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Something to reach a hornets nest two floors up


MichaelChang's Avatar
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02-06-18, 06:52 AM   #1 (permalink)  
Something to reach a hornets nest two floors up

I have a hornet's nest the size of a beach ball 2 floors up.
its attached to the overhang underneath the roof. Even if I could get a ladder that high I'm afraid when I start scraping it off that the Hornets will come flying at me and I'll fall off the ladder.
Is there a long/extendable pole intended to scrape off a hornet's nest, I haven't seen such an item

 
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02-06-18, 07:19 AM   #2 (permalink)  
I'm no hornet (pest control) guy, but, you need to get a professional to deal with a live hornets nest. Even if you stand on the ground & use a long pole to scrap off / knock down the nest, once dislodged from the eve, where is it going? Right by your head & land right where your standing. Even if you KNOCK it & it lands 20 ft away from you.... take my word for it, you can not out run hornets. Even if your standing right next to a door to run in the house, you gotta come outside at some point. You, your wife, kids..... that nest is gonna be laying right there on the ground with live hornets in it. They'll be waiting for you like Jetti's in Star Wars.

My post is based on the comment that "if on a ladder, they'll make you fall off the ladder", indicating it is a live hornets nest.

Get a professional to handle this....

 
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02-06-18, 07:25 AM   #3 (permalink)  
How could they still be alive, doesn't it ever get cold there in VA? Do it on a cold day. For a long pole, pruning shears come to mind.

 
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02-06-18, 07:43 AM   #4 (permalink)  
I don't know what happens with hornets in the winter but they build nests in my barn and sometimes on my house and they are never active in the winter.

When they are active I try to spray the 20' stuff in the hole. In the winter I just knock/scrape them down.


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02-06-18, 09:00 AM   #5 (permalink)  
If the nest/hive is as large as a Beach Ball now; how big was it when first noticed ?

In other words, is it still growing ?

Here in Vermont, we have something called a Roof Rake: a 2' reverse shovel for pulling snow down off shallow roofs, equipped with three (3) 6' handle extensions making it possible to reach up 20' PLUS our height to dislodge something like this.

I'm not sure how much better secured is a Beach Ball size beyond what I'm accustomed to, which is no more than Bowling Ball size.

Here's a sample Roof Rake:



A 20' handle gives us time to run and hide.

 
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02-06-18, 09:34 AM   #6 (permalink)  
We had great luck this year with a shop vac. Simply hook it into a length of 1 1/2 ABS pipe...tape it secure it...you really really dont want it to come loose and spew hundreds of them at you. That gives an extra long reach... suck up all the little *******s and their home too as they sting the end of the pipe. Spray some killer spray into the vac and Tape up the vacuum end so that any survivors cant escape and we just left the vac out in the sun... no survivors. 6 nests removed last summer and 0 stings.

 
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02-06-18, 09:55 AM   #7 (permalink)  
I've used the extended shop vac approach for ground wasps as well, they apparently don't like the sound and attack the end and slurp they are gone. PVC isn't that expensive and can be extended to reach that height. Still I would recommend a cold day.

Bud

 
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02-06-18, 12:43 PM   #8 (permalink)  
I disagree with the "need a pro" recommendation. I would be broke if I called an exterminator every time I had to remove a nest. In the summer I just use the 20' spray and I make sure I have my track shoes on. After the first freeze I just knock em down with a rake.


I only get stung 5-6 times a year.

 
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02-06-18, 01:41 PM   #9 (permalink)  
Many years ago had a softball size nest in the peak of my gable. Got my son's BB gun and thought I could ventilate their nest and maybe knock it down. First shot I learned something about them, they don't necessarily come flying out of the nest when attacked. These suckers did a free fall and opened their wings right at eye level. Maybe it was my shocked expression that confused them but my reaction was fast enough and I escaped without getting stung, but never expected to be eye to eye with them. Next day I won the battle as I had access to the inside of that peak from my garage attic. Drilled a 1/8" hole through the end of the house and into their nest. Adapted a couple of those red plastic straws that come with the can spray lubricants and soaked them with wasp spray. Found about 20 bodies on the ground later.

Never messed with any in mid summer like that again. Cold temps for sure.

Bud

 
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02-06-18, 03:13 PM   #10 (permalink)  
Again, my advice was based on his indication that this was a live, active nest. If its not a live nest, sure, knock it down. But he indicated that he had live, active hornets at the nest.

 
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02-06-18, 03:19 PM   #11 (permalink)  
I think he just THINKS they are live.

 
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02-06-18, 03:25 PM   #12 (permalink)  
With the cold temps we've had I'd be surprised if there were any live hornets!


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02-06-18, 03:28 PM   #13 (permalink)  
It is winter.
They are dead.
Or they are so cold, they're functionally dead.

Ever seen a flying insect in winter? Nope.

Nest -> trash bag -> trash can -> fire.

Bag it, cut it, burn it.

 
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02-06-18, 05:04 PM   #14 (permalink)  
workers and males die in the fall or winter, and only the mated queens survive. New queens hibernate over the winter and start new nests each spring

mated queens are the only wasps and hornets to survive the winter. They do so by hibernating under bark, in a rock crevice or in a burrow

they wake up and start constructing a new nest -- queens never go back to their old ones
I guess I always assumed they were hibernating in the nest!

 
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02-06-18, 05:56 PM   #15 (permalink)  
If you are in Virginia, that nest is virtually empty and will not be re-used. No need to remove it if you are concerned about it being re-infested; if you want it gone for aesthetic sake, then you can feel safe using long tools or a ladder. Ladder work is still dangerous and more so if the operator is nervous. Dead hornets could fall out while nest is being destroyed, or other live insects could be harboring in there temporarily which could seriously startle the operator. Get your mind right before you go up there. Otherwise, can you lean out a window with a tool and destroy the nest?

The only stinging insect nest that overwinters is the honeybee. Their hives, usually in wall voids, attics, soffits, etc will get bigger, and bigger and bigger until something gives. Otherwise, at least here in the northeast, winter will solve all other problems.

Marq1 gave good information well worth reading.

 
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02-06-18, 08:58 PM   #16 (permalink)  
I know nothing about insects.
Just because it was so huge and I always thought bees made small honeycomb nests, I figured it was a hornets nest.
Haven't seen anything flying in or out either but it's at my Xs and since I don't go there often it got to be that size.
I'm thinking the roof rake is the cheaper option but if not I'll go with the shopvac approach.
Thanks for the tips, not going to pay anyone, if I take a sting, oh well wouldn't be the first time.

 
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02-06-18, 09:02 PM   #17 (permalink)  
Any windows close by? ............................................................................................

Bud

 
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02-07-18, 11:39 AM   #18 (permalink)  
Yes there is.
There is a bathroom window right next to it and I could probably reach it easily but:
a) first time doing this
b) already ordered a roof rake
c) peace of mind of a live hornet (or anything else that can sting) flying to the window and into the house (I guess I could close the bathroom door and put a draft stopper under the door but then I'd be trapped in a room with an angry hornet).
d) I don't already have anything that can scrape the width of this thing since it's not hanging from a thread but rather the the entire top of the nest is glued across the top so a smaller scraper would require many scrapes.

I'll post how this goes.

 
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02-07-18, 11:57 AM   #19 (permalink)  
I'd be very surprised if there are any live/active hornets in the nest. You've had the cold weather the rest of us have seen, right?


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02-07-18, 12:52 PM   #20 (permalink)  
I've used the hit and run test a few times. Smack it, drop the stick and close the window. If you can reach it with a steel rake or hoe they come off easily. If it is cold out if any were there they would not be dangerous.

Bud

 
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02-07-18, 01:06 PM   #21 (permalink)  
I'd just borrow a swimming pool brush from a neighbor, 2 sections of pole should be enough to reach it and knock it down.

Other option would be trying to blast it loose with a power washer set to narow stream.

 
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02-17-18, 04:38 PM   #22 (permalink)  
I extended the roof rake 2 of 3 sections.
The first swipe took off a few surrounding layers.
The honeycomb core was stuck on there pretty good.
I had to use a swatting/batting motion and a few solid hits to knock that badboy off.
No live hornets/bees.
Thanks for all the insight.

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02-17-18, 04:59 PM   #23 (permalink)  
Glad it worked out. Thanks for letting us know the result.

 
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02-17-18, 07:50 PM   #24 (permalink)  
Ya, that was a big one. I've had some scary run-ins with bees and wasps and fortunately (discovered the hard way) not allergic to the stings. Many as a kid out enjoying wild blackberries and raspberries, mom would make them into pies for us. But out in the bushes you have no doors to close behind you. It often required about a half mile run to lose them.

Too many stories to share here, glad yours was empty and now gone.

Bud

 
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02-18-18, 04:16 PM   #25 (permalink)  
Good job Michael! Thanks for keeping us updated.

 
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