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The Yellow Jacket

The Yellow Jacket

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Makes 1 drink


  • pineapple juice

  • orange juice

  • lemonade

  • cranberry juice

Recipe Preparation

  • First, mix equal parts pineapple juice, orange juice, and lemonade. Then add a splash of cranberry juice, stir (or shake), and serve over ice.

Recipe by Cynthia Wong, Dwayne Thomas

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How to Kill Yellow Jackets

If you’ve ever disturbed a busy yellow jacket, then you are probably well aware of their painful wrath. While wasps are beneficial insects, there are times when you must eradicate them to prevent conflict. Learn how to kill yellow jackets through prevention and pest control.

As implied by their name, yellow jackets have a striking yellow and black color pattern, with a segmented, small ‘waist’ between their abdomens. Their characteristics are similar to the hornet, but they have a different level of aggressiveness. While they carry the same markings as honeybees, they are brighter in color and hairless.

As social wasps, yellow jackets, or Vespula, are commonly seen in the United States from early summer to late summer. While they are not necessarily hostile, they defend their food sources and nests with aggression. The key to eliminating them from your property is understanding their habits and life cycle.

How To: Make a DIY Wasp Trap

Nothing can ruin a summer barbecue or evening by the pool like the threat of a wasp&rsquos sting. Mind you, wasps aren&rsquot all bad&mdashthe adults are nectar-eating pollinators, and they kill other insects (often those harmful to crops) to feed their carnivorous larvae. Still, a nearby nest can be dangerous, especially to those who are allergic to their sting. Should you find an infestation around your own home, you have a few options: call a pest-control company, kill them yourself with sprays, or trap them. While wasp traps are available for purchase, save yourself some money and get rid of your buzzy problem by crafting this hands-off solution using items you most likely already have sitting in your house.

Photo: via noricum

STEP 1: Cut up a 2-liter plastic bottle to create the trap.

Dig through your recycling to get the materials you need to make this trap, and get crafting. First, remove the bottle cap and cut the 2-liter soda bottle just under the neck, where the bottle becomes a straight cylinder. Invert the top portion of the bottle to serve as a funnel, and fit it inside the bottom half of the bottle. Tape the two pieces together around the cut edge so the funnel stays in place. Finally, poke two holes on opposite sides of the rim and attach some string to make a handle for hanging.

STEP 2: Prepare the bait for your trap.

You&rsquoll never catch any wasps without the right kind of bait&mdashand the perfect lure is wholly dependent on the season. In early spring, when wasps are reproducing, they are looking for protein later in summer, they want sugar.

Start with a base of water and a few drops of dish soap. (The dish soap will break up the surface tension of the water and aid in drowning the wasps.) In spring, add grease from cooked meat to the soapy solution in summer, try vinegar and something sugary like jam. Pour the bait solution into the bottle, leaving an inch or so underneath the funnel so wasps can enter.

Note: Do not add honey to your trap. That particular sweet will attract honeybees, and you don&rsquot want to kill these very important, nonaggressive pollinators.

STEP 3: Position your trap off the ground.

You can set your traps out on the ground, but hanging them about four feet high will probably attract and catch more wasps. Find a good tree limb or fence post on your property&mdashone that is at least 10 yards away from your family&rsquos play, work, and gathering spaces&mdashand hang up the homemade trap by its string handle.

STEP 4: Clean and reload the trap as necessary.

Check back often to dispose of the drowned wasps and refill the bait. Be sure the wasps are dead before you open the trap to remove them&mdashan escapee will go back to the nest and warn the colony.

Bury the wasps you&rsquove caught, or shut them tightly in a plastic bag to dispose of in the garbage. Be sure not to crush the wasps while disposing of them, as the bodies release a scent that alerts other wasps of danger, potentially attracting a swarm. Even easier, just dispose of the whole trap altogether and make a new one from the week&rsquos recycling. There&rsquos no need to wait for a colony to become well established before making your traps. As the old adage goes, &ldquoan ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.&rdquo

How To Boil Potatoes

Eating boiled potatoes on their own is kinda sad and not something we'd generally recommend. However, being able to boil potatoes properly is a very important life skill to have. Three reasons: potato salad, mashed potatoes, and smashed potatoes.

Why boil and not roast? The oven draws out moisture, which is great for crispiness but not good when you want fluffy whipped potatoes on Thanksgiving.

The Best Type Of Potatoes To Boil

Like Yukon gold or red bliss. They hold their shape better in the water, which is v important for potato salad. Russet potatoes also work well for mashed potatoes, but they tend to absorb tons of water. To prevent this as much as possible, keep them whole while boiling.

The Knife Test

And be honest with yourself. The fact that you can pierce a paring knife through a potato doesn't necessarily mean they're ready. The knife should slide in easily.

Once you bring the water to boil, you want to cook the potatoes at a rapid simmer. Boiling them too aggressively will break them down and make them mealy.

Step 5: Follow Up - Night Recon

Two days into this, we discovered that most of the traps had been knocked over or dragged away, probably by raccoons in the night. Since there were a few stray yellow jackets flying around today (yes, one even went for my hair again!), I decided to do a night recon. A few of the traps were opened and cleaned out, but the ones they weren’t able to open were full. I left one bottle’s contents on the driveway because ants and spiders were having a feast, but in another bottle I commented to my husband that I had caught a huge wasp. On closer inspection, we discovered it was the queen! We both now believe that there is no way that all of these yellow jackets were drowning since the dead were 2+ inches deep in the bottles and there is only ½” of wine/detergent solution, so we are guessing that the solution somehow kills them. No honey bees were killed in the making or implementation of this Instructable.

Baked Cinnamon Pears with Date and Walnut Filling

Original recipe by Caleb 1/2 cup halved walnuts 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates 8 whole pears (a little on the hard side will make them easier to handle) cinnamon for dusting water, as needed peel 6 fresh pears Add walnuts and dates to a food processor and blend until it makes a fine paste. If your dates are on the… Read more »

Yellow Jacket & Wasp Repellent for Patios

To prevent them from ruining your Summer Party without having to spray harsh chemicals and kill them off here’s a simple trick. Slice a fresh cucumber into thin slices and arrange them in a single layer on an aluminum pie plate (or 9吉 dish, round cake pan, etc).

The point is, the cucumber must be fresh when you slice it and the pan must be aluminum. Place a couple out and around the patio, deck or picnic table.

The cucumber reacts with the aluminum and gives off a chemical reaction/scent that is undetectable to humans but drives wasps and yellow-jackets away and makes them flee the area.

How to Remove a Wasp Nest Safely

While we’ve already addressed that wasps and yellow jackets are actually beneficial to have around, they have a tendency to build their nests in unfortunate places. If you must remove a nest you can place 1/4 cup of Dawn dish detergent (Or Joy or Sunlight) in a hose sprayer, fill with water and blast the nest from 3-5 feet away.

This is best done at night because all of the wasps will have already returned to the nest. Before doing this, test your hose to ensure that it has excellent water pressure! The sudsy water will cling to each wasp, causing it to drop to the ground.

We’d Love to hear your Tried & True Natural Pest Repellent Ideas too…


Another way to control yellow jackets is by using traps. One common trap, effective in the late summer and early fall, when the insects prefer sugary foods, recycles 2-liter soda bottles, adding jam as bait to entice the insects through the inverted top. Yellow jackets fall into water in the bottom of the bottle and drown. Adding vinegar to the water will repel honeybees, keeping them safe to pollinate your flowers.

A variation on that trap uses a tripod of sticks with a hook dangling from the center. After setting the contraption in a dishpan of water and dish soap, add a piece of raw fish to attract the insects. This trap will work best in the spring and early summer, when yellow jackets need protein for the developing colony.

Hummingbird Nectar

Better Wasp Attractant Recipe

The red. liquid hummingbird nectar which is is pictured to the right, costs about $8.00 and will make about 48 ounces of nectar. This may seem expensive for keeping hummingbirds occupied, but 48 ounces is probably more than enough to last for 10 years as a wasp attractant. The only question is whether or not the hummingbird nectar will work as well inside the yellow jacket traps as it does in the hummingbird feeder? Here’s how to use it: I took a couple of cotton balls and condensed them in my hands as tightly as I could and placed them in the bottom pod of the yellow jacket traps then saturated them with the hummingbird nectar . I also placed a hummingbird nectar-soaked cotton pad, inside the top of the trap just for good measure. I re-assembled the yellow jacket traps and placed them back outside close to where the hummingbird feeder formerly resided. The new wasp attractant was an instant hit. In a matter of 1 hour there was over a dozen trapped wasps in one trap. After a day, there are two many wasps to count. The hummingbird nectar not only worked instantly, but continued to attract the wasps long after one-day of use. I’m not sure how many days the odor will last, but so far, the hummingbird nectar makes a far more productive wasp formula than the commercial brand.

More exotic dishes

Yellow jacket soup wasn’t the only exotic dish prepared by the Cherokees. Here are some recipes excerpted from "Cherokee Cooklore: Preparing Cherokee Foods" (1951), a pamphlet compiled by Samuel E. Beck and Mary Ulmer Chiltoskey:

Toads: Catch toads, twist off their heads, pull off the skin while all the time holding the animal under running water lest the meat become very bitter. Parboil, then cook as any other meat.

• Knee-deeps: Catch early frogs, called knee-deeps, scald and skin. Parboil and cook like other meats.

Blood pudding: When butchering an animal, have a bucket handy with salt in the bottom to catch the blood as soon as the animal is stuck. Stir the blood to keep it from clotting. When the pouch is removed, clean it well, add a little fat to the blood as it is put into the pouch and add black pepper. Sew up the opening of the pouch, put into a pot of water and boil until done. Set aside to cool before slicing to serve.

Crayfish: Catch crayfish by baiting them with groundhog meat or buttermilk. Pinch off the tails and legs to use. Parboil, remove the hulls and fry the little meat that is left. When crisp it is ready to eat. May also be made into soup or stew after being fried.

Locusts: Gather the locusts (cicada) at night immediately after they have left their shells, wash and fry them in a small amount of grease. Eat these hot or cold. Be sure that you gather the locust before the sun hits them or they will not be good. If you gather them before they split out of their shells, they only have to be peeled to be ready to wash and fry.

Watch the video: Destroying A Dangerous Yellow Jacket Nest With Dry Ice. Mousetrap Monday (July 2022).


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