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  1. #1
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Hornets nest along the only road out from my house adding a twist to car light living

    Its in the woods, somewhere. First became aware of it on a hot night a couple weeks ago when I heard it buzzing in the trees(I am guessing that they do this like bees to keep their hive cool). It is loud enough to be mistaken for an air conditioner, so its pretty big.
    I have looked for it during the day, but the woods are too thick, cant see it, and they don't seem as active, so I can't track them. At night they have started to zero in on my lights, and of course there are more and more of them. Tonight I finally got swarmed. I deal with stings better than average, but still, got tagged.

    The road is about a seven degree incline, unpaved flint. While I can pull a decent turn of speed, its just not enough to outrun them. I actually had to turn around and book it back down the hill towards home.

    Just throwing this out as an interesting hiccup in choosing a slow moving vehicle where ones body is exposed. Living rural, I am used to wild life(the trick to running over a copperhead at dusk is to have fenders, keep moving fast, and in the split seconds you have to judge, try to keep the foot on the head side up.(I wear sandals)If it looks like a corn snake, hog nose, a black snake, or other friendly serpent, you can stop or bunny hop, but in case you dump it on the gravel, better be sure...).
    Last edited by shipwreck; 09-01-14 at 11:41 PM.

  2. #2
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    This might make you feel better. A yellow jacket smoothie anyone??

    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  3. #3
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Get a couple of cheapo cigars for the trip? Light and attach to handlebars?

    That is one of the big things I miss about smoking... insect dispersal.

    They might be in the ground too. Nasty things.
    Just one of those dirty pinko commies some people worry about.

  4. #4
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    A few suggestions here:
    How to Avoid Bee and Wasp Stings

    Might be a good idea to pass on wearing sandals. Fully clothed is much safer. Also don't smell like a bear or a flower

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    I am so fed up with wasps!
    All this is just in the past year:

    1. They built a nest in the (unused) dog door of the garage.
    I found it, removed the nest, and sealed the door.

    2. They built a nest in the landscaping rocks next to the patio & the outdoor water faucet.
    After repeated applications of my weed burner, they finally moved on.

    3. They moved to the landscaping rocks of my nextdoor neighbor.
    He finally got rid of them with a wasp trap next to the nest.

    4. They put their nest in the outdoor vent of the gas fireplace of my den.
    I sealed it up with gaffers tape for a couple weeks until everything was dead in it.

    5. They built a nest under the lowest shingles of my 2nd floor roof.
    I had to climb a 20' extension ladder up to the edge of the roof and spray them with wasp killer.
    ("Spectracide Pro" from Home Depot; Great stuff! It's like nerve gas for wasps.)

    6. Two weeks later I just had to repeat #5 .

  6. #6
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    One of the things I really like about Oregon is that almost all of our resident wasp species are extremely docile. The one exception is the bald-faced hornets, but they seem to be somewhat rare. Then again, I keep bees and am not put off by a few small insects buzzing around me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    One of the things I really like about Oregon is that almost all of our resident wasp species are extremely docile. The one exception is the bald-faced hornets, but they seem to be somewhat rare. Then again, I keep bees and am not put off by a few small insects buzzing around me.
    When I first heard the nest, I really hoped that it was a bee hive. Bees don't bother me.
    Been swarmed by a yellow jacket nest this summer, 32 stings. It was enough that I swelled up a little, particularly my ankles.
    Red Wasps are especially mean. In the late spring I was nailed nine times by a nest of them. That was pretty bad, four of them were on my scalp.
    Many other species around here are not as aggressive. These seem to be.

    I managed to get one of them, found it in my shirt this morning, I must have wacked it while I was running for home last night. Going to try to see if I can identify the species.

    And, I made it out of the valley today, if nothing else this is really going to help my sprinting. Two or three followed me out, but it just rained and is cooler, so they are not as active.

    If this nest lasts, I might have to wear something with full coverage on the way out, shuck it at the top of the hill, but when its 90F and 85% humidity, that's a real pain. I don't like heat.


    Edit, twenty seconds of googling show that they are European hornets, Vespa Crabro. http://www.uark.edu/ua/arthmuse/crabro.html First reported in North West Arkansas in 1999. Attracted to light, and with a painfull sting. Well, at least I know what they are.
    Last edited by shipwreck; 09-03-14 at 12:23 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Yuck. I hope they don't make it to Oregon. I would make finding and killing their nest a priority.
    Ed Miller
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  9. #9
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
    ...they are European hornets, Vespa Crabro. Arthropod Museum, Dept. of Entomology, University of Arkansas First reported in North West Arkansas in 1999. Attracted to light, and with a painfull sting. Well, at least I know what they are.
    That's a nasty critter. I wonder what makes them go after innocent passers-by? Most bees/wasps don't behave that way unless you bug them first or they accidentally get sucked into a helmet vent or down an open shirt/blouse.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  10. #10
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    That's a nasty critter. I wonder what makes them go after innocent passers-by? Most bees/wasps don't behave that way unless you bug them first or they accidentally get sucked into a helmet vent or down an open shirt/blouse.
    Acording to some reading on them, they are not typically aggressive. However, they seem to be very attracted to light. Some reports have them ramming house windows or swarming outdoor lights. I am running a couple of Cree hi lumen lamps, and they are coming at those. Ran some experiments last night, and it's looking like I can sneek by if I turn off my lamps and just run a softer little LED light that I usually put on flashing mode when up on the highway.
    I have been unable to find the hive during the day, but as fall approaches will have better sight lines as the leaves fall. Till then, I am wearing a net over my helmet to keep them out of there, and won't run my really bright lamps.

  11. #11
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
    Acording to some reading on them, they are not typically aggressive. However, they seem to be very attracted to light. Some reports have them ramming house windows or swarming outdoor lights. I am running a couple of Cree hi lumen lamps, and they are coming at those. Ran some experiments last night, and it's looking like I can sneek by if I turn off my lamps and just run a softer little LED light that I usually put on flashing mode when up on the highway.
    I have been unable to find the hive during the day, but as fall approaches will have better sight lines as the leaves fall. Till then, I am wearing a net over my helmet to keep them out of there, and won't run my really bright lamps.
    That's what I was thinking. It sounds like this is a fairly rural area where this is happening. If there's rarely any traffic and adequate natural light to see the road safely, I would try killing my lights long enough to get by the problem area.

    I hate wasps. Bees will sting but provide a great benefit to nature so I'm willing to put up with them. Wasps do nothing but torment me.
    '81 Panasonic Sport, '02 Giant Boulder SE, '08 Felt S32, '10 Diamondback Insight RS, '10 Windsor Clockwork

    Visit me at the Tundra Man Workshop

  12. #12
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    How would you go about killing a big nest like that? A few years ago I was shocked to see a nest that had sprung up seemingly overnight, about 40 feet from the trail here. It was a good 4 feet across. I wouldn't go anywhere near something like that let alone attack it. It disappeared within a week - I assumed that that the city hired a pro to get rid of it.

  13. #13
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    How would you go about killing a big nest like that?
    This seems gratifying:

    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  14. #14
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    This seems gratifying:

    I sure wouldn't have hung around to closely examine the results. A flame thrower might be a safer weapon for the user.

  15. #15
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    The first step is to find the thing! If I cant, then I'm gonna have to learn to live with it. Understanding why they have been dive bombing me(the lights)helps.

    From there, either choose a time of day where they are less active, or just wait till winter! In summer/fall, my usual M.O. is to wear a winter issue air force flight deck suit, gloves, a bee keeper type net over the head. Tape up the sleeves and cuffs. Spray the nest repeatedly with a Hudson sprayer filled with my "secret sauce". Basically a slurry of several kinds of insecticide, with a dose of strained ghost pepper/cayenne/whatever Ive got tea. Never had a nest come back yet. I would prefer to do it in the late fall so that fewer creatures are exposed to the poison. If its up in a tree, then cut the limb if it can be reached with an extension saw. And accept that you are going to probably get stung.

    Playing with 12 gauges and hornets nests is just too stupidly redneck hold my beer territory. Think Ill skip that.

  16. #16
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
    I hate wasps. Bees will sting but provide a great benefit to nature so I'm willing to put up with them. Wasps do nothing but torment me.
    They probably do more good--and a lot less harm--than your typical human.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  17. #17
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    I sure wouldn't have hung around to closely examine the results. A flame thrower might be a safer weapon for the user.
    You asked for it!




    Or if you would prefer to NOT involve the military:

    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  18. #18
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    They probably do more good--and a lot less harm--than your typical human.
    Yeah. Of course the fact that the ones I am dealing with are an introduced species that, according to some papers I have read are predating on native species that keep other insect populations down sucks.
    Oh well, welcome to the Anthropocene.

  19. #19
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
    You asked for it!



    Or if you would prefer to NOT involve the military:

    And you found it! Thanks.

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