Yellow Jacket in the House
August 2, 2005 9:59 PM   Subscribe

We have a wasp/hornet/yellow jacket in our house. How do we get rid of it?

We have a wasp/hornet/yellow jacket in our house. We need to know how to get rid of it. My wife is allergic to bee stings. We live in a two story town house, and it was last seen in the one of the windows over the stairs, too far to reach with a fly swatter or even a broom. What should we do?
posted by javelina to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
I just put up a yellowjacket trap for our garden. They cost about $10, and you pop in some "attractant" that the insects smell; they climb in, and can't get out.

Turns out that we have wasps, not yellowjackets. The solution was to put in a little roll of sliced meat (I used turkey, cos it's what I had on hand). Within an hour, I had 5 angry ones trapped inside.

The traps are bright yellow, and are sold in hardware stores (look in the gardening section). The attractant is often sold separately, in little pouches.

If you want to get rid of it *now*, you might try the sliced meat (assuming you have some) on a plate somewhere warmish, so the smell propagates; and stand by with a can of insecticide or a swatter.

Good luck, I'm allergic to bee stings too.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 10:15 PM on August 2, 2005

Smoke. If you don't smoke tobacco, burn some incense or lavender or something. Smoke lulls the waspies to sleep. It's how beekeepers do their business.
posted by trip and a half at 10:17 PM on August 2, 2005

Have you tried a javelin?

Relax. It's very unlikely to sting you unless you start swatting at it or tangle it in your hair or clothing. Along with meat or fish bait (they love fish), you might try turning off the lights except in the bathroom, say, to attract it. If you wait until it lands lower, simply place a wide-mouthed jar or glass over it, slide a piece of thin card over the opening, and take it outside. When we eat outside, I let wasps, within reason, eat off my plate. You can try to pet them and they'll fly away, but not sting. They are extremely beneficial insects.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:20 PM on August 2, 2005

Flies, on the other hand, must die.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:25 PM on August 2, 2005

Try using wand attachments for your vaccum cleaner,
posted by hortense at 10:28 PM on August 2, 2005

Also, as weapons-grade pandemonium writes, it won't sting you unless you piss it off. My chief strategy for avoiding bee stings nowadays is just to wait when one lands on me. They invariably decide I'm not a flower, and go somewhere else. They're kind of pretty, up close.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 10:46 PM on August 2, 2005

If you're allergic to bee stings does that necessarily make you allergic to wasp stings? I was under the impression the two varieties of sting were rather different, but maybe they both contain the same allergen.
posted by edd at 1:25 AM on August 3, 2005

Shoot a elastic band. They're extremely effective weapons against flying insects that cannot be reached otherwise. Of course you may have to learn how to shoot it, you may need to clean the mess afterwards. Also, the band cannot be used in fragile environments. For a hornet or a wasp, use a large, wide band.
posted by elgilito at 7:37 AM on August 3, 2005

Its all about the electric fly swatter!

pic here
posted by jeffmik at 9:22 AM on August 3, 2005

Call an exterminator -- if it is too high to reach without climbing and your wife is allergic it makes the most sense to get help. You may feel a little silly and your wallet might take a hit but it beats the hell out of falling off a ladder or wondering where you left the EpiPens.
posted by cedar at 9:30 AM on August 3, 2005

Time for the big guns!!
posted by hortense at 10:14 AM on August 3, 2005

Raid makes sprays especially for wasps and hornets.

When I don't have that around, I use one of these.
posted by Jon-o at 12:51 PM on August 3, 2005

Thanks for the answers. We haven't seen the creature in over twenty-four hours, so we assume he is gone for good. Since he was too far away to reach with a broom, the answers recommending vacuum devices or fly swatters weren't practical. Also, I am leery of any solution which might have damaged our new paint job.

Had the beast continued to be a problem - I probably would have set a trap for it.
posted by javelina at 10:30 PM on August 3, 2005

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