Yellow Jacket nest near our dogs pen

Asked July 26, 2015, 9:57 AM EDT

I am getting to the desperate point on this one. We have more and more yellow jackets in our yard in Ames and they seem to be concentrated next to our dogs pens. I looked for a natural way to rid the area of them, as we don't really want to put poison next to our permanent dog kennels. I tried cinnamon and it seemed to work for a period, but not totally effective. This a.m. there were a couple dozen bees in the area! If you have ideas for us, please let me know! Thank you so much!

Story County Iowa

1 Response

Hello:

Thank you for your message and for contacting Iowa State University. Yellowjacket wasps are a common nuisance in Iowa that exemplify the definition of a paradox. In the summer yellowjackets are beneficial because they feed on other insects. Yay! However, there is always the risk of being stung if they feel threatened by activity near the nest. These are social wasps that will sting to defend the colony and the queen. In late summer yellowjackets will bite into produce for water and sugar. They ruin large numbers of grapes and apples and are a pest in commercial production.

Life cycle and other details: http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/info/insects/wasps/yellowjacket-wasp

When the nest is in a high traffic area and treatment is warranted we suggest applying insecticide dust or powder into the nest opening at night. Cover the nest with soil after treatment. Sevin and bifenthrin are usually used for this purpose. Since all the insecticide is in the ground the exposure to pets, people and wildlife is minimal.

Some organic growers report success by treating nests with diatomaceous earth or boric acid powder. Repeated application will likely be needed.

Thanks.

Donald Lewis