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Help! Yellowjacket nests on the coop!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 2pinkmom, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. 2pinkmom

    2pinkmom Songster

    Mar 31, 2010
    And maybe in the coop. I'm afraid to get close enough to look. What on earth should I do to get rid of these suckers and not hurt the girls? My coop is an Amish Shed type deal, about 4 x 6. The nests that I can see are tucked up between the trim and the roof line. Our pest control company can take care of the nests with some sort of spray that is supposed to be safe for the chickens, but they want almost $500 to do it. My husband wants to spray the nests at dusk with a store bought spray. I'm concerned about the potential for mist from the spray drifting onto the chickens inside the coop, or falling to the ground beside the coop where they scratch. He thinks putting tarps on the ground to catch any drips from from hitting the ground will be enough. I was also thinking of trying to burn the nests with a candle or a plumbers torch, but I'm not sure it could be done without the flame spreading to the coop.

    I'm also considering moving the hens into the horse barn for a couple days, spraying the heck out of the coop, then washing it down and moving it to a new grassy area to avoid the danger of runoff insecticide. Less than ideal because I have some new hens down there in one stall, but doable.

    Anyone have any ideas on how to do this safely for the hens and avoid getting myself stung? Help!
  2. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    Quote:store bought spray works. Just make sure you don't spray the ether mix then shut the door of the coop if it has no ventilation. Won't hurt your chickens unless you close them in a room while gassing the wasps.
  3. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:A picture would help to identify the type of wasp, around here the yellow jackets hives are underground and the paper wasps make the inverted paper cone that hangs from the eaves.
    Anyway----a safe method to remove them--- You can use a flashlight at night and just knock the whole nest down with a pole if you don't want to use a pesticide, they do quit building them if you keep knocking them down. Another method is at night with a flashlight, soak them down with WD-40, its relativity benign, it works by surface tension/smothering them and making the nest unusable, WD-40 is all volatile and will leave no long term residue.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Personally I'd move them then use the spray since you said it was doable. They should be OK to move back the next day.

    Miners use birds, usually canaries, to tell them if the air in a mine is going bad. If the canary passes out or dies get out because the air is poisonous. Military personnel that work around nerve gas (such as learning how to defuse a nerve gas bomb) keep canaries around to tell them when they have a leak. Birds respiratory systems are more susceptable than humans.

    I would not worry about the insecticide runoff. The harmful stuff should have evaporated by the next day. But there will be a lot of yellow jackets or whatever it is laying around for them to eat. (I agree with Darkmatter. Yellow jackets usually nest in the ground but I have seen them build nests in cavities in buildings, like my parent's attic. Hornet's or wasps build in paper nests where they are exposed.) It won't hurt to wash it off after you spray, but since you said you could, I would move it so they don't eat the dead yellow jackets. The poison might be concentrated in their bodies.

    This is probably overkill but I'd personally rather be safe than sorry. Darkmatter's WD-40 method should work too. If it is hornets, they will move if you keep knocking the nests down. If it is wasps, they will move but probably not far. If it is yellow jackets, the queen is in a hollow or cavity somewhere and you will not be able to knock that down. If it is bumblebees, they nest in the ground or in cavities like yellow jackets, so the same things apply.

    Good luck!
  5. rrgrassi

    rrgrassi Chirping

    Jun 19, 2010
    Royse City
    Do the killing of the wasps at night. Just make sure you are at a 90 degree angle do the flashlight. Wasps and Bees do not fly at night, but they can and will fly to the light, as they use light for navigatiion. I know this from experience and killing bumble bees and wasps. Either way, be careful, you do not want to poison your flock, or get stung yourself.
  6. orionburn

    orionburn Songster

    Jul 24, 2008
    South Bend, IN
    We discovered last weekend that we had 4 different nests out with our animals. I bought a can of bug killer...can't remember the name...but it foams up as soon as it hits. Once it hits the wasps they aren't going anywhere. It coats them in foam and makes it impossible for them to fly. All fell straight down and died. I did it during the day time. Blocked off the coops so they couldn't go in, sprayed the nests and then cleaned up. Left the door open to ventilate it for a bit and everything was fine.

    The only other precaution I took was to sweep up the dead wasps that fell to the ground. I didn't want to take a chance of our birds trying to eat one and getting sick from it (or getting stung in the throat either).

    There is one benefit of doing it at night - you'll get more of them in one shot. We killed all that were in there, but the others that were out to lunch simply came back to the same spot and started building again. Wasps pick up on the pheromones left behind from a nest, so chances are you may have to do this a few more times.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  7. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    If you can have faith and be brave, spray them with soapy water-something like Dawn dishwashing liquid that has been diluted. It will knock them down and prevent them from flying at you for a little while so that you can use the more earth friendly, mechanical method; you know, step on them and squish the little imps. Be sure and remove the nest(s) also so none are tempted to move in right away. If you don't use Dawn, be sure and use something that works on grease. Bugs are kinda put together with grease....
  8. chickenlover98

    chickenlover98 Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Oh my, any type of bee, im afraid of!! Maybe animal control? But if u spray them urself, wear thick gloves!
  9. iluvsedward

    iluvsedward Crowing 8 Years

    Jan 19, 2010
    Calvert County MD
    while the wasps or yjackets are gone tie a sandwitch bag over the nest with a twist tie that should do it but be fast and carefull.
    then run away screaming like a little girl.... [​IMG]
  10. Annabella

    Annabella Songster

    Apr 17, 2010
    We have paper wasps that nest at the front of the house - been stung a few times - ouchh!! [​IMG]
    We wait till night (dusk) when they are all back at the nest and we don't need to use a torch, and spray them with insecticide (Mortein fly spray) - they fall straight to the ground.
    Husband then sprays the nest with WD40.

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