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So fed up with yellow jackets eating fruit!

So fed up with yellow jackets eating fruit!

These yellow jackets destroyed about 100 pounds of grapes this year while I was on vacation even though I had them bagged in ziploc. Now theyre getting into my ripening nectarines. Any other tips? I dont know where the hive is or I might destroy it.

And anyone grow elephant heart plum? Mine always get soft before ripening and fall off. Sorry its a bit off topic.

The following thread was started by Brendan on August 18, 2008 at 12:44 am PST

Set traps and or observe

You can buy very effective traps at any hardware store, and or watch where they fly. You should also be able to track them to the various nests in the area. Try putting out a piece of beef and watch them cut off pieces and fly off with it. Kern

The above followup was added by Kern in Newman on August 18, 2008 at 1:10 pm PST.

yellow jackets

1--are not native. You should have zero qualms about getting rid of them.
2--if you can find their nest(s), there are many things to pour into it which will destroy the wasps.
3--you can bait by using a container with a narrowing neck. A gallon wine bottle is a good choice. I put some honey diluted with water in the container. Enough to drown the vermin. Wipe some honey around the neck to get them going. I can guarantee that you can kill thousands of them this way. Don't waste money buying a kit.
4--Hey, I wonder if this might kill Argentine ants also?

The above followup was added by Gino45 on August 18, 2008 at 10:08 pm PST.

I wish I could poison the colony

Wonder if I could use taro ant stations with boric acid to kill the queen. I like them for argentine ants alot. Dont know how much these guys share with the colony.

The above followup was added by brendan on August 18, 2008 at 10:17 pm PST.


Have you located a nest? They are usually underground. Redneck solution is to pour gasoline down it. Recommended to do this at night when they're all at home. Don't do it if you are allergic to the venom as you could get stung. Also, the County(?) may have some vector control unit that will do it for you. They'd probably suit up and spray an insecticide of some sort.
The jug with honey solution will work over time.

The above followup was added by Gino45 on August 18, 2008 at 10:36 pm PST.


Brendan if you are in California, the nests, as I am sure you know, are going to be paper nests hanging in a shrub or more likely under an eave of a building. Get a foam spray. Some of these will spray 15 or more feet, and do spray at night. Baiting is also very effective. Happy hunting. Kern

The above followup was added by Kern in Newman on August 19, 2008 at 8:32 am PST.


With all due respect, it seems to me that you are talking about paper wasps. These make small nests and are often found under eaves, in old junk vehicles, etc. I knock these down with a branch or bamboo pole. No problem.
Yellowjackets, on the other hand, make nests which can become huge and contain many queens. These are limited in size by the space available--like honeybees.
The original question was about yellowjackets. I have yet to see a yellowjacket nest under an eave. My experience is that they are usually underground.
I do hope we get a followup from Brendan.

The above followup was added by Gino45 on August 20, 2008 at 11:17 am PST.

Gino You Are Correct

I am 57 years old, and have never heard anyone call any of the flying pests paper wasps. Everyone I know, just lumps all the wasps into one name ---- "Yellow Jackets". Where I live we don't have true yellow jackets, they are paper wasps that people call yellow jackets, including me. I have seen paper nests of these wasps as large as 10" across. I have seen true yellow jackets in the sierras, and maybe they are over at the coast too. I am in the central valley. I didn't make myself clear. Should have said the "yellow jackets" in my area are paper wasps and build paper nests. I have a hardware store and sell lots of "wasp " traps, some of these say "yellow jacket trap" on them, but the people here are catching paper wasps as you said.

The above followup was added by Kern in Newman on August 20, 2008 at 1:54 pm PST.

I've gotten rid of yellow jackets a number of times.

The yellow plastic yellow jacket traps you can buy in a hardware store work very well; they come with an attractant but you can use meat or sweet things just as well. The three times I've done this (years apart each time), it took about 2 weeks to fill up the trap with dead yellow jackets. Sometimes I'd have to empty the full trap and keep it up another 2 weeks, but within a month there were no more yellow jackets trying to get into the trap. In my case each time the result lasted for years.

I've also killed an underground colony once by sneaking out at midnight and pouring kerosene into the main entrance. You have to find and plug up their emergency exit also. The fumes kill them.

The above followup was added by John Zone 9b Topanga Canyon, Ca on August 20, 2008 at 2:47 pm PST.

Im in S. California

I didnt realize they are really paper wasps, Ive seen nests "under eaves" basically, there are so many trees and houses, sheds etc I dont think Ill have much luck finding the nests. Im sure there are multiple. Im not having too much luck with the commercial traps, ants are swarming them, dont know if thats bad... They basically trashed my whole crop already.

The above followup was added by brendan on August 21, 2008 at 1:21 am PST.

Brendan, are you hanging the traps in the air?

I never had a problem with ants, but a glob of Tanglefoot on the string might stop them. Don't give up, cause they'll be back next year.

The above followup was added by John 9b Topanga, Ca on August 22, 2008 at 4:07 pm PST.

Name confusion

The name confusion does not surprise me. Once I had a friend complain that my bees were flying right by his house. I observed and said, "Those are yellowjackets". We then went on to find the nest not far away and underground. I had a bee suit, he had a weed burner. I put the suit on and burned them. End of yellowjackets.
To further clarify, good ol' Wikipedia has an article about paper wasps, and one about yellowjacket (the plural form is the name of a music group).
The one thing I'd add is that paper wasps have a 'waspish', ie very narrow, waist while yellow jackets do not. It also says that the pw's only attack around the nest. As I said before, they can be knocked down with a pole and you (I) am seldom stung when doing this. If you are not allergic to venom, I also recommend this method of elimination.

The above followup was added by gino45 on August 25, 2008 at 12:42 am PST.

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