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Removing yellow jacket nest from chicken coop

 
pollinator
Posts: 406
Location: Northern Puget Sound, Zone 8A
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There's a wasp/yellow jacket nest in the chicken coop.  Obviously I would like to avoid spraying it.  But I also don't want to get stung removing it.  Suggestions?  

Can I smoke the coop to calm them down, or does that only work with honey bees?  Anything safe for the ladies I can use to at least get them to go elsewhere?
 
Posts: 245
Location: near Houston, TX; zone 8b
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Find your propane torch. Wait until dark when the insects are asleep. Burn the nest.

If one of them comes toward you, aim the flame toward it. I have done this with heart pounding, but I didn't get stung.
 
pollinator
Posts: 589
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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I have used a long section of pipe attached to a shop vac to thin them out before removal. It was fixed in place so I could plug it in from afar and listen to the little finks rattle down the tube.
 
gardener
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Location: southern Illinois.
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Both of the above approaches will work.  Also, as you indicated ...smoke.   Just use lots of it.  Finally, depending how bad they are, can you wait until winter?
 
gardener
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pollinator
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For small nests we use a burning rag on the end of a long long stick, but we normally find them when it's just the queen and the nest is smaller than a tennis ball. I don't think I would want to do that with a big nest, not least the danger of burning down the building!
 
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Wait untill well past dark. Put a rock in a cloth bag and put on a coat hat gloves etc... Then simply walk up WITH GLOVES ON!  and put the bag up around the nest and break it off in the bag. Tie a string around the bag and put it in water to drown the buggers. Wasp kill honey bees but are not likely to hurt your chickens... Except for possible stings to there gizzards lol. If you are into ninja arts you can wait for the wasp to die then carefully squeeze the single drop of venom out of each one onto your ninja swords and let it dry... If you put 100 drops on the blade it will likely kill anything you cut. Be careful you do not cut yourself.lol...seriously though. The sack (think pillowcase) works perfectly. So does a shopvac. I wouldn't use wasp spray inside the chicken coop as the lady's will eat any dead or dying wasps . chickens are quite indiscriminate lol. If you shop vac them. Just have a plug for the hose. It will not kill them and they will be mad.
 
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Location: quebec zone- 4a loamy sand soil
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I usually put on a couple thick layers of clothes and tuck everything into eachother. (wrists and ankles can be rubber-banded.) I put on safety glasses, a mosquito netted wide-brimmed hat, and a hoodie over that. I get a small can that I use for making a small smoking fire. The mosquitos and biting flies don't give me much time to plant in the spring if I don't carry some smoke with me. I set up the smoke in a place I can escape to incase I'm being swarmed, but where it also lets it blow a bit where I'm working in hopes to slow down and confuse the wasps a little. I get a metal can large enough to fit the nest in, and add a teaspoon or so of gas or similar inside for a hopeful quick death. I bring a sharp putty knife, a fly-swatter, and a can of hornet-spray.
I find with the mosquito netting, the wasps don't recognize me much, so the first attempt to get me I flinch. Afterwards I am pretty confident in my gear and just get the job over with, and I'm often up on a ladder so calm is important.
I wait until just before dark when they seem to be quieting down, and watch the hive for a while. Usually there are a few wasps in and out of the hive. I try to wait until most are in the nest.
I take the lid off of the can and lift it up until the nest is inside and cut the nest down with the putty knife. I quickly put on the lid and set the hive aside where I won't knock it over. Then I use the swatter to get rid of the ones who weren't in the nest.
If any are left, they will likely re-build in the same place or nearby, so I try to get them all. I then spray a quick shot of bug spray where the nest was to discourage the rebuilding in-case I missed some of them. I'm not sure I would spray in the chicken coop..
 
master steward
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Sounds like a good chance to get your first PEP BB:  Relocating a yellow jacket nest to where it won't be a bother

I'd do it at night when it's a relatively cool night.
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