More Yellowjackets than ever...

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by sweetpea, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,442
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I found one yellowjacket nest in the ground, and 70 meters away a raccoon or some body dug up another one! I've never had two within one acre ever before. And I mow everything, so I find them, yessereee!! I have a feeling because I've added lots of perennial flowers and blackberries, and let the clovers and vetches flower, more of the yellowjackets are able to live closer together! Not what I planned! But I know they are beneficial, I don't mind coexisting with them, but I'd really like to know where they are. I've always relied on the fact that if I found one nest that would be it within a certain area and I was free to mow everything else. Gulp!!

    Now if I can just keep the raccoons from eating the zucchini and pumpkins/squashes!!
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Has this anything to do with the Tour de France?
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Other peoples animals always sound much more interesting than your own...
    Cane toads, scrub turkeys and Indian Mynahs don't have the same street cred as yellowjackets and racoons in my book. Mind you I think Sindoram and the elephants really won the Tour de Animale!
     
  4. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,442
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    eco, ha, ha, yeah, thank heaven I don't have elephants, my sorry chicken wire fence wouldn't stand a chance. Now, come on, you guys have bees, right? Don't tell me you don't have any critters to contend with?

    Well, here's the other fun part. We have an old cabin that is mostly storage and a place for company to stay, and the yellowjackets will build these elaborate paper, turban-shaped nests under the eaves, but the raccoons will get on the roof and rip them open, which makes the wasps go away sooner. But now they've found a little crack in the roofline and they've gotten inside. I have no idea just how bad it's going to be in there, because I'm hoping to wait them out. Usually they are gone by late fall, but if they are that protected I don't know what to expect.
     
  5. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I discovered the hard way that wasps had started to nest under the lip of my rubbish bin when I put my hand there to take the bin out.... My word they can make a girl repeat a few swear words! Maybe you need to let the raccoons inside too?!
    I've never seen a wasps nest on the ground though. It'd be like tip toeing around land mines!
     
  6. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    so yellow jackets are a wasp? I'm a little slow!!
     
  7. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,442
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    PP, yes, they are a wasp. Their shocking yellow and black striped bodies don't have that fuzzy look of a honey bee or a bumble bee. And they have an attitude! Whew! And they make picking blackberries way more difficult.

    Eco, yes, it can be a surprise of great proportions! Although as singles on clover I step over and around them all day long, almost stepping on them and they don't seem to mind. There are some colored T shirts I can't wear or they are after me all day, a dusty pink and yellow. Definitely no food-scented hair products. Just curious and wanting to land and explore, but I'm not that organic!!

    I've seen and heard them kill and eat spiders that are suspended in big webs, that's not really what I wanted to have happen either. I've got a lot of argiope spiders that do a great job catching annoying bugs who seem to be snacks for yellowjackets. I know they want meat, but will settle for pollen. When I've put out meat to thaw that sits on styrofoam, you can hear them chewing the styrofoam to get to the meat.

    I just hope I'm bringing in extra beneficials of all sorts!
     
  8. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I think they are what we would call European Wasps
    I haven't seen any in Qld ....yet (paper wasps more than make up for them)
    Had a fair few in Melbourne generally wasn't enough to bother you....I've never been stung but would imagine its not pleasant.
     
  9. Try Reason

    Try Reason Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was thinking they sounded more like a mud dauber wasp by the description of the nests. How big are they, hornet or bee sized? If they're bee sized then they certainly do sound like "european" wasps and they are damn agressive little suckers. We had to have a huge nest removed from a pile of mulch in my back yard. There were just so many of them that you would get threatened every time with that meanacing buzz and too and fro motion in front of your eyes. No good with a toddler who loves her backyard. Hanging out the clothes washing on the line was an interesting excercise as they'd all be after the water in the clothes. Usually took a few trips outside to get it done. I could live without this animal, plenty of alternatives to do the same jobs.
     
  10. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    They look like a species of introduced 'common wasp'. If so, they are angry
    NZ sometimes has really bad wasp years. They breed up like mad occasionally.
    I was a country kid and one of our entertainments in a bad wasp year was taking the chainsaw petrol 'round the hill', pouring it into the nest and lighting it.
    Just fumes would be far more effective, but not nearly as exciting.
     
  11. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    oooo Leila that's wicked!

    What eats wasps?
     
  12. Try Reason

    Try Reason Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Have seen someone do something similar to a bullant nest. Pour petrol down the main entrance (I don't know how you get that close wthout getting bitten). Light it and they dive intothe flames trying to help the colony. Regardless of how nasty an animal they can be I was sad to see it happen. Better off finding a better place to camp. Bullants are like wingless hornets. Second biggest ants in the world. Glad we don't have those bullet ants over here to contend with though!

    As for these wasps, in my climate they can breed pretty much all year and then explode in spring. The limitations that keeptheir numbers in check in their natural environment doesn't occur here. As for what eats them... birds? I'd suspect with their aggressiveness even birds would learn to leave them alone pretty quickly.
     
  13. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I should've added, I'm in no way advocating a petrol-induced wasp apocalypse!
    Wasps waaaay outcompete everything native here and considering introduced bee colonies have been weakend by CCD and varroa, wasps are mopping up lots of hives too. sweetpea's yellowjackets are probably introduced too and taking advantage of an empty ecosystem niche.
     
  14. Dzionik

    Dzionik Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had a lot of trouble when pressing apples before using strong herbal tea for washing apples. There use to bee hundreds of wasps around the crusher and press. Pouring in bottles was almost impossible without some of them ending inside. The herbs I used melissa, rosemary, basil, sage, thyme, so some of them are good repellant.
    My garden is fenced with melissa and rosemary with some sage and basil so I have looots of it, witch is also good for covering compost when i put something that can attract flies and wasps.
     
  15. Try Reason

    Try Reason Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good tip. I'd like to do some drying outside at some point and even if I do build my closed in solar tower style dryer these wasps would still make it an interesting task as they love any freshly cut vegetation lying around and they also love sugar.

    Out of interest, what variety of apples are you pressing?
     
  16. Dzionik

    Dzionik Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hard question :) there is four five fall varieties which are similar to "kožara", "budimka", "idared"... But I am not sure. You can see them here:
    https://www.grozd.co.rs/jabuka.html
     
  17. Try Reason

    Try Reason Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I know of Idared but not the other two. I hope to be pressing my own apples one day... when I have my own apples of course.
     

Share This Page

-->