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Home & Garden

Evicting Invasive Yellowjackets

June 24, 2019

We’re all about saving the bees, even though they might sting from time to time. But yellowjackets are different. Sure, they do help keep some insects out of your garden, but overall these voracious eaters, also known as meat bees, are a nuisance at best and a danger at worst. We’ve compiled a few ways to eradicate them from your property.

Yellow Jackets 101

Before you go out to find and eliminate your yellowjacket problem, it’s important to know a few things about them.

  • Nests can be found underground, deep in wood piles, and inside barns and other outbuildings.
  • A large nest can be home to thousands of stinging insects, so always be cautious.
  • Yellow jackets are least active from dark until just after dawn. But that doesn’t mean they won’t attack when        provoked.

Finding a Nest

Normally, these barbecue-ruining insects fly erratically close to the ground to find food. Anytime you see a yellowjacket flying high above the ground in a straight line, they are usually flying back to their nest or attacking someone or something. When you see this, watch them from a safe distance. When you see a few of them disappear into an area, it will help narrow your search.  Once you’ve carefully pinpointed the exact location of the nest, try one of these options.

Bait Traps: If the nest is above ground, bait traps work great to keep the pests away from you and your family. You’ll find several trap options at Coastal. Simply activate the trap, hang or place it near the nest, and let it do its work.

Bug Zapper: A tried-and-true method for eliminating some insects is with a bug zapper. However, yellowjackets are tougher than most, so it won’t kill them at first. It will only make them angry, tire them out, and eventually kill many of them. Place your bug zapper in an area away from your deck or patio to avoid being stung by yellowjackets that try to attack the bug zapper.

Clear Glass Bowl: If the nest is underground, this old-time trick really works. Every yellowjacket nest will have two exits dug into the ground. Locate both and cover the main one at night (closest to the nest) with the glass bowl. Leave the bowl there. Over the next week, the yellowjackets will try to leave their home toward the sun, but end up hitting the inside of the bowl. This will anger them, exhaust them, and eventually kill many of them off.

Boiling Water: Boiling water is an environmentally friendly option that indiscriminately eradicates the entire nest if they have built underground. But it does take a lot of boiling water. Once they are gone, destroy the nest and refill the hole where they were located.

Diatomaceous Earth: As long as the nest is underground, pour diatomaceous earth into the nest and around both openings in the early morning. Then, just wait. It’s an effective tool against yellowjackets and plenty of other pests. Check out our article Products We Love: Diatomaceous Earth for more uses for this wonderful product available at Coastal.

Get Advice and More at Coastal

Whether you’re trying to get rid of yellowjackets and gophers, or you want to grow the best tomatoes and zucchini in your neck of the wood, the folks at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal have plenty to share. Plus, you’ll find everything you need under one roof. Stop by today to find just what the country needs.