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Thread: Wasp's Nest in Doorway

  1. #1
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    Wasp's Nest in Doorway

    I just ran an errand, only to come back and find a couple of wasps building what looks like a nest at the top of my doorframe. (Wouldn't have noticed it if something hadn't brushed through my hair as I stepped inside.) I was stung too many times as a child, and I don't want that to happen now. With my luck, I might have a decent allergic reaction if I'm stung. The white nest is currently only a couple inches long, and maybe an inch or so across, and there were only two wasps when I looked.

    So how and when do I get rid of the thing? I don't really want to cower in my apartment until I can call maintenance tomorrow, but that is a viable option in my book.

  2. #2
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    3 words. Lighter. Hairspray. Whoosh.

    btw your tagline scares me! One of the more chilly episodes, if it refers to what I think it refers to.

    PS: the above is very bad advice and just the quickest way to get rid of your house. Now, in a sense, that would fix the wasps problem too, but perhaps there are better methods than risking housefire
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  3. #3
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    Get a can of bug killer spray and empty the whole thing onto the nest before it gets any bigger. Or, if you are an angler, get the grubs if there are any yet and they make perfect bait for Chub trotted down under a lignum stem stick float.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    Get a can of bug killer spray and empty the whole thing onto the nest before it gets any bigger.
    That's a good idea. I guess I need to run out once more.

  5. #5
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    There is a foam spray on the market designed specifically for this situation. Now is the best time to do it before it gets too large! If you can't wait set it on fire asap!!

    I had a underground nest in my garden and i spent days trying to get rid of it! i filled it with spray, set it on fire, built a huge bonfire on top of it and even tried flooding it out! all to no avail i was stung a couple of times and on the last occasion reacted quite badly in the end a good friend had the courage to dig it up and then burn it! that did the trick!

  6. #6
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    I am a qualified pest controller (military) but I can't pop round to rid the damn things for you, but here is a link wasps

    make sure you wear some protective clothing cos these little buggers will try to defend their nest and sting you, anytime is a good time and while it is in progress of being built is a good time and when the wasps are dead, burn the nest as they will collect it and start building it again.
    There will be more than a couple of wasps, obviously they are already evictees from someone else and your home is going to be their home soon.

    chrissy
    The real art of conversation is not only saying the right thing at the right moment but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the most tempting moment. -- unknown

  7. #7
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    Raid has a 20' spray they developed specifically for this occasion. Spray it (a good half second on target will do it), climb into the open door of a waiting vehicle, and leave.

    Just make sure you're the driver, as you don't want some over-eager other dragging you halfway down the driveway...

    Five minutes later you got a lot of dead bugs.

    Spray a second time just to be sure. If nothing swarms out, you got 'em.

    After bagging the nest, scrub the eve, your door, and everywhere else the spray went with mild soap and water then rinse thoroughly.

    It is, after all, a long-lasting neurotoxin, and as such, you do not want to get any on your skin!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    Raid has a 20' spray they developed specifically for this occasion. Spray it (a good half second on target will do it), climb into the open door of a waiting vehicle, and leave.
    That's what I found at WalMart, though it took a bit more than half a second. With only two wasps there, still, I don't know if more are coming, but the spray says to leave the nest be for 24 hours to kill any that come back. The down side is that my front door has a good coating of raid on half of it, but none went inside my apartment. I really wasn't expecting liquid when I pushed the spray button.

    I don't own a hose, and I don't think that I have any gloves handy either, so I'm going to send maintenance after it tomorrow. (There is a benefit to living on someone else's property, and they should know to watch this row of apartments for future activity.) I have washed my hands well, twice even. After touching the doorknob without thinking on my trip back out to the car for the other things I bought, I made sure to wash well a second time. I'm also not planning on leaving tonight because I know I'll do it again.

  9. #9
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    I sympathise with Tobin, and would want a nest in my doorway removed, but a wasp nest in the garden?
    Wasps are invaluable pest controllers (Pax, Chrissy! But why do you have the same picture ID as Tobin?) They take many smaller insects and their grubs back to the nest to feed their young, unlike bees, thus keeping down infestation of your plants.

    And they are NOT agressive to humans. In the autumn, the nest closes down and the workers go out trying to build up their body stores of energy for the winter, a vain hope as they are doomed and only the queen survives. Then, they will be attracted to jam, sugar, even meat, but they are not infection carriers like flies, and can be left to satisfy thier appetite, whereupon they will go away. At that time, they will not bring back thier fellows, unlike bees or ants, as the nest system has broken down, and it is every wasp for themselves.

    John.
    Save the Wasp!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    I had a underground nest in my garden and i spent days trying to get rid of it! i filled it with spray, set it on fire, built a huge bonfire on top of it and even tried flooding it out! all to no avail i was stung a couple of times and on the last occasion reacted quite badly in the end a good friend had the courage to dig it up and then burn it! that did the trick!
    Next time any of my BAUT friends have this issue with underground nests there is a trick of insect psychology you can use against them. If you just bury the entrance they will just dig themselves out in short order.

    To kill them all you need to do is put a transparent glass bowl over the nest entrance. They fly out of their hole so they don't think they are buried and won't make another exit, then they die of dehydration in about two to three days.

    Hope this helps somebody.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
    (Pax, Chrissy! But why do you have the same picture ID as Tobin?)
    Actually, it's the other way around. It's a brief "in memoriam" tribute to Mak.


    I just went out and washed off my door quickly, mostly focusing on the doorknob and deadbolt lock. I still want to hose it down tomorrow, and I'll still be OCD about handwashing tonight, but at least I feel willing to touch my doorknob with my bare hand. Then again, with my problems, a little neurotoxin won't change anything too much.

  12. #12
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    An easier way:

    Put a bit of dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle and dilute with water.
    Same is you would if making Bubble Solution for blowing bubbles.

    Spray the wasps with the bubble solution. Non-toxic, but it totally shuts down the wasps ability to fly. Plop, they all fall to the ground and can only crawl around in a grumpy state.
    At this point, the humane person can scoop them up with a dustpan or such and drop them into a jar for transport to a less inhabited (by humans) location.
    The impatient human can stomp on them making waspcakes.

    Now the nest is unguarded. Knock it down with a broom or whatever and add butter and syrup to your soapy waffle.

  13. #13
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    When I was in he army, they had a few of us get rid of some wasp nests. Huge nests. They had an old building that hadn't been used for a while and wanted to use it again. Somebody said you want to come in the morning and they'll be groggy. So we did, and sure enough, we just knocked the nests down and used the impatient method to dispose of them, as they staggered helplessly on the porch. It was a slaughter.

    I'm not sure if it was the temperature or the time of day. As I recall it was not really that cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    .....all you need to do is put a transparent glass bowl over the nest entrance. They fly out of their hole so they don't think they are buried and won't make another exit, then they die of dehydration in about two to three days.
    oh dear! that sounds an awfully cruel thing to do.

    why not scrape up, carefully, what the wasps have built and put it away in the backyard or a neighbouring copse / tree'd area?

    my fellow-BAUTers, lucky you guys aren't flying any planes!

  15. #15
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    At my home I had multiple wasp nests around - with multiple wasps in each one. The closest nests were about two feet from the top of my back door. I just decided to ignore them, and they seemed to ignore me. Never been stung in my life.
    After my house was sided last year, they had no place to build anymore so I haven't seen them this year.
    Maybe I wait too long - but I generally live and let live unless nature's critters are being harmful or destructive.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Next time any of my BAUT friends have this issue with underground nests there is a trick of insect psychology you can use against them. If you just bury the entrance they will just dig themselves out in short order.

    To kill them all you need to do is put a transparent glass bowl over the nest entrance. They fly out of their hole so they don't think they are buried and won't make another exit, then they die of dehydration in about two to three days.

    Hope this helps somebody.
    Nice. I'll have to try that. These sound like yellowjacket wasps to me. I've had four encounters with nests this summer and at least 11 stings so far, including several yesterday. And no, the irony isn't lost on me -- payback for being an entomologist, I guess. There are several yellowjacket wasp traps on the market. Basically, they are similar to minnow traps -- large funnel opening so the wasp enters easily, but has difficulty finding the exit. There is a specially formulated bait in the trap which attracts the wasp. You can make your own bait by using sliced turkey or another lunchmeat. The trick is to place the trap where the wasps are active. I've used these to wipe out the nests in my yard without being stung again or risk starting a fire (there have been enough of those this summer here in Northern California). At some point, you have to empty the dead wasps from the trap but they make good compost or food for other animals.

    As for the wasps in the original post (papershell wasps?), I've used nearly all the methods listed above. The one thing I can add is that wasps are less active at night or when it gets cold. They're sitting ducks at this point. Ah, it looks as if jt-3d has beaten me to the punch on this. Once insects cool down at night, it takes a bit for them to warm up in the morning.

    Then again, we can always just call chrissy to come take care of these problems for us!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mahesh View Post
    oh dear! that sounds an awfully cruel thing to do.

    why not scrape up, carefully, what the wasps have built and put it away in the backyard or a neighbouring copse / tree'd area?

    my fellow-BAUTers, lucky you guys aren't flying any planes!
    This isn't really an option with yellowjackets. On the three occasions when I got stung this summer, I was using a weedeater, disturbed a rotten log and finally, just walked past the third nest. These wasps are very territorial and once you rile them up, they sting. The nests I wiped out were in my yard -- I have kids so the wasps had to go. The nests which were out in the woods, I left alone. Personally, I've never had any trouble with the papershell wasps, although a buddy of mine gets stung if he even looks at one of their nests.

  18. #18
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    Its strange how some people get stung and others don't.
    I also had a bush out front that often had up to thirty yellowjackets flying around it.
    They never bothered me, nor me them.
    What's up with that? They didn't sting anyone else in the house either.
    Can they sense that I mean them no harm?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginnie View Post
    Its strange how some people get stung and others don't.
    I also had a bush out front that often had up to thirty yellowjackets flying around it.
    They never bothered me, nor me them.
    What's up with that? They didn't sting anyone else in the house either.
    Can they sense that I mean them no harm?
    Sense? Maybe if pheromones are involved...

    I have the same problem. I can't get stung even if I try.

    Bees especially. I can sit around with bees on me and they won't sting. I can pick them up, put out my hand and they light on me... Other folks however, seem to get stung by just looking at a bee.

    I also LIKE bees.

  20. #20
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    I can't get stung even if I try.
    Yeah, I hate when that happens, err, doesn't happen.

    I've never heard of anyone 'trying' to get stung before, Neverfly.

    I do sometimes bug my cats to see how long it takes before they will bite me.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginnie View Post
    At my home I had multiple wasp nests around - with multiple wasps in each one. The closest nests were about two feet from the top of my back door. I just decided to ignore them, and they seemed to ignore me. Never been stung in my life.
    This was *in* my doorway, literally, at the top of the door frame. Every time I would have locked/unlocked my door, I would have been right under the nest. Opening and closing the door would disturb it. There was only one answer: DIE! The hard part was doing that without them getting at me.

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    I have some local mud daubers that I consider to be part of the pest control crew of my garden.

    For those of you who don't know, mud daubers are the "waspy looking ones with the long hind legs".

    Least likely to sting of the stinger bearers. I love mine because they knock the hell out of the spider population. And they don't seem to mind doing it in front of me either.

    Now I try not to harm the spiders in my yard in any way. The one time different I had to eradicate a colony of black widows as this is my parents house and the folks are both old and fairly frail. Mom especially.

    (Yes, I have my own place. But my folks are old and I like gardening. It's Papa's yard but it's my garden. We are both happy with the arrangement)

    So when I saw the mud daubers taking out the orb weavers that nested under the eaves of a screened in patio we became fast friends. The action being on the other side of a screen meant I could get inchs away without disturbing anything.

    Here's how they got the spiders, totally amazed me.

    The mud dauber would fly up to a web, grab a long spoke of the web with each of its two hind legs and then buzz it's wings like a son of a gun. The noise was what drew me over to begin with. I don't know, maybe others do too, but when I'm hiking or gardening I always check out the sound of a flying insect in a web.

    When the spider comes racing down the safety line to claim her prize she got plucked off and carried away for a rousing game of Aliens! The Home Edition! (Mama Mud Dauber is going to lay an egg in the paralysed, but still living spider, sealed in a private mud tomb/cradle)

    Two or three daubers cleared out the whole of the underside eaves that one day. I stood there at watched eight captures all done the same way.

    The since the passing of Sid the cat, Champion Slayer of Gophers the only better friend is my family of scrubjays. Papa Scrubjay not only plucks out the cutworms from my lawn, he likes to eat the huge argiopes that have taken a liking to building homes in my garden. These seem to have a size immunity from the daubers. Man, I just hate walking into thier webs but only take the webs down on established paths. Though I am worried one might take Buddy, my Mom's poodle, Buddy being only ten pounds.

    The day Papa Scrubjay*, and I met I was mowing the lawn and as I was just about to going around a tree next to the outer fence I stopped up short and there in my face was the classic argiope web with the squigglily uv reflector and the whole shebang. Didn't do the back flip I wanted to do, but just barely.

    Well since it's off the "beaten path" I chose to let it be as you can't complain about flying bugs if you go around horking your spiders, at least the ones outside where they belong.

    Well after I put away the mower and started weeding, the scrubjay landed on the fence, seemed to ask "Are you going to eat that?" and then plucked ol' Charlotte from her web. He had to break her in half to eat her.

    As this was just one of many such spiders I had in the yard I immediately went on-line to find out a scrubjay's favorite food he can't get for himself. Salted, roasted peanuts in the shell is what I provide for him and his missus. Birds have a hard time getting salt in their diets and they need it just like everything else.

    Now I have about four of these large (for my part of the world) spiders in out of the way places. Just have to remember to not put my head in one of their webs as they move them once in a while. One's taken up station over the compost pile. The argiope's young are coming up too I've noticed. Several have now replaced the other orb weavers that lived under the patio eaves. I've sent up the 'dauber signal but they have been few this season or it isn't time yet to hunt. Assuming its seasonal. Edit to add: Duh! its been cold and overcast for the last four or five weeks with up to ten degree below normal temps!

    Think I'll have a Saturday evening ale as it's almost 10:30 PM I'm home and I'm distinctly... sober. Allow me to work on that and I'll tell you all about the weird vivariums I keep near my computer as a habit and eye relief.

    The latest: The underside of your house biotope. Trickier than it seems to get right.


    *Small corvids, (crows, ravens, magpies) my local race is sky blue over grey, about twice the length and triple the mass of a robin, with the classic corvid attitude, for folks who need a discription.
    Last edited by BigDon; 2008-Aug-11 at 05:31 AM. Reason: Weather report
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
    And they are NOT agressive to humans.
    Some species are. I had an aggressive species starting to nest in my hedge, as I discovered while trimming it. They stung me and chased me down the garden. They stung my wife too. Fortunately they left of their own accord after we had tidied the place up.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Next time any of my BAUT friends have this issue with underground nests there is a trick of insect psychology you can use against them. If you just bury the entrance they will just dig themselves out in short order.

    To kill them all you need to do is put a transparent glass bowl over the nest entrance. They fly out of their hole so they don't think they are buried and won't make another exit, then they die of dehydration in about two to three days.

    Hope this helps somebody.
    Interesting technique. I Took a bug bomb (water activated) and put it next to the opening with a 5 gallon bucket over it just before dawn. The ground smoked for 10 minutes and then I dug it up. It was almost a foot in diameter!
    Yellow jackets, by the way.

  25. #25
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    Just about any wasp species is aggressive if you get too close to their nest, and trying to share your front doorframe with them will probably eventually result in some stings.

    I used kitchen cleaner on a few nests that were being started in my back doorway and it seemed to work pretty well as an impromptu bug spray. Just soak the nest a little and duck back inside, wait until the surprised wasps are gone or dead, repeat if necessary, then knock the nest down once it's empty.

    Or you could take off and nuke the sight from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
    And they are NOT agressive to humans.
    Sorry, but I've been stung too many times by wasps when I was minding my own business to agree with you on this point.

    OUCH!

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    Kinda like my post to Ginnie- I've been around wasps all my life.

    And like the OP- they LOVE to build nests above the house doorway.

    I should take pictures. It's at least once every two weeks I'm removing a nest- because the housemate has never been stung- but has such bad allergies, she feels that she is probably allergic to stings... and demands they be removed.

    I have never been stung either. Even when removing the nests and there are wasps still flying around.

    I have been stung by bees a few times, but only in my childhood. Never since my teens in spite of manhandling the poor things regularly and holding them in my hands.
    Maybe I'm just a sweet guy...


    LOL
    eh..
    ok well, seriously- I think it just depends.

  28. #28
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    I have to say after talking to friends who read this that you have to use the larger sized bowls, like a salad bowl for this to work.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  29. #29
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    Wink wasp nest

    Tobin. Take a newspaper. Fold it up, but keep it bigger than the nest. Hold it up to the nest. Punch hard, three times. Crushed wasps don't fly well. Step on them. No pesticide residue. Wipe the area with a sponge.

    The big nests are more of a problem. Wasps are inactive at night. Wait till dark, so roaming residents don't come home to find you marauding their nest. In a protected area, you can tape a trash bag with a no-pest strip inside ...contains DDVP...dichlorodiphenylvinylpyrolidone, a nerve gas, up against the attachment point, sealing off the air...but only if you can work quickly with the tape. Otherwise, the jet pesticide spray works well...run for cover. pete

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugaliens View Post
    Sorry, but I've been stung too many times by wasps when I was minding my own business to agree with you on this point.

    OUCH!
    Gotta agree with you on this one Mug! I have on many occasion either sitting out or walking along had a wasp land on me and then just happily sting away for no apparent reason

    For the people out there who think my actions were cruel regarding the nest in my garden. Firstly i have a toddler and my partner has 2 small children that like to play out when the weather is nice. Secondly the nest appeared to have lots of entrances/exits ( unless it was a city of wasps ) and the wasps were constantly getting in the house in large numbers. All of us were stung, 2 of the children during their sleep.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to unnecessarily kill any insect or animal. But wasps in my personal experience are evil little devils and after my last sting that reacted rather badly, i will try to avoid any contact with wasps ever again.
    Last edited by cosmocrazy; 2008-Aug-11 at 05:44 PM. Reason: poor grammar

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