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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bees, Hornets, and Wasps

I took the following information from the Pest Control Canada site. Apparently Hornets and Wasps are not Bees, a fact not addressed in The Jive Hive, where the aliens are typically referred to as Bees although the Wasps are the soldiers and the General is a Wasp or Yellowjacket. Only the Queen, the workers and drones are truly honeybees in real life and in the context of my story.

Bald Faced Hornet Nest
Pest control doesn't have to be as difficult as sending a nuclear bomb against the foe. In fact, it shouldn't be! If in doubt, call a professional exterminator, but the following information is on the Pest Control Canada site for eradication of Wasp nests.

Control of Nests

The first step in wasp or bee control is to correctly identify the insect and locate its nesting site. An experienced pest control service may provide wasp or bee control service or you can use the following information to attempt to control them yourself.


The best time of the year to control wasps is in June after the queen has established her colony and while the colony is still small. But because nests are small, they are also harder to find. The best time of the day to control wasp nests is at night, when they are less active.

Exposed wasp nests

Wasp nests that are visible and near human activity can pose a potential problem. If there is a concern about stings, you should eradicate the nest.
Apply a ready-to-use aerosol "wasp and hornet spray" into the entrance of the nest during late evening according to label directions. To avoid pesticide falling down on yourself do not stand directly under the nest and spray up. Plan your escape route.  Be very careful if you must climb a ladder. If live wasps are still observed the next day, repeat the treatment.
Mechanical control without insecticides is possible for small, exposed nests. At night, cover the nest with a large, heavy, plastic bag and seal it shut. Cut the nest from the tree and freeze it.  Use caution: there is more risk involved in this procedure than in spraying the nest.

Ground wasp nests

When yellowjackets are found nesting in the ground, first try pouring a soap and water solution into the entrance. Many types of soap will work, including dish and laundry soap. (Do this at night)
If that doesn't work, apply an insecticide into the nest opening. Be sure you use a product that is registered for use in lawns or soil. After you are sure all the wasps have been exterminated, cover the nest entrance with soil.

Concealed wasp nests

The most challenging nests to control are those that are concealed in voids behind walls or in attics. Often, the only evidence of the nest is wasps flying back and forth through a crack or hole in the home.
It may be wise to hire someone experienced to exterminate a wasp nest. Contact a pest professional service.  Aerosol insecticides usually do not work very well on hidden nests.

 Old wasp nests

Old nests are not reused by wasps. Wasp nests found during winter or early spring are old nests from the previous summer. There are no live wasps in the nest; they have already left  or died inside it. The nest can be safely removed and disposed of if desired.


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