hole I take a shop vac to them with a long wand. Sooner or later they drop a lot in numbers but it might take a couple of days. It's best to try that in the early morning before they get active. (Don't do it so early you need a lash light or you will find yourself the sudden target of some stirred up hornets.) The whilrling action inside the shopvac breaks their wings and legs and every now and then I put my hand over the end of the wand to subject them to some serious negative atmosphere in hopes of collapsing their breathing apparatus. Approach slow and don't stir up the nest place the end of the wand as close to the opening where they come out. Weigh down the wand so it won't move then turn on the shopvac. I hate hornets and wasps but I also hate to use poisons. In a ventilated area though I will sometimes use staring fluid spray. It kills almost on contact if you get enough on them but it's not cheap. Hope you can get rid of them soon.
  3. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Got stung last winter while loading the stove. A month later I found one buzzing around the living room. I will be wearing gloves and giving each piece a good whack before bringing it in.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    My wife was storing a hay bale in the shed one year and the buggers nested in the hay. When I shoved the bale out with a 20 foot pole, the buggers moved into my woodpile. I hosed them down with dish soap and water through a garden sprayer.
  5. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    I had a nest next to my shed last year (which is really an old chicken coop). I got stung on the right index finger while mowing that day, and then later that night I stepped on a copperhead and ended up in the ER. It was not a fun day. >:-(
  6. pulldownclaw

    pulldownclaw New Member

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    What happened with that copperhead bite? I've seen a few recently, and was wondering how much damage to expect if I or one of my kids got nailed by one...
  7. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    Well, it felt like a VERY intense wasp/hornet sting at first, only much "sharper" and much more "metallic" and "piercing" if that makes any sense. I walked out around 8pm in a pair of flip flops with no light to toss out some watermelon rinds. Never saw or felt the snake. It was over in an instant. I ran back to the house as soon as I felt it, and when I looked down and saw the evenly spaced puncture wounds with blood pouring out, I knew I was into more than wasps or hornets.

    I was off the leg for 2 weeks. It swelled like a bastard and turned all sorts of nasty colors. They did not administer anti-venom, as copperheads rank relatively low on potency as far as venomous snakes go.

    Initial bite:
    [​IMG]

    A week later:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  8. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    dear sweet lord Pagey,that looks horrific. You couldn't have run inside that fast, that copperhead had time to scribble all over you with a Sharpie.
  9. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    As long as I was on my back with 5 or 6 thick pillows under the leg, the pain was really manageable. The worst part was standing up to pee. As soon as you stood up, it felt like 100lbs of sand would slide down the inside of your leg and collect in your foot and try to press its way out. Once you finally got stable enough to start a stream of urine, you'd bang your foot on the edge of the commode or something and have to wait for the pain to subside and then start the process all over again. I do NOT recommend it. :smirk:
  10. pulldownclaw

    pulldownclaw New Member

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    Dang, that does not look like fun. We saw 2 of them when we were up in the mountains last week, and we were out in the middle of nowhere, probably 45 minutes from any hospital. I was a little worried about my 4 and 8 year olds, but I think for the most part they will try to scoot away, unless you step on them....
  11. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    Here's what I learned: they're not that deadly unless you are: 1.) very young, 2.) very old, or 3.) suffering from a compromised immune system. Also, anti-venom is not given unless you have multiple bites or a very aggressively behaving bite, as you can die from shock caused by the anti-venom. Treatment consists of 6-7 hours of hospital observation, then you get pain management meds and go home. The bite may or may not become infected, mine did.

    Copperhead bites are more common because of their excellent camouflage. Apparently most snakes will try to move/warn you/get away. Copperheads respond to danger by lying completely still, so they get stepped on a lot.
  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I go "Soprano" on the yellowjackets I find . . . I invite them out for a cruise with me in the Old Town canoe and then tie teeny weeny cinder blocks to their feet before tossing them overboard. :) ;)
  13. 84Buckeye

    84Buckeye New Member

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    " Copperhead bites are more common because of their excellent camouflage. Apparently most snakes will try to move/warn you/get away. Copperheads respond to danger by lying completely still, so they get stepped on a lot.."

    Pagey.. I used to live in Chattanooga number of years ago and that statement is so true..
    Copperheads get this rap of being aggressive and attacking people like say a moccasin, but
    I personally never seen it!
    I can remember seeing plenty of Copperheads- in fact they would just crawl up out of the woods and
    just lie there in the street right out of our driveway.. Our dog would walk right over top of them
    and they would just lie motionless.. still they scarred the daylights out of me.

    Glad to hear your fine.
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I noticed today that I have yellowjackets in the pile of splits the wood guy delivered this spring that I have just begun to think about stacking.
    I got stung last year; there was a nest in the ground in the same general area.
    I wonder if they started a nest somewhere else in the ground, or can they start a paper-type nest above the ground in the wood pile.
    I'm not looking forward to when I get to the nest when I stack the wood.
  15. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I've been fighting a yellow jacket nest in the ground just outside my shed door for the past many weeks which has made getting in and out of the shed interesting to say the least. Someone on this forum suggested using a shopvac, which I did and it worked like a charm (thanks!). Thought I had em licked, but I saw a few today. Glad it's the dog days and no need to get the mower out of the shed very often. I'm sure I've caught more than a thousand in the shopvac and there are still a few hangin on.
  16. PunKid8888

    PunKid8888 New Member

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    I am so glad I do not have to worry about copper heads, that looks horrible
  17. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    It was a rough two weeks, that much is certain. I don't recommend it, and I wouldn't even wish it on someone that I don't particularly care for. However, as Dave Ramsey says, sometimes we pay the "stupid tax" for doing stupid stuff. My mistake was going out past dusk with flip flops and no light. It's a mistake I don't plan on duplicating. :cheese:
  18. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

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    Is your canoe name "Stugots" by chance?
  19. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    :) Actually, my old canoe was dubbed "The Ugly Duckling" since I got it free as it was all torn up . . . patched it up with a hack job fiberglass job . . . looked like a green canoe with a bad case of acne with all of the fiberglass patches all over it. :)
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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  21. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    not yet you dont but global warming.........................
    and we have them here in mass though not thousands
    they are headed your way!!!!
  22. mike1234

    mike1234 New Member

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    I have killed 3 copper heads this week in my yard (5 acres), this cooler weather is moving them to where the sun shines, and where I can see them. 2 were by the horse shed, I don't even want to know how many are in the wood pile, none of that gets moved until we get some REAL COLD weather to send them away.

    And what are those GIANT black and yellow wasp like creatures things that burrow into the ground? Are those yellowjackets? I thought yellowjackets were smaller and hung out in wood piles.
  23. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Cicada?

    [​IMG]
  24. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

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    They are extremely difficult to see. Regarding being aggressive, I had one try to pick a fight with me a few years ago. I was on the tractor running a rotary cutter/bush hog. He lost!
  25. mike1234

    mike1234 New Member

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    Those aren't what I am talking about, but we do have Cicada's. Wish I could take a pic, but the buggers don't land long enough for me to get the camera on the phone ready.

    Found this online, Cicada killers I think this could be them.

    Cicada killers have been flying about and burrowing into lawns, prompting calls from homeowners. Despite their menacing appearance (up to 2 inches long with rusty red head/thorax, amber-yellow wings, and black and yellow striped abdomen), the wasps seldom sting unless provoked.

    Biology - Cicada killers do not live in communal nests like hornets or yellowjackets. They overwinter as larvae within cocoons deep in the soil, emerging as adults during July. The females feed, mate, and excavate burrows in the ground about ½ inch in diameter, ending in a series of brood chambers. Bare ground or sand are especially prone to infestation. Excess soil is pushed out of the burrow, leaving a mound of dirt at the entrance. Each female excavates numerous burrows and provisions them with adult cicadas which she ambushes, paralyzes with her venom, and stuffs into individual brood chambers. She then lays an egg on top, backs out, and seals the cell behind her. The egg hatches within a few days and the hungry larva devours the offering, eventually transforming into an adult the following summer.

    Management - Cicada killers seldom sting and the females normally do not defend their burrows. The males, while incapable of stinging, sometimes dive-bomb passers-by, or hover menacingly nearby. Insecticide treatment may be warranted where the soil burrows become unsightly, or the wasps are digging in a high-traffic area such as along a sidewalk, playground, or sand trap on a golf course. Individual burrows can be effectively sprayed or dusted with most lawn & garden insecticides (Sevin, Bayer Advanced Lawn & Garden Multi-Insect Killer, Spectracide Triazicide Soil & Turf Insect Killer, etc.), or a wasp & hornet aerosol. Multiple nests may need to be treated with a broadcast application to the ground surface, using a pump up or hose-end sprayer.

    As a deterrent to future nesting, clients should be advised to eliminate bare-ground areas. Cicada killers generally do not prefer burrowing into well-managed turf, gravel, pebbles or mulch. In situations such as playgrounds, camping areas, or commercial landscapes, these materials may be substituted for sand or bare soil. Another option is to wait and do nothing - in a matter of weeks the adults will die off and there's a chance the problem will not reoccur next year.
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