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Spring Time Means Yard & Shed Maintenance
I was working on the shed today. There are a number of things that need to be done to the shed. It's got some water damage and several of the boards are falling off from dry rot. I spent some time replacing those boards. We are replacing an old fence as well so I'm using some of the planks from the old fence to patch up the shed. I thought it was a great way to reuse the wood and save a little money at the same time. The old fence was made out of pressure-treated lumber so finding the best pieces and using them on the shed made sense.
Part of the reason I waited to do work on the shed till now was because of the temperature. It has been pretty cool late into the month of April so this weekend was one of the first I've been able to make these repairs. Part of working in the spring time includes dealing with wasp nests. I find if you catch them early enough you can find the queen wasp. She usually builds the nest and lays eggs to create her drones. From what I understand the queen does not like to attack if she doesn't have to. So if you find the nest early enough before the drones are born you can take out the nest without too much trouble.
Bees and Wasps Make Me Shutter
I don't like bees or wasps or hornets. Some people are afraid of snakes and others are afraid of spiders. I really do not like anything that flies and stings. I have learned over the years not to freak out when I hear one near me. I try to give it it space and let it fly away. Luckily I am not allergic to bee stings.
I remember as a child being stung right next to my eye. We were on vacation and were visiting people at a park. I remember being near a lake and a wasp was flying around the picnic area. They tend to build their nests under gazebos or the tables themselves. I don't remember what I was doing to come in contact with the wasp. I might not have been doing anything. I might have swatted at it when it flew near me. Whatever the case, I remember that experience and I am sure this is where my fear comes from.
Spray Adhesive Works Wonders
I like the wasp spray that you can buy that will shoot 10 to 15 feet. What I don't like about it is it usually pisses off the wasps and you have to run away as quickly as possible. What I discovered today is that I could get pretty close to the wasp nest without disturbing it too bad. I had some Loctite spray adhesive in the closet from a project I did last fall. What I like about the spray is that it also shoots about 5 feet. I went up to the nest and sprayed it with this adhesive. It sent strings of sticky fluid all over the nest including the wasp. She could not move. She was stuck to her nest and the more I sprayed the worse it became for her. She pretty much stopped struggling and I was able to smash the nest and the queen at the same time.
They Can't Get Away From the Sticky Stuff
Simple Construction Wasp Smasher
There was another queen that was trying to build her nest that was a little further up. I couldn't reach it with the spray. I built a wasp smasher with a 2 x 4 and a piece of one by six. I cut the 2 x 4 at an angle that matched the inside of the roof. Then I nailed the 1 x 6 to it. I was able to get the wasp smasher close enough to the nest that she was trying to build and crush the entire thing including the wasp.
Those are the only two nests I found in the shed this week. I am sure I will find others as the spring moves on. If I can catch them all during spring, from what I've read, the nests will not grow within my shed. I'm going to try and find them every weekend as I'm working. I'm just glad I found two new tools that will help me take care of them without being stung.
Eugene Brennan from Ireland on May 08, 2016:
Very interesting. I always checkout the loft and sheds in the spring for queens which have come in through holes or overwintered there. When they awake form their slumbers, it means trouble! Wasps can also eat their way down through the plaster in ceilings if they can't find a way out.
Kerosene is quite good also if wasps nest in holes in the ground. Pour it into the hole when it's dark and all the wasps have returned home for the night, light a piece of paper on a stick, stand at a distance and POOF!.... (Apologies to all insect lovers!)