Introduction: FROM PEST TO FISH FOOD!

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Wasps, hornets, mud daubers and bumble bees can be a real nuisance, if they move in close proximity to your residence.

Step 1: OBSERVING THE PESTS IN ACTION

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There was a 3/16” gap between the top of my house siding and the soffit (overhang) molding. A considerable number of wasps had decided to make their home down between the exterior wall sheathing and outer vinyl siding. I called a local bee keeper and then my local extension service for help. They informed me there was no value in saving these invaders and that I should be extra careful in trying to remove them. Besides the possibility of getting stung multiple times, I thought about what environmental and staining damage I might do to my house by spraying poison in this crevice. I then developed a safe and thorough process that can be accomplished requiring two people.

Step 2: GATHERING THE REQUIRED MATERIALS TOGETHER

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A Shop Vacuum (Wet /Dry Vac)

1 - Electric extension cord

2 – 2"x 4" boards 3 feet long (One cut with a 45 degree angle on one end.

1 – 2"x 4" board 6 feed long (I cut a vee in one end)

1 – 2” PVC Pipe 10 feet long

1 - Roll duct tape

2 – Gallons of water and only one drop of dish washing liquid

10 – Drywall screws 2-1/2” long

A Flashlight with good batteries

An electric drill with a Phillips bit to drive the screws

Step 3: PREPARING THE VACUUM

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Remove the paper filter out of the shop vac. Pour in the water and add the one drop of dishwashing liquid. (The soap will break the water surface tension causing the pests to drown.) Put the vacuum top back on.

Step 4: ASSEMBLING THE PIPE SUPPORT

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Assemble the 2x4 lumber with the drywall screws, like the drawing above. This will be used to hold the PVC pipe in place.

Step 5: STAGING THE ATTACK

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Duct tape the 2” PVC pipe to the end of the shop vacuum hose. Take all the parts outside at a safe distance from the little critters hole. Plug the vacuum into the extension cord and the extension cord into an outside outlet well away from the action. Now, wait until it has been dark for a few hours. The wasps will be dormant but there it always one guarding their entrance.

Step 6: REMOVING THE PESTS

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When it is time, one person holds the light while the other turns on the vacuum and holds the suction end of the PVC to their hole. CAUTION – These pests might be drawn toward the light, so be sure not to shine them directly. (Red cellophane over the lens helps.) The person that was holding the light now uses the duct tape to bond the PVC pipe into the vee end of the 2x4. Your suction device should now be stable. Let it operate for 15 minutes. Unplug at the house end of the extension cord. Wait for 10 minutes, then go out and plug the cord in again. Use a broomstick to lightly tap on the outside of the siding to draw attention. You will hear them being drawn into the vacuum – pfft! pfft! pfft! They will all drown in the shop vacuum water. (Do not forget to later seal the hole they were populating.)

Step 7: WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BOUNTY

I poured my wasp laden water from the shop vacuum into a bucket and then walk to a pond down the street. I spread the contents over the surface of the pond and take the greatest pleasure in seeing the fish gobble them up!

Step 8: DEALING WITH GROUND PESTS

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In the past, I encountered a nest of bumble bees in the ground. For those, I set up the vacuum and PVC pipe with a tee fitting on the end. Using a cement block to keep the tee positioned over the hole, I stomped and danced all around their entrance. They too went - pfft! pfft! pfft! and all the little fish went - yum! yum! yum!

Comments

propestcontrolmelbourne (author)2016-05-27

Good Tips

ashleyjlong (author)2016-03-13

The inclusion of the dish soap in the water is smart, though i would be careful about pouring your vac contents into a pond. Even a small amount of dish soap can potentially be harmful to the fish.

That said, I wish I had thought to use the shop vac to get the wasps out of our balcony wind chime. I snuck up and put duct tape over the hole, then panicked and threw it in the pool. That was much messier to clean up than anticipated.

energysaver (author)ashleyjlong2016-03-14

Thank you for you input and the feedback on your experience. Before I performed my extraction, I did go to the regional Dept. of Environmental Quality to ask what I could use. I first thought rubbing alcohol - they said no. Residual amounts in the pest might kill fish when they ingest it. In performing this Instructable, use only ONE DROP of liquid soap. Adding more does not improve the effect and they told me "a squirt" is definitely a polluting no-no. Again, approach them only at night, when they are not active. As for you experience - The reason my Instructable uses a 10 foot piece of PVC is to keep you far away from where all the action is. I am sorry your experience turned into such a calamity. :(

ashleyjlong (author)energysaver2016-03-14

Awesome --I'm so glad you were thinking about the environmental impact from the start!

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