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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 22, 2015 3:55 PM CST
The smaller, yellow black striped ones with short tempers have built a nest on the Hoya. This is the second time, but this time they've managed to get a much larger colony going. Has anyone tried using the soapy water method on these? If you have and it was successful, what's the ratio of detergent to water to use? I don't want to use the petroleum sprays on the plant, but I need that nest gone. Thanks for any tips on getting that done while leaving the plant intact.
Donald
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 22, 2015 5:59 PM CST
Sorry you have this issue. I don't like wasps and DH is allergic to them. Are they as beneficial to our landscape as bees are?? We always hear of groups rehoming bees when they find large hives in residential homes. I never hear of them keeping wasps around!
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 22, 2015 6:05 PM CST
I think they are basically beneficial. A bit messy along the eaves and other places, but not damaging. The sting is painful and aggravating, but other than pain and swelling I've never had any further reaction. I do know people who are allergic. I don't want stung and it's only a matter of time until either me or someone else gets stung due the location. Frankly I'm surprised they haven't hit me when I'm messing around the plant. I do that a lot. I have to try and eliminate it. Tonight, preferably.
Donald
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jul 22, 2015 6:12 PM CST
Paper wasps pollinate plants and also are prey on caterpillars. Hornworms come to mind first. I've seen them take flies, too. We dont have a big problem, but a couple small nests were removed from a sideview mirror on my brothers truck we had for awhile and the lamp post. We remove old nests in the fall and discard them.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 22, 2015 6:25 PM CST
It's all about location, location, location Big Grin . Their realtor wasn't forthcoming about the negative aspects of moving to that location!
Donald
Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
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froggardener
Jul 22, 2015 6:48 PM CST
I am very allergic to them. @Needrain, this is where I found the soap and water plan. I didn't actually see them all die but stunned them so I could get rid of the nest and they could move on. I have a small $10 sprayer just for soapy water which I'm pretty sure is a gallon, the print wore off long ago. If you don't want to watch video , it is 1tbsp dish soap per gallon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX32S2BHKXk
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jul 22, 2015 7:38 PM CST
Donald, how large is the nest?

We have a major problems with wasps and hornets building nests in unacceptable places -- like in the greenhouse and under the deck. You might be able to just stand at a safe distance and blast it off with a hose, nighttime would be best since they should all be "home." Admittedly, though, I've never had to get one off a plant...
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 22, 2015 8:45 PM CST
Well, I decided it had to be done, so I did it before I got the last replies. May have been overkill. The mix was like half detergent and half water! Big Grin In any case they were all resting when I did it just after the sun set and I was able to remove the nest. I'm not sure of the fate of most of the wasps because it was too dark, but a couple ended up in the jar I was using. All I can hope for now is that any survivors don't try and rebuild. I appreciate the replies. If I'd been more patient I wouldn't have wasted as much detergent! The nest was about an inch and a quarter with what looked to be 10-12 wasps. These particular ones don't build huge nests, but they make up for it with their nasty tempers and painful stings. I have other varieties that are much calmer, though when they sting it hurts just as much per wasp. Unfortunately these smaller bad tempered ones tend to manage to give you more than one sting when they feel threatened. And they feel threatened if you walk within 10 ft of the nest!!

Edited - spelling correction
Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Jul 22, 2015 10:08 PM (+)]
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Jul 23, 2015 6:37 AM CST
Bummer that you felt the need to kill everybody.

I'm currently working with the theory that it's possible to get them used to activity, and I've been having very good luck with that.

Last summer, I had a nest next to the door that I go in and out a dozen (or more) times a day...
One returned this year, and built a nest on the door, but abandoned her nest... Too much activity.

I've been painting.... They let me paint within a board of their nest... (4 or 5 inches)... I'm too chicken to paint closer, and I want to keep these beneficial critters around.... I can go back and paint those small patches after the wasps are done with those nests...

I did have to evict one nest... They were in an old electric circuit box... Box had to come down...
Took a stick and dislodged the nest, wasps flew off, an hour later, I was unscrewing the circuit box from the side of the house... Nothing to it, no need to kill anybody...

Incidentally, after evicting these critters... They usually just go somewhere else...
Can't recall if they've ever rebuilt... And... They don't come back to last years nests....
[Last edited by stone - Jul 23, 2015 6:42 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #910122 (9)
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 23, 2015 10:22 AM CST
It's always a shame when you feel you can't accommodate things in nature, Stone. It's sort of like if I put my hand on the nest they attack because it's an invasion of their territory. I've set up my own territory and sometimes when I feel I can't co-exist well with something I attempt to remove it. Weeds, poisonous snakes, Differential grasshoppers and occasionally black widow spiders and wasps can all fit in that category at times. I'm not much different than any other animal who builds a nest or lair in that respect. My space is relatively small compared to the area around me and as often as not I'm not exactly a winner much of the time anyway. Most people I know wouldn't tolerate much of what lives here that I don't bother at all.
Donald
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 23, 2015 10:54 AM CST
I tried to get the wasps used to me one year, at our other house. Same as you, they had built under the overhang right over the door that I used all day long. They tolerated my comings and goings all summer, the nest got to be nearly 3in. across, then one day in September, two of them zapped me as I came out the door! Stung me on the back right through my t-shirt.

Can't remember now where I read that they get more protective of the nests as the season progresses and the cells are ready to hatch. Apparently you can watch their 'body language' and by the set of their wings you can tell if they are in defensive mode getting ready to attack (wings up and back) or they are relaxed (wings down). At least I think that was it.

In any case, as soon as they start to come after me, I have to spray the nest with soapy water. I am allergic and swell up horribly for a week if I get stung.
Elaine

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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jul 23, 2015 11:10 AM CST
Interesting. I've never been stung by a paper wasp, and we have them here in abundance! And every year it's a battle over who gets to use the greenhouse, me or them. The level of aggression described sounds more like the yellowjackets we have here. They are nasty critters and very aggressive! Could you be dealing with yellowjackets (which are actually hornets, not wasps) rather than paper wasps?
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 23, 2015 11:26 AM CST
Each person has to make their own decision whether to kill the wasps or let them be. Having someone in the family who has a severe allergy makes the decision a bit easier. Watching the ambulance take a family member away is never pleasant; I know this from personal experience.

One other option is to learn how to prevent the wasps from building their nest on buildings/structures/in sheds, etc. Even though these suggestion won't work for nests build in trees, there are several good suggestions on this site about wasps building nests inside of bluebird next boxes. All seen like good, workable suggestions.
http://www.sialis.org/paperwasp.htm
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Jul 23, 2015 4:33 PM CST
needrain said:It's always a shame when you feel you can't accommodate things in nature, Stone. It's sort of like if I put my hand on the nest they attack because it's an invasion of their territory. I've set up my own territory and sometimes when I feel I can't co-exist well with something I attempt to remove it. Weeds, poisonous snakes, Differential grasshoppers and occasionally black widow spiders and wasps can all fit in that category at times. I'm not much different than any other animal who builds a nest or lair in that respect. My space is relatively small compared to the area around me and as often as not I'm not exactly a winner much of the time anyway. Most people I know wouldn't tolerate much of what lives here that I don't bother at all.


I agree with everything in your post, Donald; I'm all for living with nature, but not wasp/hornet nests where I'm likely to walk into them, or where visitors would be likely to get stung, or the dogs, for that matter. The nests we had last year I originally thought were paper wasps but actually turned out to be some kind of hornet (bald-faced? mostly black, at any rate), and very aggressive. They have plenty of other places around here to build nests!
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jul 23, 2015 5:14 PM CST
woofie said:Interesting. I've never been stung by a paper wasp, and we have them here in abundance! And every year it's a battle over who gets to use the greenhouse, me or them. The level of aggression described sounds more like the yellowjackets we have here. They are nasty critters and very aggressive! Could you be dealing with yellowjackets (which are actually hornets, not wasps) rather than paper wasps?


The stings are painful. Here we have four common wasps. I think they are all probably Polistes but I know them by the common names I heard while growing up. The 'red wasp', the 'black wasp' which is really a red black color and makes really huge paper nests, and the 'big yellow jacket' and the 'little yellow jacket'. This last is the one I eliminated. The others are larger wasps and, compared to the smaller one, fairly laid back. I've been stung by them all. The small one and the red wasp have the most painful stings, followed by the 'large yellow jacket' with the least painful being the blackish one. Unfortunately the small one is by far the most aggressive. They tend to have smaller paper nests tucked in obscure spots where they are hard to detect. That has resulted in my being stung by them far more than the other three types. I'm pretty sure the two called 'yellow jackets' are not that at all, but paper wasps. They just have yellow and black coloration. There are a couple of more exotic types of paper wasp, but they aren't common and don't construct their housing developments around human dwellings. If they aren't in a location where a human is apt to disturb them, I consider them beneficial. Excessively hot temperatures seems to make them more aggressive for some reason.

Donald
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Jul 23, 2015 5:48 PM CST
Wasps and hornets do make different looking nests. At least, as best I can tell. The paper wasps make those honeycomb shaped ones and the hornets (including what are called yellow jackets here) make the cone shaped ones with the hole at the bottom. But there are a lot of different types of both, so maybe the little nasties we're calling yellow jackets are just a different variety of wasp. It's easy to tell the difference, tho. They have a different flight pattern, they're definitely more aggressive, and their bodies are more bee shaped than the wasps that we find on those honeycomb nests. We have both hanging around our hummingbird feeders, and they definitely behave differently!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Jul 23, 2015 6:23 PM CST
Another ill-tempered wasp is the little yellow one who makes a nest underground and we call ground bees. Anyone know what they really are?
Porkpal
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 23, 2015 6:39 PM CST
@porkpal, I think the ground bees are Velvet Ants. The female is bright red looking like a giant velvet red ant. The male looks very different in that it is yellow and flies. He gets the goodies and brings it to her in the nest underground. We had a lot of them when we had trouble growing our grass. The soil was poor and the Velvet ants just loved them. I don't know if they bite?
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
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Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
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froggardener
Jul 23, 2015 7:34 PM CST
@porkpal Here is a link for one that lives in ground
http://www.eduwebs.org/bugs/yellow_jacket.htm
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That's the fun of them.
You're always learning !
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Jul 23, 2015 8:21 PM CST
Thank you @Jolana; the Western Yellow Jacket does sound like our "ground bees".

@Shady Green Thumb we call velvet ants Cow Killers. I never knew how different the males were; I have only ever noticed the females.Thanks for the information.
Porkpal

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