Hornets best controlled in evening hoursThis week I received calls on a small hornet that is a little larger than a honey bee. Yellow jackets build gray paper-like nests under the siding of homes and holes in the ground and other protected places.
By: Lance Brower , The Jamestown Sun
This week I received calls on a small hornet that is a little larger than a honey bee. Yellow jackets build gray paper-like nests under the siding of homes and holes in the ground and other protected places. Yellow jackets have alternate yellow and black bands across the rear portion of the body. For the most part, these are good insects that eat insects that we do not like to have around (like aphids). This time of the year, these hornets’ colonies are very large. When we experience weather changes (frost) that can kill off their food supply, they can become very aggressive. If you have yellow jackets around where people walk and especially eat, now is the time to get after them.
When yellow jackets become troublesome around the home or yard area, don’t attempt to control these stinging insects during the day when they are actively foraging for insect food. Any attempt to control them at this time will invariably result in someone getting stung. Hornets should be controlled in the evening when they are resting in their nests. At this time they are not active and the entire colony will be in the nest. Spray the entry hole of the nest with a specialized spray bomb such as a hornet and wasp killer containing baygon. The spray should be directed into the nest opening for approximately 10-20 seconds in order to completely fill the interior of the nest. Protective clothing should be worn as a safeguard against being stung.
If no insect activity is evident the following day, the nest can be removed and destroyed. If stinging insects are present, however, the control procedure should be repeated again in the evening and the nest can be removed the day after.
Some people do confuse honey bees with yellow jackets. Neither insects bite but both can sting. Honey bees are extremely beneficial and not near as aggressive. You may have heard about “African killer bees.” These bees will never make it to North Dakota because of our severe winters (a good reason to live in this state).
Unlike honey bees, individual yellow jackets can sting again and again. If a person should get stung, the pain can be eased by applying a cold pack to the swollen area. If pain or swelling persists, a physician should be consulted.
(Lance Brower is the community, leadership, and economic development extension agent, Stutsman County office, NDSU Extension Service. Contact him at 252-9030 or email email@example.com.)