| LIFE Officials Warn of Wasp ‘Super Nests’ in Alabama


A colony can grow to be as big as a Volkswagen Beetle and can have 15,000 wasps. The last time scientists saw such an unusually high number of enormous nests was in 2006.


Mr. Ray said he had been surprised when the first report of a yellow jacket super nest had surfaced in May. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System issued a news release to tell residents to expect a proliferation of them this year.

“We wanted to warn the public not to disturb them themselves, but get a professional,” Mr. Ray said. “We had three people who were seriously injured in 2006.”

Warmer winters contribute to these nests, Mr. Ray said. Most yellow jackets don’t survive the cold months because they freeze to death or have trouble finding food. They need a fair amount of sugar and carbohydrates, he said.

“The queens are the only ones who have an antifreeze compound in their blood,” Mr. Ray said. “So normally, a surviving queen will have to start a colony from scratch in the spring. With our climate becoming warmer, there might be multiple surviving queens producing more than 20,000 eggs each.”

I thought yellow jackets nested in the ground.

Same here. I'll be damned if I'd let that monstrosity exist on my property. I hate yellow jackets, moderately allergic to them.

I kill the ones in the ground by identifying the entrance, and once it's dark (and they're all home for the night) returning and pouring about six or eight ounces of gas into the entrance. Mr. Gravity lets the gas flow into the nest, and the fumes eliminate them all. With this thing hanging overhead and the fumes not as easily confined, that might not be as effective, I'd still douse it quickly with a pump sprayer of gas, multiple nights if necessary, to kill it.
Top Bottom