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View Full Version : House and garden experts: Bee repellent?



TeamCasey
04-16-2006, 05:26 PM
Does anyone know if they make a bee repellent that you can spray on decks and gutter areas that will prevent nesting?

We get a lot of wasps up on the roof. Now and then they make their way around the decks.

The little guy got stung last year at camp. He's a little gun shy this year. I'm a little irrational about them as well.

(Thank god I chased off a HUGE snake yesterday before he saw it. He'd never go outside again.)

Yachtzee
04-16-2006, 07:10 PM
I'm no bee expert, but I've dealt with the same problem you're having. We have a pond and a small thicket of woods in our backyard, so bees, wasps and hornets like to nest in the neighborhood. I think you might be able to find something down at the local home improvement store.

Another option is calling around to local exterminators. There are a few around here that have a "bee and wasp" package. For a fee (I think one offered to do it for $100), they'll come and spray the gutter areas, the deck, and if you have a problem with chipmunks like we do, they'll hit those old chipmunk holes too (bumblebees love to nest in those holes). That usually takes care of it for the summer. Some will offer to come out again for free if you have any problems the rest of the summer. Others may have a plan where they will come out 4x or so during the summer to spray and charge you $400 to $500 to do it. I think that unless you have a serious problem, it's totally unnecessary to have them come out that many times. Once should be enough in most areas.

From our own experience, we had 5 or 6 nests in the eaves of our house and yellowjackets had attempted to build nests on our deck so often that I'd have to go out with a can of Raid every few days. We did two things and haven't had much of a problem since. 1. we had the exterminator come out and spray the eaves and the deck. 2. We refinished the deck 2 years ago (probably due again this summer). That was in 2004. I'm not sure if the two are related or not. I just know I haven't had to deal with the bee wasp problem since. Check up with me later and I'll let you know how it goes this summer.

Unassisted
04-16-2006, 07:16 PM
Garlic is supposed to be good for repelling many insects, although I don't know if has the same effect on bees. I bought a big container of powdered garlic at Sam's Club and about once a week or after a rain, I sprinkle it around my patio to keep mosquitoes away. It seems to help. Might be worth a try with the bees.

Mrs. U says it probably keeps the vampires away, too. :rolleyes:

SunDeck
04-16-2006, 09:56 PM
The only bees that nest on decks are carpenter bees, and they are pretty harmless. In fact, they are pretty unlikely to sting you, but they do make a heck of noise flying around your head. They do damage wood though and I have killed them by spraying hornet killer into their nests, which they make on the undersides of wood surfaces.

Paper wasps are pretty easy to control by just squirting their nests with a strong stream of water.

Really, if I were going to worry about any stings, I would be concerned about yellow jackets, which are much more aggressive than bees anyday, and which can sting multiple times. The queen overwinters and then establishes a new nest...IN THE GROUND! She will usually seek out old mole or groundhog burrows. When I was a landscaper, I probably stepped on ten yellow jacket hives, and believe me, this is something I do not recommend. I always walk my yard in early May to look for them. You can see them coming and going from the nest.

How to kill wasps and yellow jackets? Wait until the sun goes down, so that they will be inactive, go right to the nest and spray hornet killer directly on it. It's pretty easy.

Anyway, long answer with no help to your own particular situation...but in the end I would say that being alert to nests is probably a pretty good way to control the problem.

GAC
04-16-2006, 10:07 PM
Paper wasps are pretty easy to control by just squirting their nests with a strong stream of water.

and then.... RUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNN! :D


Really, if I were going to worry about any stings, I would be concerned about yellow jackets, which are much more aggressive than bees anyday, and which can sting multiple times. The queen overwinters and then establishes a new nest...IN THE GROUND! She will usually seek out old mole or groundhog burrows. When I was a landscaper, I probably stepped on ten yellow jacket hives, and believe me, this is something I do not recommend. I always walk my yard in early May to look for them. You can see them coming and going from the nest.

These are definitely bees with attitudes. I had a big problem with them at my house. They built a nest in the external dryer vent door. And they went after the kids everytime they went into the backyard to play.

Me? I go after them. I took a garden house, a fly swater, and let'em have it. They got a couple of stings on me, but I left piles of bee carcasses lying everywhere too. ;)

MWM
04-16-2006, 10:12 PM
Maybe you could check ebay to see if they have any Rambaldi devices available.....the ones that make bees peaceful.

:devil:




I realize most people aren't going to get the reference.

Yachtzee
04-16-2006, 10:40 PM
The yellow jackets up here seem to prefer nesting in structures. They commonly nest in the eaves and wall spaces of homes. If you have siding, they'll get in behind the siding to build their nests. When I was a kid, we had a yellow jacket nest in the wall of our family room bigger than a basketball, only a thin sheet of paneling between us and them.

pedro
04-16-2006, 11:10 PM
One method I can suggest you don't use with yellow jackets is pouring gas into the groudn and lighting it.

LoganBuck
04-16-2006, 11:27 PM
Look for some Tempo SC and mix it up in a garden sprayer. It is labeled for serious outdoor and commercial applications. It is a residual pesticide that absolutely destroys bees, flies, wasps, and spiders. Do not use it in the house!

http://pbsanimalhealth.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/flycontrol/temposcultra.html?L+scstore+nwwd1596ff390d39+11453 32361

SunDeck
04-17-2006, 09:54 AM
Look for some Tempo SC and mix it up in a garden sprayer. It is labeled for serious outdoor and commercial applications. It is a residual pesticide that absolutely destroys bees, flies, wasps, and spiders. Do not use it in the house!

http://pbsanimalhealth.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/flycontrol/temposcultra.html?L+scstore+nwwd1596ff390d39+11453 32361

You don't use a fire hose to put out a candle. If you must kill the things, use a can of spray. Many of them can put out a ten or twelve foot stream, right on the target. Use a hose sprayer and you're soaking a huge area with poison. It doesn't make sense to trade the possibility of your kids getting stung for the certainty that they will end up with this stuff on their hands and feet.

Here's some info on bee and wasp control. And although I have never encountered a yellowjacket nest in a wall (Landscapers didn't really do much on peoples' houses, after all), it does appear to be a possibility.

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG3732.html

TeamCasey
04-17-2006, 10:07 AM
I was hoping there'd be some pheromone or hormone type product out there that would make certains areas of the house undesirable.

I'm not above killing a hive, but I'd rather they just build it elsewhere. :)

westofyou
04-17-2006, 11:42 AM
How to kill wasps and yellow jackets? Wait until the sun goes down, so that they will be inactive, go right to the nest and spray hornet killer directly on it. It's pretty easy.

I have a shingle house and I notice some mud wasps are planting themselves under said shingles in a certain area, I prefer to NOT use poison... so would you suggest water?

SunDeck
04-17-2006, 12:00 PM
I was hoping there'd be some pheromone or hormone type product out there that would make certains areas of the house undesirable.

I'm not above killing a hive, but I'd rather they just build it elsewhere. :)

Permethrin is about the only thing I know that acts as a repellent. It comes in many forms, sprays, powders, mixes and I don't know if sponging DEET on your deck would do it or not...:eek:

There isn't much you can do if a queen yellow jacket has moved into a wall or something and establishes a hive. Best to call an exterminator. For the paper wasps, which are the most likely problem (decks, grills, benches, picnic tables) I do think the best thing is a hose. With a variable nozzle you can knock a nest down with the straight stream and keep an attacking wasp away with a wide pattern. Gotta stay vigilent, though.

SunDeck
04-17-2006, 12:03 PM
I have a shingle house and I notice some mud wasps are planting themselves under said shingles in a certain area, I prefer to NOT use poison... so would you suggest water?

You are most likely referring to Mud Daubers, I guess. I usually scrape them off at night. They are not aggressive, even though they sound like a Piper Cub coming at you.

http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/bmuddaub.html

westofyou
04-17-2006, 12:16 PM
You are most likely referring to Mud Daubers, I guess. I usually scrape them off at night. They are not aggressive, even though they sound like a Piper Cub coming at you.

http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/bmuddaub.html
Solitary eh?

Thanks... I'll leave them be until there are more than 5

SunDeck
04-17-2006, 12:20 PM
Yeah, then you can feel tougher. Taking on one isn't much of a fight.

LoganBuck
04-17-2006, 02:46 PM
Exterminators use Tempo, and will charge you more for one treatment, than that entire bottle will cost, and the bottle will last for 10 years. If you are talking about spraying your eaves, and upper parts of exterior walls, there is no better product. Just don't spray where people are going to walk, or lick. I use it outside my house and I do not have wasps, yellow jackets, or mud daubers. It is also lethal in the corners of the basement where spiders crawl. Ladybugs and Ants are also very sensitive. Use a garden sprayer and apply it where you want it, no where else. I live in the country so I have plenty of wasps and yellow jackets, If I didn't use a product like this I would spend all summer messing around with them.

GAC
04-17-2006, 09:33 PM
I'm not above killing a hive, but I'd rather they just build it elsewhere. :)

Raise their property taxes! :D

SunDeck
04-18-2006, 09:53 AM
Just don't spray where people are going to walk, or lick.

That says enough for me. We started out talking about how to keep them off of a deck. We don't want Little TC to get brain damage or whatever the stuff will cause.


Here's the skinny on Tempo:

http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/carbaryl-dicrotophos/cyfluthrin-ext.html

I'm not posting this because I'm a tree hugger. I just get real concerned when we start throwing around brand names and stuff, like these things are innocuous remedies. Pesticides are serious business. When I was a landscaper, I learned an awful lot about how chronic, low level exposure to these things can do nasty things to your liver, kidneys, your brain, etc. Go ahead and use them, but consider the consequences and please take appropriate precautions (disposable coveralls, breathers, eye protection, soap...). We don't want you to mess up your brain and start rooting for the Cardinals.

TeamCasey
04-18-2006, 10:02 AM
We have pets and a child that occasionally eats dirt. :) We're pretty careful.

It doesn't sound like there's anything out there that I'm looking for.

It's surprising, because a safe repellent product would be great around tool sheds and barns.

Roy Tucker
04-18-2006, 10:24 AM
I've found that using something like Raid wasp and hornet killer works pretty well.

I make sure I know where the nest is, go out after dark with a flashlight and the spray, and nuke it (wearing long sleeve shirt and aerosol mask). A couple days later, I knock it down with the hose. If I'm worried I didn't get them all, I burn it.

It isn't a repellent and isn't pro-active, but seems to work for me.