hymenopus coronata
Conrad Bérubé
island crop management
email: uc779(at)freenet.victoria.bc.ca
hymenopus coronata
Copyright © 2007 Conrad Bérubé, site design, concept and scripting. All rights reserved worldwide.

To all safety officers and home-owners:

Until July, ISLAND CROP MANAGEMENT offers free removal of honeybee swarms-- which will often land in trees or outside buildings during the spring (removal of colonies from inside walls or structures is also available for a negotiable charge).

Beginning in July, ISLAND CROP MANAGEMENT sometimes (depending on contract obligations) offers free removal of live nests of wasps and yellowjackets (which are then used for the production of sting allergy treatment).

Depending on species, these wasps construct papery nests either in the ground or built around the branches of trees or hanging from the eaves of buildings. We would very much appreciate your assistance in locating wild nests or those infesting buildings.

Here is some information from various sources on the control of wasps, hornets and yellowjackets for the do-it-yourselfer:

From: Kenelm Philip <fnkwp@AURORA.ALASKA.EDU>

Subject: Re:hornet nests

The common name 'hornet' strictly applies only to the genus
_Vespa_, which in North America is represented only by the
imported species _V. crabro_ (European hornet) found primarily in
the northeastern and central eastern U.S. states with scattered
occurrence to northern Florida, Missis- sippi, and the midwest. A
large colony may have 1000 workers--more typical would be 200-400

Both _Vespula_ and _Dolichovespula_ are yellowjackets, although
_D. maculata_ is commonly called the bald-faced hornet, and some
other species of both genera are white and black (some with red)
rather than yellow and black. Both genera may construct
subterranean or aerial nests, and a single species may also
construct both types of nests. On the whole, _Dolichovespula_
nests tend to be aerial while _Vespula_ nests tend to be
subterranean--but that's only a generality. Peak worker
populations in _Dolichovespula_ nests range from less than 100 to

_Vespula_ peak worker numbers for annual nests run as high as
5000. However, in warmer areas (Florida, California, New Zealand)
some _Vespula_ species form perennial nests, where the workers do
not die off in the fall. In New Zealand, one nest of _V.
germanica_ was 14 feet 11 inches by 5 feet by 2 feet, and was
estimated to weigh 1000 pounds and contain 3 to 4 million cells.
No estimate of the number of workers was given, but a perennial
nest of _V. vulgaris_ in California was 46 by 40 by 30 inches,
and contained four gallons of adults. Four gallons of the larger
species _V. pennsylvanica_ would amount to over 60,000 workers,
so this nest presumably had between 60,000 and 100,000 workers.

So--the claim that "Hornet nests can house as many as 10,000
individuals..." is actually quite conservative, provided you use
a sloppy definition of 'hornet', and refer to perennial nests.

Ken Philip fnkwp@aurora.alaska.edu

P.S. The data above came from 'The Yellowjackets of America North
of Mexico', by Akre, Greene, MacDonald, Landolt, & Davis. USDA
Handbook No. 552, 1980.

Name: Gilkeson, Linda A. Title: Integrated Pest Management
Coordinator Company: Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

Reference Text:


Most people know and fear the yellow-and-black striped
yellowjacket wasps that are common, uninvited guests to late
summer picnics. Their stings are painful and for those people
allergic to insect venom, they are dangerous. Many people confuse
bees, which are fuzzy and only feed on flower nectar, with wasps,
which have shiny bodies and are predators. What most people
don't realize is that yellowjackets capture enormous numbers of
flies, caterpillars and other insects to feed their young. They
have been seen bringing in more than 225 flies an hour to a
single nest; one study found that over a three day period, just
two wasps collected 20 grams of imported cabbageworms. It is
usually only in late summer, when their populations are at their
peak and wasps are attracted to plants with ripening fruit or
aphid honeydew deposits on the leaves that most conflicts arise
between humans and yellowjackets. Although they are touchy
defenders of their nests, most stings are a result of
accidentally trapping or pinching a wasp. You can avoid being
stung by following a few rules:

1. Remove all outdoor food sources attractive to wasps. Feed
pets indoors and keep garbage cans tightly covered and wash cans
regularly to remove spilled food. Bury fallen fruit and table
scraps deep in compost piles and don't compost meat scraps or

2. Watch where you sit or step (don't go barefoot!). Be
especially careful to look before reaching into berry bushes or
picking fruit. Thirsty wasps are attracted to moisture so be
cautious when sitting on or handling wet beach towels.

3. Never swat at a yellowjacket hovering around you--it is a
good way to get stung. Instead, quietly move away or let the
wasp leave of her own accord. The only exception to this is if
you have accidentally disturbed a nest and hear wild buzzing. In
this case protect your face with your hands and RUN!

4. Pick fruit in the early morning or evening while it is cool
and most wasps are still in their nests. To reduce yellowjacket
problems at picnics and barbecues:

1. Minimize the length of time food is available by keeping it
tightly covered until just before it is to be eaten. Clear away
scraps and dirty plates as soon as the meal is over.

2. Serve sweet or alcoholic drinks in covered cups with drinking
straws through the lids so wasps can't get inside and then sting
you in the mouth as you drink. When drinking out of a can, keep
the opening covered with your thumb between sips.

3. Set up baited yellowjacket traps around the ed ge of the
picnic area or on the end of the table to attract wasps away from
the food to capture them. Small disposable cardboard traps or
reusable ones made of wood and metal screen are sold at garden
centers. They work by attracting wasps to bait placed under an
inverted funnel. When the wasps have had their fill and
instinctively fly upwards toward the light at the end of the
funnel, they are trapped in an enclosed chamber above. In early
and mid-summer, 1-2 traps should be enough for most picnics. In
August and early September, however, six or more traps might be
necessary. For much of the season, the best baits are Spam, ham,
fish, cat food or meat scraps. Later in the summer, when wasps
need less protein because they aren't rearing their young, sweet
baits such as jam, honey or rotting fruit are often more water to
kill the wasps. Make very sure they are dead before cleaning out
reusable traps. Removing wasp nests: Although the number of
yellowjackets in late summer invariably prompts many concerned
inquiries on how to control them, usually there is little that
can be done. The wasps will all die in a matter of weeks as fall
approaches. Even if a nearby nest is discovered late in the
summer, eliminating it ma y not have the desired effect because
wasps can fly in from up to a mile away. It is never advisable
to put out poison baits because children and pets may get into
them and because other, beneficial, insects may take the bait and
be killed. It is also a terrible idea to pour gas or kerosene
into an underground wasp nest where it poisons the soil. If
yellowjackets do build a nest in a location likely to cause
problems with people or livestock, the best time to remove it is
early in the season, while it is still small. This is a job for a
very careful person or a professional pest control service.
Chemical wasp sprays are available, but if you use them, consider
very carefully where the stream of pesticide that misses the nest
will land. Always use such products according to direction on
the label. Remove an exposed nest that has been sprayed as soon
as the wasps are dead. Wear rubber gloves and dispose of the nest
to prevent birds from eating the poisoned larvae left inside. To
remove a hanging wasp nest without using chemicals: First, it is
a good idea to get a helper. To be safe, both of you should we
ar protective clothing from head to foot. Although a beekeeper's
suit with hat and veil is ideal, you can assemble a similar suit
for the occasion from heavy coveralls, a hat with a wide brim and
a length of fine screening. Wear boots with your pants cuffs
pulled outside the boot tops an d seal the cuffs around the boot
top with rubber bands so that wasps can't get up your legs. Wear
gloves and pull your sleeve cuffs screening over the hat (the
brim should keep it away from your face) and tie it around the
neck, over the collar of the coveralls. Make sure there are no
openings around the collar or base of the veil. You should wear
another layer of clothing underneath the overalls because wasp
stingers are long enough to reach through one layer of cloth. To
remove the nest, approach in the evening or at night when the
wasps are all home and less active because it is cool. Have your
helper hold open a large, heavy bag or a box with a tight lid
under the nest while you cut the attaching stem of the nest as
quickly as possible using a long handled pruning hook, or other
tool. When the nest is in the bag or box, close it immediately
and seal shut. Kill the wasps inside by putting the whole
package in a deep freeze for 24 hr. or by directing a wasp spray
into the package through a small hole for several minutes. Don't
neglect this last step because wasps can eventually chew their
way out of almost anything. Wasp nests in walls: Wearing
suitable protection as above, spray pyrethrins (fast-acting,
short-lived compounds extracted from pyrethrum daisies) into the
opening of the nest at night. Repeat applications nightly until
no more wasps are seen leaving the hole. Never block up the
opening as wasps can chew through wood or follow wiring to the
interior of the house. In the fall, when the nest is definitely
vacant, caulk or repair the crack to prevent recolonization next
year. Underground Wasp nests: This is a job better left to a
pest control operator, who can dig and vacuum out the nest,
however, you can apply pyrethrins sprays as above or pour several
gallons of boiling water into the nest. Wear protective clothing
as described and be extremely careful not scald yourself with the
boiling water. Lifecycle: In spring, the mated queen wasp crawls
out of her overwintering shelter, fills herself on flower nectar
and insects and then builds a nest in a hole of a building. She
chews up plant fibers and weathered wood to make a grey papery
pulp for the first egg cells. The queen rears this first brood
herself, foraging for food and feeding the larvae. In about a
month these larvae become adult worker-daughters and take over
cleaning, building and feeding chores for the next generation.
The wasp population grows and the nest expands all season as the
workers add new layers of cells. In late summer the queen stops
laying eggs and the last of the brood matures. Among the last
generation in late summer are both queens and males that develop
in special cells. When they emerge, they mate and the queen
crawls away into a hiding place under bark, in an old stump or
under litter to spend the winter. The workers and males all die
before winter, the nest falls apart and is not reused next year.


Yellow jackets (Vespula spp. - colonial wasps), can pose a
severe problem for people when these wasps aggressively seek
food. (Remember, though, yellow jackets do pollinate plants,
such as squash, and dispose of waste matter and thus are not all
bad.) Early in the season meat is preferred; later they focus
more on sweets. Normally, they are an annual species, with
colonies started in the spring of each year by a single mated and
overwintered queen. As the season progresses, nest sizes grow
and can contain thousands of individuals by late summer or fall.
In mild climates colonies can even overwinter. Effective control
measures vary according to the circumstances.

1) At eating areas In a backyard, wasps can be kept under control
by diligent use of traps (next section). Public picnic areas,
however, have wasps already locked into the readily available
food supply (messy previous picnickers). Bring along a fly
swatter and eliminate the early arrivals - yellow jacket species
are not aggressive when not near their nest. Wasps do not
hesitate to go into soft drink cans or bottles, posing a problem
for anyone not paying sufficient attention to their activities
before taking another swallow. Neither do they hesitate to ride
along on a meat sandwich as it is put into one's mouth. Watch
out, also, for wasps attracted to meat covered hands, fingers, or
utensils. If one places an effective trap (next section) 20-30
feet upwind from the picnic table, the foraging wasps, when
shooed away by picnickers, continue to go upwind past the picnic
table and end up in the trap.

2) Remote treatment Yellow jacket bait traps have been used more
than a century, with one basic characteristic in design: Wasps
will fly into a funnel (sometimes quite small) to get at the bait
provided and then cannot get out of the transparent or
translucent enclosure that incorporates the funnel. One can buy
any variety of ready-made traps with a wide range of
effectiveness. The following two companies (among others) have
produced successful traps: Seabright Laboratories, 4026 Harlan
Street, Emeryville, CA 94608, (800) 284-7363 or (415) 655-3126;
Sterling International, Inc., P.O. Box 220, Liberty Lake, WA
99019, (800) 666-6766 [FAX: (509) 928-7313]. These commercial
traps can become clogged with yellow jackets in a relatively
short time during severe infestations, and then one must remove
them. The problem then arises that live wasps may still be
inside and pose a threat. In that case, one can place the trap
in a freezer or an ice chest, wait until the cold immobilizes
them, and then empty the trap. Alternatively, the trap can be
placed in a paper or plastic bag just large enough to contain it.
One can then spray a very small amount of electronic parts
cleaner (e.g., Electric Parts Cleaner, CRC, Warminster, PA 18974;
(215) 674-4300; Electric Motor Cleaner, Berryman, Arlington, TX
76011), one few minutes. One can also construct a simple and
safe trap at virtually no cost - an example follows. Start with
a one gallon translucent milk bottle. With a razor blade, cut a
couple of small slits downward from one point (three quarter inch
across at the bottom), a little more than halfway up the sides.
Bend the point so formed inward. Fashion part of a wire coat
hanger into a hook at the bottom and thread it through a small
hole punctured into the cap so that the hook will be down about
halfway to the bottom of the bottle when inserted. Bend the top
of the coat hanger piece so that it can be suspended from the
lid. Fill the bottle about one-third full of soapy water. Then
pierce a small piece of turkey ham, salami, or ham (small enough
to go through the bottle opening) with the hook and put the lid,
hook, and meat in place in the bottle's neck. Hang the bottle in
a tree or bush upwind from the area where wasps are not wanted.
You might also dig a hole and place the bottle in the ground so
the dowiwind opening is at ground level (wasps often search along
the ground for food). If no gallon bottles are available, a
one-liter transparent soft drink bottle should suffice.

3) Nest location known (perhaps with more than one entrance) If
one knows the location of a ground nesting colony (e.g., Vespula
pennsylvanica), the entire colony can be exterminated quite
easily by using nothing more than soapy water. Take care,
though, because these wasps are highly defensive of their nest,
usually allowing one to get no closer than about 10 feet before
attacking. Some people prefer to treat the colony at dawn or
late evening, when activity at the entrance is less than in
mid-day. Fill an adjustable nozzle spray bottle with water, add
one level tablespoon of liquid detergent, and shake. Set the
spray nozzle on stream, approach from downwind (also from
downslope or protected by bushes, if possible), and nest entrance
as fast as possible from a distance of 10-15 feet (practice at a
target first to improve aim). Wear full protection, including a
beekeeper hat and veil, if possible. Once all activity at the
entrance has ceased, pour a bucket of soapy water into the ground
through one of the entrances and block all entrances with a
shovelful or two of dirt.

4) A take home poison When wasp infestations become severe, you
may wish to use stronger measures. To reduce their numbers, one
can lace a desired food with poison after yellow jackets become
committed to that source of food. With this method, timing and
procedure are somewhat critical. Expose marauding wasps to canned
cat food, such as a shrimp and tuna mixture. Allow the number of
foragers to build up into a "feeding frenzy." Then provide a
second dish alongside the first, but one laced with a take home
poison. Orthene (20 drops per small can of cat food) or KNOX OUT
(trade name for a micro-encapsulated diazinon product; one-half
teaspoon per can). Don't attempt to use straight diazinon, or
the laced food will be rejected).

Subject: Wasps, Yellowjackets, and Hornets

Wasps, Yellowjackets, and Hornets Fact Sheet No. 19, Revised
March 1988 Dr. Jay B Karren, Extension Entomologist

Wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets can become a problem if they
are found near humans and domestic animals. These insects may
nest around homes, in commercial buildings, farm structures and
equipment, in parks and in other areas where people live, work,
and play. We usually consider wasps as beneficial because of the
number of caterpillars, beetle larvae, flies and other insects
that some of these species feed on or use to provision their

Others may play a minor role in plant pollination and thus
benefit man. Whenever they become too numerous, nest in close
proximity to man's activities or become attracted to food being
used by man, some control is necessary.

Control should be initiated by destroying the nest or by applying
insecticides to the nest site; however, this can be dangerous.

Some wasps, yellowjackets and hornets become more aggressive when
disturbed and especially when something threatens their nests.

Disturb the nest as little as possible when applying insecticides
and remove nests after dark when the insects are less active or
inside their nests. Wear protective clothing including gloves,
long-sleeved shirts, and a bee veil, if available. Tie shirt-
sleeves and pant legs tight at the wrists and ankles. When using
a flashlight, cover the lens with red cellophane since these
insects cannot see red light.

It is important to distinguish between the different types of
stinging insects that are commonly called bees, wasps,
yellowjackets and hornets. Insects properly referred to as wasps
have either social or solitary nesting behavior. Digging wasps
and mud daubers are examples of solitary wasps, since individual
females construct and provision their nests. As a general rule,
solitary wasps are unaggressive even if disturbed and seldom
defend their nests. Their sting and venom is used as an
offensive weapon to paralyze their prey, which consists of many
insects and their relatives. The venom of solitary wasps has
anesthetic properties and usually is not a serious problem with

On the other hand, social wasps such as yellowjackets, paper
wasps and hornets use their jaws and legs to attack and subdue

Workers of the social wasps use their venom as a defensive weapon
and often attack in large numbers any threatening animal. The
venom is designed to produce intense pain and may cause a
dangerous systemic reaction in allergic individuals.

Between 0.4 and 0.8 percent of humans are allergic to social wasp
and bee venom. Nearly 80 percent of all serious venom-related
deaths occur within one hour of the sting. If symptoms are more
serious than localized swelling, reddening and pain or mild
headache and fever, a physician should be consulted. Multiple
stings are especially dangerous. Some people may develop
sensitivity to venom after repeated stinging episodes over a
short or long period of time.

Solitary Wasps

Cicada killers are large (1 1/2 inches long) black and yellow
wasps that becomes a nuisance in landscapes when cicadas are
present in shade trees. Males cannot sting but buzz around humans
and appear dangerous because of their size and wasp appearance.
Females will not sting unless forced to do so. Control is rarely
necessary for this otherwise beneficial insect. The female may
dig galleries in lawns, gardens or flower beds, where she lays
eggs and provisions the young with paralyzed cicadas. This
nesting activity may damage lawns or vegetable gardens. If
control is necessary, sprinkle the pesticide dust into the burrow
and tramp the entrance shut with your foot.

Mud daubers are wasps that build small, tube-like nests of mud
material under eaves, in attics and under roofs of outbuildings.

Nests are generally provisioned with spiders, which the young
larvae feed upon. Adults are about 1 inch long and blackish or
iridescent blue-black in color. They have a longer and more
slender waist than most other wasps.

Nests can be removed easily by hand with a knife or other object,
since the attending female will not try to defend her nest. Even
after using pesticides, it's generally a good idea to scrape away
the nest and dispose of it to prevent dermestid beetles from
feeding on the remains and later infesting other household areas.

Social Wasps

Paper wasps are slender, narrow-waisted wasps about 1 inch long
with long legs. They are reddish-orange to dark brown or black
in color, often with yellow body markings. They produce small
colonies that build tiny umbrellas of a paper-like substance.
The nests are usually located in open areas, the small honeycomb
of larval cells oriented downward. They are often found under
eaves, or in attics and outbuildings freely accessible to the
adult wasps.

Care should be taken in removing the nests and applying
pesticides because these wasps are more aggressive than the
solitary wasps.

The common species of hornet we find in Utah is the large bald-
faced hornet.

It is about 1 inch long, a blackish species with white markings
especially on the front of the head. These hornets construct
large inverted pear-shaped, paper carton nests up to 1 foot wide
and 3 feet long. The grayish or brownish nest contains 2 to 4
horizontally arranged combs with a round entrance hole at the
bottom. Nests may be found hanging under porches, in
outbuildings, in trees or even attached to the side of a

There are hundreds of individuals in a nest that become very
aggressive when aroused or disturbed. The sting can be very
painful. Control is usually left to the professional pest
control operator. Even with the proper protective clothing one
should be very careful when applying pesticides and removing the

Direct sprays to the nest opening then soak the entire nest.
Nests that pose no threat to humans should be left undisturbed
since the hornets are beneficial predators of other insects.

Yellowjackets are closely related to the bald-faced hornets but
usually build their nests underground. They are generally small,
about 1/2 inch long, and colored black and yellow. Large
colonies of up to 6,000 individuals build soccer-ball-sized paper
nests similar to those of the bald-faced hornet. The nests are
commonly associated with old rodent burrows and other cavities in
the ground or under objects lying on the ground. Entrance holes
may be in lawns, gardens, flowerbeds, creek banks or vacant
fields. It is unfortunate that these colonies are often
disturbed by walking, mowing and other innocent human activities.
When disturbed, yellowjackets are aggressive and can inflict a
painful sting repeatedly.

Apply pesticides into the entrance of the nests at night, then
plug the hole with insecticide-treated cloth, cotton or other

Approach the site with caution since some individuals may be
guarding the entrance even after dark.


Some yellowjackets and hornet species scavenge for meat in
addition to preying on live insects. Others are attracted to the
sweets and sugars of candy wrappers, soda cans, and pastry
deposited in garbage cans. These local populations can be
reduced by removing the waste frequently and maintaining tight
lids on all trash receptacles. Pesticide strips containing
dichlorvos (Vapona or No- Pest Strip), attached to the inside of
garbage can lids, will also help to reduce both fly and
yellowjacket presence.


Essentially the same chemicals are registered in Utah for all
species of yellowjacket, hornet, wasp, and bee control. Wisdom
should be used in how the chemicals are applied. Follow the
label directions on the specific brand or formulation. Wasp
traps with attractants are available and attractant baits mixed
with pesticides (Knock Out) are sometimes used as well as
spraying the nests, nest sides and nesting areas with pesticide.
Chemicals such as dichlorvos (Vapona, DDVP), carbaryl (Sevin),
propoxur, (Baygon) and diazinon come in sprays or aerosols for
these purposes. Some may also contain synergized pyrethrins or
resmethrin. In some cases a dust containing one or more of any
of these pesticides may be used. A rapidly volatilizing organic
solvent mixed with insecticide products containing synergized
pyrethrin (Wasp Freeze) is available in some areas. It quickly
freezes the wasps and coats them with a pesticide. In the case
of aggressive species this can be very useful. Other products
(Baygon, Enforcer, and Wasp and Hornet Spray) containing
pesticides directs the spray up to 20 feet in a long, fine jet to
the nest site so the applicator can remain at a safe distance.

For those who are interested, the attraction chemical used in
some of these commercial traps is heptyl buterate. The least
expensive price I have found so far is $52.00 for 100g, offered
by PFALTZ & BAUER: (800) CALL-1-PB. [As Cindy pointed out,
though, be "EXTRA SUPER CAREFUL not to get any on you or spill
it." -- From: Adrian Wenner <wenner@LIFESCI.LSCF.UCSB.EDU>

Just as an addition to the comments on yellowjacket trapping -
heptyl butyrate is only effective on the western yellowjacket,
Vespula pensylvanica. It is not effective on any of the eastern
pest species such as V. maculifrons or V. squamosa, or on the
German yellowjacket, V. germanica. -- From: Rick Fell

From: "Todd Reichardt" <REICHART@cia.com> at internet

One additional note regarding Yellow Jacket lures. Two reports in Pest
Control Magazine (within the last 2 years) on yellow jacket control cite
Grenadine syrup to the most effective lure. It was more efficacious thansome of the commercially available products and some of the favorites such as Coke and tuna (individually, of course :-))

Copyright © 2007 Conrad Bérubé, site design, concept and scripting. All rights reserved worldwide.
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