If you plan to control them you will need to start by finding the nest. Almost all yellow jackets nest in the ground. Once you find the nest, it is best to wait until just before dark to treat it, they are least active at that time and most of them will be in the nest.
Sevin dust, which we commonly use in our vegetable gardens, is very effective on bees and may be the best control option for yellow jackets. Carefully pour some of the Sevin dust directly onto the nest’s entrance. But, be careful, when using Sevin dust, since it will not kill them immediately upon contact. It will do a good job if you give it time.
Pressurized wasp and hornet sprays are readily available in stores. These sprays can pro-ject a stream of material 8 to 10 feet. They work extremely well since you can spray them from a safe distance and most of them have immediate “knock down” power. But, don’t use these sprays around desirable plants or shrubbery since they have a petroleum base and will kill the leaves they contact.
Do not pour gasoline or other petroleum down a nest hole. This is illegal and dangerous to you and the environment, plus, at today’s price, it is expensive.
If you have any questions on controlling yellow jackets or other bee problems feel free to call us at 638-2548 or stop by our office at 102 E. Napier Street in LaFayette.
Norman Edwards is coordinator of Walker County Extension Service.