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OT: Ideas for keeping wasps away from shop?

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  • OT: Ideas for keeping wasps away from shop?

    Here's the situation: I have a small shop in a rural area of NW Arkansas. It's sort of a nice little place - problem is, the insects think so, too. There are bumblebees out here, but their nest seems to be mercifully distant, so they don't bother me too much. The red paper wasps, on the other hand, seem to think I put this building up just for them. I'm sure I can make a dent in their population by cutting down some of the brush and trees nearer to the shop, but that will only reduce them a little. What I really need is some way to bait them or otherwise remotely kill off the nests, or somehow make the shop unappealing. I'm under no illusions that I can ever completely get rid of the problem, but one wasp that wanders in (and then back out!) isn't a huge deal. Oh - coexistence is also not an option. If they would just sit on the ceiling, that wouldn't be too bad - but no, anytime their area is remotely disturbed, they have to check every last thing, in the most irritating possible fashion... The shop is small, so there's no avoiding them,
    either. Having a wasp land on me while performing some critical operation on a part would likely provoke an apocalyptic response

    I've looked at some chemical treatments, but I'm not sure quite what I should use, or even how effective they would be. Dusts might be of some use, too, but I don't want to use anything that could be harmful to my equipment; some dusts contain powdered silica, essentially ultra-fine sand. I'd also prefer to avoid spending more than a hundred bucks or so. I simply don't have time to track down each nest in the surrounding 40 acres and spray them all. Anyone have any ideas? I'm tired of my shop being held hostage!

    -Brian

  • #2
    This may or may not address your problem but may help someone: I read somewhere that paper wasps would not nest on a sky blue surface. Seems to mess up their navigation. When I built my house, I painted my front porch ceiling blue as the article suggested, while the eaves under the rest of the house were painted a dark green along with the rest of the trim. The wasps nested under the eaves but not on the porch ceiling, and not even on the green trim adjacent to the blue. I now wish I had painted the blue under the eaves too.

    [edit]The wasps seem to stay away from the front porch too...
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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    • #3
      Put a picnic table within sight but at a distance. Those always attract wasps!

      Put a can of the juice from canned peaches in heavy syrup out at some distance away from shop. Not too far, maybe 30 feet. They go for it, and generally a lot of them drown in it. Keeps them away from you. Peach juice seems to work the best, but others may do OK. You'll have to eat peaches fairly often though, the stuff goes "off" in a few days.

      Not to be too obvious here, but does the place have screens?
      1601

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

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      • #4
        I actually enjoy doing battle with them...as long as a I have a fresh can of brake cleaner with a straw around.

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        • #5
          Oh, I know certain spiders are their mortal enemies too. Seen some death matches out in my driveway like this before...

          Last edited by Machine; 04-13-2017, 08:49 PM.

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          • #6
            At my kids school they hang up some sort of bottles with some sort of attractant in them. Bees in the bottles but none flying around the school.
            Andy

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            • #7
              Sounds strange, but--Blow up brown paper bags, tie the neck off with string, and hang them from overhead beams or hooks. Wasps think they are a different colonies nest, and will stay clear of the area.
              Brian Rupnow

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              • #8
                leave a half-full can of beer on your workbench. They fly in and they don't fly out. Throw it away occasionally. Use a brand of beer you don't drink, so you don't accidentally take a swig

                allan

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                • #9
                  I have had great success with a hornet/wasp trap. It mainly catches yellow jackets and bald face hornets. I was driven to put it up due to bald faced hornets feeding on a mountain ash tree. A yellow bellied sapsucker likes to punch holes and suck on the tree. The hornets feed on that sap. I hang the trap in the tree, near where they feed. This summer, I may try shooting them with a bb gun.

                  The recipe is pretty basic. apple juice or cider works well, with added sugar (make it sweet!). I sometimes use cranberry, because I have it. A bit of cider vinegar. Some say to add a tiny bit of raw beef to attract wasps, but I don't bother. Add one or two drops of detergent to speed drowning. The worst part about this is dumping out the dead wasps. It's gross. Fortunately this does not seem to attract or kill bees.

                  We have also have problems with those hornets feeding on our humming bird feeders. My solution for that is to kill them one at a time with a torch. I use one of those push button ignition torches. I sneak up and hold the torch near them, a quick press of the button and the briefest blast of flame takes out critical control and flight systems. The torch doesn't need to fully light - a poof is enough and preferred. It sends them to the ground for final torching. Those bald faced hornets are built like tanks - they're extremely tough and hard to squash.

                  I think the torch technique might work well with your wasps, if you can reach them. For yellow jackets at the picnic table, I've done well using vinegar or ammonia in a squirt bottle. It knocks them down and then I smash them with a newspaper.
                  Last edited by Glug; 04-13-2017, 10:07 PM.

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                  • #10
                    buy a 45 colt that worked for me

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                    • #11
                      Very effective trap is made with a clear plastic pop or water bottle
                      Cut off the top 1/3 rd ( The funnel and opening part ) and then INVERT and insert the funnel into the lower part
                      of the bottle. The plastic will yield enough to hold it in place . Insert it to hold it , but do not push it down after it is locked on the sides.
                      The opening that was for the cap should now be 2 inches approximately from the bottom. Put some sweet syrup
                      or fruit juice in the bottle.
                      The wasps are attracted to the smell and go down the funnel into the chamber. They drink the juice, but cannot fly out as they walk around the bottle walls, When we have a picnic, we get 5 to 20 wasps in the bottles. When you want to toss the bottle, just push the funnel down to the bottom, which seals the chamber , or put it in a seal plastic bag.
                      The local population will diminish dramatically !

                      Rich

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                      • #12
                        The inflated paper bag may work or you can buy an imitation wasp nest and hang it up. We tried that and they stayed away. Last year I found a large wasps nest in a small tree in the garden.
                        I got some of that Raid foam wasp killer, waited until after dark then first sprayed a little on the entrance hole. Then you stick the plastic tube up the hole and unload it inside. I checked the next day and there was nothing going on there.
                        Larry - west coast of Canada

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cuttings View Post
                          The inflated paper bag may work or you can buy an imitation wasp nest and hang it up. We tried that and they stayed away. Last year I found a large wasps nest in a small tree in the garden.
                          I got some of that Raid foam wasp killer, waited until after dark then first sprayed a little on the entrance hole. Then you stick the plastic tube up the hole and unload it inside. I checked the next day and there was nothing going on there.
                          Yes indeed, well after dark, or they will nail you.
                          Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                          ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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                          • #14
                            My solution to that and other problems:

                            1. Install air conditioner.

                            2. Close shop door and windows and keep them closed.

                            3. Enjoy cool and insect free shop.

                            This also helps to keep rust away. And the neighbor's cat who always wants to explore my shop. I've got nothing against cats, but I am afraid he may get locked up in there. They seem to want to hide when they are in danger of being discovered where they do not belong. I once opened my lawn shed in Florida after it was locked up all week and a very weak cat stumbled out and slowly wandered home. I hope he was OK. And I was very glad he did not die in there.
                            Paul A.

                            Make it fit.
                            You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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                            • #15
                              I don't have a problem with them in the shop because my doors are closed all the time. Occasionally I'll get one in the shop but they are always crawling around on a window looking to get out. I either suck them up with the shop vac, crunch them to the window with a stick or hit them with a little 3M General trim adhesive and that stops them dead in their racks. I love to see them trying to get out of a film of adhesive.

                              Perhaps you could put a bug zapper in a corner of your shop, I'm sure that would attract them especially at night.

                              JL..............

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