Saturday, August 15, 2009

Taking Care of BEEsiness: Killing a Large Hornets’ Nest

While out mowing the other day, I noticed this giant hornets’ nest in a bush behind our mailbox.  I’m so glad I saw it before any of the kids accidentally disturbed it. 

This type of nest must grow pretty fast, because I mow there every week and only just saw it.  It’s in a place that is pretty open, right about thigh high, and in a perfect position for me to see from the garden tractor.Hornets

The first thing I did was walk the boys out to show them where it was.  I reinforced that this nest is pretty serious business.  Not something to poke, or throw a rock at, or go anywhere near. 

The bees were very active.  While I was taking this picture, there was a steady stream of hornets buzzing to and from nest.

Usually, when we find a nest of ground bees, such as yellow jackets, the fix is pretty simple.  Wait until night time when the entire bee population is settled in for the night.  Then pour a quart or so of gasoline down the hole and plug it.  The vapors kill the bees.

When I discovered that yellow jackets had made a nest in the wall of our house about five years ago, the removal process was a little more complicated. 

Yellow Jackets had entered the wall under some flashing, made an extensive nest, and eventually worked a hole through the insulation and drywall.   We didn’t know they were there until they began to enter the house.  Yikes! 

When I discovered we were being invaded, I, being the red neck queen that I am, instinctively took duct tape and covered the hole till my husband could get home and figure out what to do.

He used a stethoscope to listen to the wall.  (Yes, it was pretty funny to watch!)  But he was able to determine the size and location of the nest from the hum in the wall.  (Pretty smart, eh?) 

Then he drilled tiny little holes in the wall and attached a tiny straw (like what comes with WD40) to a can of Wasp and Hornet Killer.  This allowed him to focus and deliver the spray directly into the little holes. 

I was amazed.  I never would have thought of that.  It kept the damage to the wall at a minimum, and all I had to do was patch the tiny holes and touch up the paint. 

This hornets’ nest will need to be hit with Wasp and Hornet Killer, too, after the bees have all settled in for the night.  We figure a little after dark, we’ll head out.  With a nest this size, taking along more than one can would probably be a wise idea.  Yes? 

The plan is to start spraying the entrance of the hive and just keep spraying!!  I am usually the official flashlight holder on these adventures, but my husband will don his head lamp this time so I can try to take a picture or two. 

I’ll finish this post when we come back in…

*      *       *

Well.  The nest is history. 

Using the red LED light on his headlamp to see, my husband opened fire on their entrance with the Wasp and Hornet killer.  I tried to take some pictures, but they didn’t turn out so well.  It didn’t help that for some reason he didn’t want to hold still.  It may have had something to do with the vibrating nest!   Lol!   killing the hornets nest After dowsing the entrance and surrounding paper with one can, he used a bamboo pole to poke a hole in the top of the nest.  That way he could spray more Wasp and Hornet killer inside. 

At some point, he realized he needed more fire power because he took off running for the garage.

He returned with a can of gasoline and poured some into the opening in the top of the nest. That pretty much settled the matter.  The humming stopped.

The vapors will finish off the rest of the nest.  And probably my bush, too.  But that’s O.K.

Mission accomplished!


Mari said...

Aaagh! That's a big nest! Glad it's gone!

Raise Them Up said...


My son just confirmed that all is quiet around the nest. Actually, he described in lovely detail the masses of still bees, but I'll spare you!!

Anonymous said...

Yowza!! BIG nest.

And my husband would have totally been helping in that fire. He is such a firebug. :)

Anonymous said...

I congratulate, your idea is magnificent

Anonymous said...

I have a great solution to ridding yourself of wasps without chemicals, gas or fire. My husband brought out the shop vac and it worked like a charm. He left it outside running while we were safe in the house watching the action. Them came from all over the yard to see what was making that awful noise. One by one they thunked into the hose...not sure if the sound made them mad but it seemed they were attacking the "monster". When all the critters were humming inside the canister,and there must have been a couple hundred, we sealed up the hose end and waited until the next day...listened for the buzzing to be stilled and voila!! no more wasps. chemical free. We also tried it on the ground wasp nests, it took some babysitting but did the job anyway. It's quite entertaining too :-)