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#1
Old 06-21-2008, 02:56 PM
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Wasp's nest in my mailbox

Does anyone have any tips for dealing with a wasp's nest in a mailbox? This is one of the type of mailboxes that opens at the front of the back. The nest is about the size of a golf ball, they've just started it.

So far I have done the following:

- Gingerly pushed my mail with a rake handle from the front to fall out the back and raked it toward me so I could carry it to safety

- Tried to bat it down with a rake but panicked and fled when they started flying around

- Came back a few minutes later and sprayed the nest with flying insect pesticide for a brief second and then fled

Based on the range of the spray, I don't know if I can get 'em without getting really messed up.

Needless to say, I'm a giant wuss, so any way to limit risk of me from getting stung will be super.
#2
Old 06-21-2008, 02:57 PM
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Do it at night.
They are sluggish, and you'll be able to give 'em a good soaking.
#3
Old 06-21-2008, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluiddruid
- Came back a few minutes later and sprayed the nest with flying insect pesticide for a brief second and then fled
Don't use regular flying insect killer. Use wasp spray. It shoots a concentrated stream about ten feet.
#4
Old 06-21-2008, 02:59 PM
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Is the mailbox at the street or on your house? If it's at the street, try spraying from inside your car, and then roll up the window. You should be able to spray from 20 feet away or so.
#5
Old 06-21-2008, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluiddruid
Based on the range of the spray, I don't know if I can get 'em without getting really messed up.

Needless to say, I'm a giant wuss, so any way to limit risk of me from getting stung will be super.
Look for cans of insect spray for wasps, it has a special nozzle so you can zap them from like 5-7 feet away minimizing your exposure and increasing your escape options.
#6
Old 06-21-2008, 03:02 PM
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Seconded for wasp spray. A few years back at a place I worked at we had wasp nest in the nooks of a large storage crate (the metal kind you walk into). There were probably four or five dozen hornets in that thing, so we bought wasp spray and soaked the buggers. There were a pile of little yellowjacket corpses littering the ground in short order.

We did it during the day though (work hours, not much choice) but it worked just fine.
#7
Old 06-21-2008, 03:40 PM
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That wasp spray is truly lethal. I get lots of nests around here. Spray it and they're dead in under five seconds. They don't come flying at you, either. They're stunned for a moment and many will just...fall...dead.
#8
Old 06-21-2008, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
Don't use regular flying insect killer. Use wasp spray. It shoots a concentrated stream about ten feet.
Agreed. I have used one several times and have gotten the wasps without getting stung.

If you wait until dusk it is even better.
#9
Old 06-21-2008, 03:49 PM
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This is my reply as an experienced beekeeper. Get a spray bottle adjusted to stream; fill it with warm water and dish detergent; and spray the nest after dark. The wasps are not active at night and you have a good chance of killing them all. The soapy water will kill them with much less or no colateral damage to the environment. I try to avoid the wholesale dispensing of insecticides in the environment.

Last edited by hlanelee; 06-21-2008 at 03:50 PM.
#10
Old 06-21-2008, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlanelee
The soapy water will kill them with much less or no colateral damage to the environment.
But can you spray it over a Bic lighter?
#11
Old 06-21-2008, 04:12 PM
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The wasps are violating USPS rules by occupying the mailbox. Report them ...

Actually, I usually dispose of wasp nests with a long stick or a garden hose and a readiness to run, preferably through a door to shut behind me.
#12
Old 06-21-2008, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A.
But can you spray it over a Bic lighter?
With most aresol inseticides this can go badly...in the extreme. The burn unit is a poor place to spend a Saturday night.

Last edited by hlanelee; 06-21-2008 at 04:14 PM.
#13
Old 06-21-2008, 04:40 PM
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If it's the size of a golf ball, you should only have the queen there.

But what you could do is, after dark, pour some petrol into a big bin bag (you only need a little) then cover the mailbox with the bin bag and seal the whole reasonably airtight. The petrol fumes the next day will kill the wasps. Obviously you'll want to tell your postie that you're doing this.
#14
Old 06-21-2008, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobotomyboy63
That wasp spray is truly lethal. I get lots of nests around here. Spray it and they're dead in under five seconds. They don't come flying at you, either. They're stunned for a moment and many will just...fall...dead.
I second this. That stuff works great. I have a bi-level deck out back and many hornets try to nest on the underside of it. The stuff works in seconds, and sprays far. You don't need much of it either, so there's not a huge environmental concern.
After you dispose of the nest and bodies, wipe out the mailbox with a wet rag and some antibacterial soap to wick away any residual pesticides so the mailman/lady doesn't get any on their hands.

Somehow I doubt the effectiveness of soapy water, but that poster is a beekeeper, so maybe you could try that. I never have.
#15
Old 06-21-2008, 07:11 PM
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We used to put out a cake pan with water and float a stick in it. On the stick would be some meat scraps for bait. Hornets and wasps swim just like a rock.
They would back off the stick to drop and fly and go right to the bottom.

Be careful with the night time hornets are inactive logic. They do come out and fast after dark. I had a nest under the hood of my boat and went in after dark to bag the nest. Well it didn't go all that good. as soon as i hit it with the flashlight the dog fight was on! I lost
#16
Old 06-21-2008, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluiddruid
This is one of the type of mailboxes that opens at the front of the back.
As opposed to the back of the front? (I'm genuinely puzzled as to what this means - I don't think I've ever seen a mailbox to which this description could apply.)
#17
Old 06-21-2008, 07:34 PM
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We have a lizard living in our mailbox. There's a hole in the bottom that leads to the inside of the brick column, I guess. It'll scare the heck out of you to open the mailbox and have something inside scurry away. The neighbors probably wonder why I've taken to knocking on the mailbox door before I open it.
#18
Old 06-21-2008, 07:39 PM
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I guess the standard Canadian tactic of 'waiting till winter, when the buggers freeze and you can knock the nest down' won't do?
#19
Old 06-21-2008, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz
If it's the size of a golf ball, you should only have the queen there.
I saw at least two wasps on the outside, but it was even smaller than a golf ball. Curious.

In any case, my first light pass (seriously, I didn't even think I hit the hive directly) seemed to have discouraged them - no activity when I drove by and looked in from the safety of my car. I went and got some wasp spray anyway, just to be on the safe side. No sign of life when I sprayed it. I'll knock it down tomorrow.

Xema, sorry, I meant the back and the front -- in other words, it has two doors. Maybe that's another thing that discouraged them - it's usually closed, of course, but I opened both doors. Iowa wind is generally pretty brisk so I bet that thing turned into a little wind tunnel.

Anyhow, thanks all for the advice - no wasp stings for me!
#20
Old 06-21-2008, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xema
As opposed to the back of the front? (I'm genuinely puzzled as to what this means - I don't think I've ever seen a mailbox to which this description could apply.)
I think that was a typo for "opens from the front or the back." The door in the back is so you can remove your mail without stepping into the street.

Or, on preview, what fluiddruid said.
#21
Old 06-21-2008, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluiddruid
... I meant the back and the front -- in other words, it has two doors.
Sorry - shoulda thought of that.


Quote:
my first light pass ... seemed to have discouraged them
Not surprising. Even a small amount of insecticide should work, given a little time.

Sounds as if your problem is solved.
#22
Old 06-21-2008, 10:19 PM
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I had a few wasps in my BBQ two weeks ago. I opened it up, placed a flaming newspaper inside, then closed it and walked away. About a hour later a few wasps were still hanging around, so I nudged them with what was left of the paper. When they were all gone I washed the BBQ and left it open so it wouldn't be as appealing.
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