Saturday, September 02, 2017

White-faced Hornet

I mentioned in a previous post how much I hate Yellow Jackets. Those wasps are just a pain in the a$$...and anywhere else they may sting you. Plus the rotters are usually found nesting at ground level where you might easily stumble upon them.

I had one nest of Yellow Jackets removed for me by (I assume) a bear. I also removed one from between the awnings of the trailer. So imagine my dismay/surprise to find a huge nest built on the antenna of the trailer.

I initially thought it was another Yellow Jacket structure but realized it was too large and so were the critters flying about it. I watched for days from the deck and finally got a good look at a few as they flew paste me. They weren't Yellow Jackets. They were White-faced Hornets!
White-faced Hornet

I thought to wait until things got below freezing before I tackled them, but grew impatient. I opted to hit them with two cans of Spectricide--the stuff with a 27-foot range--when I had a calm evening. That happened on Friday evening. I took a position a safe distance away and hit 'em hard! I soaked the one side of the nest with spray after the sun set.
I stood on the right side of the truck and was able to reach the center of the trailer roof. (The white piece to the left of the air conditioner.)

This morning, the deck of the house had a couple of dead hornets laying about and the roof of the trailer had even more. I watched for an hour or more and saw no hornets flying in or out of the nest. Hooking up a nozzle to the garden hose that would allow me to reach with a narrow, powerful stream of water, I spent half an hour spraying the nest. Damn thing is tough! It's still holding on to the antenna post. I managed to take half of the nest out and exposed larvae inside. The entire time I saw only two hornets fly into the area. They didn't stay.
Hitting the nest with a stream of water exposed the interior but didn't knock the entire thing off the antenna.

Exposed larvae of the White-faced Hornets.

I'll hit the exposed nest with more spray later this evening. Then I may be able to use a ladder to get closer and on a different angle to attempt to knock the rest of the nest to the ground.


Ruth said...

We had a nest of them a few years ago. Bigger than a football, within touching distance from the ground (and I'm short). After doing some research we ended up paying professionals to get rid of them. It wasn't worth it. Glad you were able to get rid of them yourself!

joated said...

Ruth, the nest is not 100% history...yet. But I hit it with more Spectracide last evening. Only had one or two hornets buzzing around at that time. Unfortunately we got some rain overnight and through this morning. While that took care of any residue on the trailer roof, it may have weakened the killing power of the spray that reached the nest. Time will tell.

BB-Idaho said...

I was pleasantly surprised by your infestation of Dolichovespula maculate. A few years back, while I was painting the house, I ran
into several which popped out of holes in the siding. It was an entirely new species to me and I rushed to show the Mrs. She ruined my discovery by pointing out that they were common wasps, who happened to look out as I slathered my white paint across their faces. But I have a good excuse...sort of! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi blogger. I'm Mike K, the house steward from our ФΣΔ days. I found your blog searching FB for old frat bros. It's a very nice read and I'd chronicle my just beginning retirement adventures if I could write half as well. I was on the wrong end of a hornet's ire a few years back. My son and I were working on his car in my driveway after dark. We had a couple of shop lights set up which must have attracted the little beasts who were nesting at ground level. I was under the car (on ramps) and one of them got between me and my T-shirt. The sting really hurt. We ran into the house and my fast thinking wife whipped up a paste made from meat tenderizer and papaya to denature the venom, while I was yelling "can you go faster?" It actually helped, a lot.