Being a Pest Control Technician as long as I have, I have heard all kinds of horror stories of how homeowners have faced a Yellow Jacket nest and attempted to eradicate the wasps themselves.
“I just take a gallon of gasoline and throw it down the hole, and then light it on fire!”
“I threw a rock at it.”
“I tried drowning it with a hose.”
“I just sealed up the entrance with some silicone.”
While all of the above comments are real, some of them ended badly-and some could have ended in real tragedy. If you are going to deal with Yellow Jackets yourself, please remember a few important details: 1. There are guard bees waiting for any sign of danger, and they will signal an alarm response if the nest is under attack. 2. If one of the guard bees stings you, they can leave a chemical pheromone signaling to the other members of the colony that you are source of danger to their nest. 3. If you have a nest inside a wall or in the ground, the Wasp and Hornet spray you buy from the hardware store will likely only kill workers as they enter or exit the hive. You may see several of these wasps, but they make up only a tiny fraction of the population of the hive. 4. Consider the expense-I charge about $75 to take out a Yellow Jacket nest as safely as possible and without drama. How much does it cost to go to the hospital? What is the deductible on your homeowner’s insurance if you burn down half your house? Five cans of Wasp and Hornet spray cost about $30, plus the time and the trip to the hardware store, and it probably won’t achieve 100% control.
If you have a Yellow Jacket nest on or near your house, please call a professional. We do this work every day, and our experience can rule out a lot of unexpected mishaps. The picture above is of a friend of mine who “threw a rock at it,” a Bald-Faced Hornet’s nest. Unfortunately for him, he has really good aim. A wasp came out and stung him right above the lip. This is him in the hospital after a litany of antihistamines and steroid injections.