Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thirteen Queens!

I just got back from a bicycle race and found 13 yellowjacket queens in my traps. Not a bad haul.

Update: As of 7:00 AM, 5/19/2008, my body count is up to 16.
Another update: As of Monday evening, 5/19/2008, the body count is 24. That's 120,000 yellowjackets that won't be buzzing my neighborhood this summer.

This is the time of year to dent your yellowjacket population. Put out your traps. Every yellowjacket you see this early in the year is a queen. And every queen you kill today reduces the yellowjacket population by 5000 come late summer. That makes my harvest, 65,000!


Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

I treated the eaves over my balcony with Tengard SFR at about 1 quart/100 gallons of water (38.6% permethrin in the concentrate).

Four paper wasp queens instantly dead, no new arrivals.

I cleared a site in Milton-Freewater of boxelder bugs with this stuff two months ago and they still haven't come back, and boxelder bugs can be some tough critters. Paper wasps don't stand a chance.

Satanic Mechanic said...

I am currently losing the battle against the bees. So far out of my nine traps, I have only captured one. Over the month I have managed to destroy many nests but they are building on the top of the roof where I can't get at them.
I might contact you Paul for your services. Either that or cluster six cans of wasp spray around a blasting cap and detonate it on the roof. If the spray don't kill them, the shrapnel will!

Michael said...

BTW, while paper wasps are a nuisance, they are not nearly as aggressive as yellowjackets. The two can be distinguished by the thickness of their thorax and abdomen (the yellowjacket is noticeably thicker) and by the length of their legs. The paper wasp's legs are much longer and dangle distinctively when they fly. The paper wasp will not be caught in a yellowjacket trap as they are not attracted to the bait.

Mattwi said...

I could use some Tengard and some DDT !

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Mr. Mechanic -

I'd be happy to help, but my spraying rig and I are in Walla Walla now. Do you remember Evan from the first Hilltop lunch? He was with me that day because he was still in training as my replacement on the Palouse. The home office will send him out if you need us.

Michael -

Quite right, the paper wasps do tend to be less aggressive than the yellowjackets (however, they do seem to be more aggressive when there isn't as much food available to them). When I can located the entrace of a yellowjacket hive, I set my sprayer to around 175 psi, tighten the nozzle, and blast away until the entrance collapses on them or the void they're in floods. I have yet to see a yellowjacket nest recover from that procedure. :)

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Oh, and out here on the Western front, good news! I was called out to spray someone's arbor vitae today which resulted in the deaths of dozens of paper wasps AND yellowjackets!

Michael said...

I'm beginning to feel a bit like Gorgan in Star Trek.
"Death! Death to you all!"

I'm speaking to yellowjackets, of course.