Wednesday, August 1, 2012

They Can Kill You

this is what my husband said to me, as he was reading about Japanese Hornets, after discovering a nest of huge hornets a tree not far from the house. If they swarm and sting, well watch out. Holy crap. We've had them here before, one night last year when I was grilling and went out to flip the chicken, there they were all around the light. He handed me out a can of wasp spray and the next morning I counted 30 bodies. Luckily, they weren't aggessive, that night, but I backed off the deck to spray in fear of being attacked. But now hundreds going in and out of the tree.

The first mode of attack (by my husband) was to try wasp spray. He headed out in the evening, with me as back up (just in case they swarmed him, then I could spray them all, though I don't know which would be worse, wasp stings or being sprayed with a can of wasp spray.) It hit the edge, he yelled RUN, turned and we ran back to the house. Next morning, lots of activity.

My nephew and BIL brought over a zapper, which they had used to eradicate a big nest in the attic of their shop. It is working.

My home made trap (from an internet suggestion) has gotten two of them. It is apple cider vinegar (organic no less, sugar and soap).

  Travis did tell us that these are not Japanese hornets, but European hornets. I have just confirmed this on the NC Extension site. They are by the way, the only true hornet in the US. I also found some info that has us in conflict. "Their diet consists mainly of large insects such grasshoppers, flies, bees, and yellow jackets." They are good for the garden, bad for honey bees, and they are not aggressive. Though their workers are female (hundreds of them) and they will overwinter to start new hives. If stung it will be worse than a bee sting, and I do know someone that has a scar from a sting 3 years ago.

They are right across from our decks, one of which is where I grill, often after dark, in front of a French glass door, with a light on by the grill. They are attracted to a light. So here is the conflict. They are good for gardens and eradicating grasshoppers (which I do not like with a passion), and one site called them gentle giants. Sometimes too much information is not a good thing.


cookingwithgas said...

we have had these build in our attic twice. Long story but we got rid of them.
Be careful I was stung by one many years ago and it was not good. My hand looked like a sausage all the way to my elbow.
When they sting it is bad- I was seeing double and just about passed out driving home.

JLK Jewelry said...

OK, then that is it. They go. I have had a bad reaction to a yellow jacket sting, and much as I hate killing anything, we were here first. I hope you don't get stung again, I have heard they get worse each time.

Laurie said...

Glad the zapper is working. We had a lot of hornets last year. I remember them eating the bark off our big lilac. J told me he has a "foolproof" method for eradicating them, if the zapper doesn't do the trick.

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