Eastern Yellow Jackets are often a problem around here, especially in the spring and fall when they are looking got a new home, they like to slip inside houses. They are sometimes aggressive. I do not like to use chemicals around the house, so when they get in the house I have a chemical free way to get rid if them. I just discovered a new colony when I went up to repair the flashing on my chimney.
First be sure you do not have honey bees. If you have honey bees try to find a beekeeper to help you.
This is an Eastern Yellow Jacket
Next, you need a good vacuum. I have an old Craftsman vacuum that has been around for years.
You need to hold the vacuum inlet close to the critter entrance , but don't try to suck them out of the hole. I find that within 2-3 inches works well. You want a good strong air stream to be flowing across the entrance. You need to get them as they try to fly into and out of the entrance. Just like an airplane, they are most vulnerable during take off and landing.
Figure a way to hold the inlet close, depending on the location of the entrance. This time I used some old pipe I had and a ladder with bungee cords to position the inlet.
Hook up the vacuum, I just used duct tape to attach the vac hose to the pipe. Let it run for a few hours while the critters are active. I try to have the hose running straight rather that curving as it runs into the vacuum. This allows the air stream and the critters to be traveling as fast as possible as the enter the vacuum, and HIT the elbow right inside. This sudden stop, eliminated most of the suffering they may otherwise experience
You need to watch the action for a while to be sure you are capturing most of them. Some escape, but eventually they end up in the bucket. It may take a few days to get them all. Only run the vacuum during busy times, there is no point running it when there it no activity. The few that may remain in the colony cannot survive without all of the workers.
I typically leave the pipe and hose in place for a while. If you take the vacuum inside in case of rain PLUG the inlet, if you take it into your garage, just in case some of them are not killed when they hit the elbow inside the vacuum.
I've had 3 different hives of these. Two were under ground. And one was under the seat of a garden tractor. The first time I ran into an under ground nest, I was mowing, and thought, just hold the mower over the nest, stupid idea, they chased me up my deep yard and followed me across the street. I came back and used a whole spray can of wasp killer, and this ended that nest. A few years later different area, and again finding them while mowing, I went out and got the can of wasp killer, from 15 feet away I sprayed, and one followed the stream and stung my on my lip. My face swelled up. So I fount that nest ran sideways and the wasp spray was missing most of them. I waited till after dark, and poured a quart of gasoline into the nest, and covered the hole with a rock. That ended their existence. The garden tractor seat was tough as it had a vinyl cover. I was not going to disturb them during the day, so after dark, I punched holes in the vinyl, and used gasoline again to exterminate them.
I wish I could get along with Yellow Jackets, but they are just too mean, I've had to have an Adrenalin shot in the past from a serious reaction. But that was before moving to where I've lived for the past 35 years. It was my parents back yard, and as a kid I got stung just walking by, these were under ground. The next year ran into some walking by a pine tree, and my hand brushed their paper nest, that's when I got stung and my whole body swelled and had serious hives everywhere.
My experience is these are damn aggressive wasps, and are not compatible with sharing the property with.
The European paper wasps are the ones I see up under the building eves. They seem OK if you don't mess with them.
I have a local wasp exterminator local to me. He does alsorts of pest control. He comes around suited up and goes in with a white powder in and on and around the nest. This gets them real angry, so we vacate the premises for an hour or two and wait for them to calm down and eventually die.
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