Wasps in the Duck House

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by BrianPB, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. BrianPB

    BrianPB Out Of The Brooder

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    I have recently purchased a small structure (a very large doghouse) and intend to relocate my five runner ducks there soon as a safe place for them at night. The problem, I just discovered, is that the doghouse came with a wasp nest (about 6" diameter, about 20-30 wasps) in one corner of it, just above the door.

    I'm reluctant to stick my head and/or arms in such a confined space to spray the wasps, but might consider doing so in the evening when the wasps are more dormant.

    The big questions are:

    1. Will the residue of the wasp spray pose a threat to the ducks? I could put a dropcloth in the corner to catch the majority of the dripping, but my experience has always been that you really need to saturate a wasp nest to get rid of them.

    2. What about a "bug bomb"—that is, a fogger? I could set one in there and close the door. But again, I would worry about the residue. I could cover the floor (and there will be hay on the floor eventually), and obviously I would air it out for a few days before putting the ducks in there. But would residue on the walls be a problem?

    3. Are there alternatives? Can one "smoke out" wasps like one can bees?

    4. Or, if I do nothing at all, do the wasps themselves pose a threat to the ducks?

    Any suggestions/advice would be much appreciated!

    Many thanks,
    Brian
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    How about a hose with a power nozzle that way you don't have to use chemicals at all. I done this to get them out of bird houses.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Hi, Brian, welcome!

    I recently went through this with my runners' outdoor house.

    Yellow jackets built a nest inside the double walls while I was away (the ducks were sleeping elsewhere, what a blessing).

    Yes, you need to be concerned about residues and wasp attacks on your ducks.

    Yes, you need to be concerned about your own safety.

    Here is what I did. Before you read more, note that you must be careful because you could get stung, you could react to the poison, so be aware of that. You may want to hire someone who can do the job for you. There are services in some areas that do a non-toxic nest removal.

    I read and read about these critters and how to get rid of them, often finding assumptions about the conditions that meant that the advice was worthless.

    I watched the insects' behavior and plotted my attack.

    We discovered that evening is not late enough. My husband got stung on the head just opening the door to the house after dark.

    So, we got some Safer Flying Insect killer, which, if I understand correctly, breaks down after several days. I believe it is the least long-term toxic stuff. The first can we got had a sprayer that made a mist, which did not work for us as we needed to spray it into a gap between the walls, so we had to order a can with a nozzle that would shoot a stream of the poison.

    I suited up in insulated overalls, tied with string at the ankles, work boots, parka tied at the wrists and zipped all the way up to the high collar, leather gloves, kerchief around the neck, motorcycle helmet with beekeeper veil over that. No, there were no pictures. Yes, it was really hot.

    I waited until after 11 o'clock at night. I shot the material into the wall for several seconds, perhaps half a minute. A few yellow jackets crawled out, soaked in the stuff. I hurried away.

    Next morning, there was no activity. A time or two since then we saw some kind of hornets going in and out of there, but aside from that, no more activity.

    In our case, the stuff went into the wall, so there would be no direct contact with the ducks.

    In your case, if it were me, I would suit up, carefully plan ahead of time where to stand, get one of those red light flashlights (white light apparently stirs them up), wait till nearly midnight, go in prepared to soak the nest, and prepared to beat a hasty retreat. All animals would be elsewhere for the night.

    Then I would check in the morning, hose them again the next night if necessary. I would wait some number of days, remove the nest, and scrub the walls with borax and water or similar non-toxic cleaner, let that dry, and call it a major victory.

    You might also try the predators and pests forum for their insights as well.

    Be careful!!!!!!!

    It is risky business.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Miss Lydia has proposed a much simpler, elegant solution. Love her to pieces!!!![​IMG]
     
  5. BrianPB

    BrianPB Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks to you both! I think I will attempt the hoze nozzle idea first and see how that works—but I will suit up in insulated clothing just in case. (Alas, I have no motorcycle helmet!) Thankfully, I am not allergic to wasp stings—or at least wasn't the last time I got stung, a few years back. Will also look into the Safer Flying Insect Spray; I'm familiar with the brand, and it may even be available locally.

    Another option might be to wait for a very cold night (we've already had one night in the low 30s here in south central NY) and knock the nest out with a stick. But I'd really like to relocate the runners to their new house, which is in my fenced-in vegetable garden, so they can be outdoors again. At present they're locked in a large pen in the barn all day because of foxes (which have killed two runners and dozens of chickens and bantams in recent months).

    It would just be soooo much easier if the nest were on the far back wall rather than directly over the door at the front. It's hard to get at, and harder to put any distance between me and it!

    Thanks again,
    Brian
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I think if you blast them and keep it up you'll get them pretty good. but suiting up would be a good idea because the ones that make it out alive will be pretty mad. After you feel you have killed or run them out then take a long stick or pole and knock the nest down and remove.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I wonder if you could knock the nest down into a bucket of steaming hot, soapy water that might be the most effective way to drown them more quickly. And yes, suit up and be ready to run, and make sure no domestic animals are anywhere near, should the wasps decide on blood vengeance.
     
  8. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not sure if its available in your area but I have used Victor® Poison Free® Wasp & Hornet Killer, Aerosol. It has worked very well for me. The only ingredients are Mint oil, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate as the active ingredients and then water and CO2 as the propellant. It has sort of a foamy spray that coats the wasps and hornets. I have been using it all this summer on various nests here and the hornets fall down and twitch for less then a minute before dieing completely. Smells like mint and is very safe. Rinses away pretty well when I was cleaning up a few days later. I found mine at a health food store but I have seen it around a few times since. Might check around if the hose water thing doesn't work.
     

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