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Wasp War

Yellowjackets at launch declared war on us Sunday, with multiple surprise attacks.

This morning I went to launch early with two cans of wasp spray.  I found two suspicious looking holes. The one nearer the stairs I don't think was actually a nest, but it looked very much like the hole near launch that had all the wasps around it.  I never actually saw a wasp go in it, though. I loaded it up with the wasp spray, which made a foamy goop. Then I went out to the parking lot, having read that wasps will leave the nest and attack if they detect poison being introduced to their lair.  I did that three times.  By the third time, there were no more wasps hanging around the hole. There weren't any bodies, though..

There still weren't any live wasps or bodies in the afternoon, so I shoved a rock down the holes and covered them up with dirt. I left the flags near the former holes in case you still want to avoid them, but I think I won.

Thanks for the heads up and wings down. I better pack a can of wasp spray in my vehicle.

Unfortunately, the wasp nest on the ground right behind launch was quite active today. It's marked with a little red flag. Three of us were able to launch without any wasp attacks by traversing well in front of the nest. Only problem with this is that it requires good ground handling skills as you're much more exposed to the wind coming up and over the launch area. We will all probably need to help more by wiring each other out to the launch ramp.

I'm no wasp expert but I noticed that they were active in the ground level plants immediately around their nest. If some brave soul could come up and scrape the ground and completely remove the vegetation within 10 feet of the nest, maybe they'll be inclined to move the nest elsewhere.

I'll go up and try again.  They're not going to move their nest. I guess I just didn't find it.

I stuck a rock down the hole and buried it after I sprayed them. Supposedly they can't actually dig holes, but only take over existing ones. Razzenfrazzen.

Is that Martial , or Crestline ; makes a difference where i go, next

time i'm in town ?

 

Bille

Crestline launch, about 10 feet NW of the railroad tie. 

Took an auger bit up and reamed out the hole. That got them plenty excited. I sprayed another can of wasp spray in the expanded hole, then buried it again. Let me know if they tunnel out again

Thanks so much for all your effort, Tim! 

I have had to deal with this a few times, and after a number of cans of wasp spray wasted down the drain (hole) and numerous stings, I have found that pouring about 3 -5 gallons of boiling water down the hole at night worked like a charm. Getting the boiling water up there may be a challenge. Maybe a big spaghetti dinner party at launch is in order if the last attempt doesn't work! 

Thanks again for all the work you do for the club!

mario

Ed Wiggins had a bee suit that Bill made for him.  He brought it, and I wore a long sleeved tee shirt tucked in, and the top half of the suit. I duct taped my pants closed and duct taped gloves to the suit's top half.  But sheesh, it was hot and sweaty.

Dusty said there was no sign of them yesterday evening, but we'll see...

 

You're the man, Tim. No wasps seen today at this nest. Thanks for taking care of this.

At some point it might be time to break out the heavy artillery:

5-gal propane flamethrower torch - available at Harbor Freight & elsewhere.

We have even heavier artillery as soon as I can get it igniting reliably: the gopher blaster. Propane and oxygen mix fills the gopher hole, ignited by a sparker.  It will either kill them or make them *really* mad.