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Old 06-28-2015, 06:03 PM   #1
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1970 31' Sovereign
Burnsville , North Carolina
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Yellow Jacket nest in Furnace!

While I was away, the Yellow Jackets did play and built a nest in my furnace. They are entering from either or both the furnace air intake or exhaust pipes on the outside. Does any one have a recommendation for getting rid of these guys without damaging the furnace? What if I turned the furnace on high and ran like heck? Thanks in advance for any help you might have.

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Old 06-28-2015, 07:46 PM   #2
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Lower Alabama , USA
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Is their nest in the combustion chamber or are they somewhere around the heater? I would be afraid I would get nest material blowing out the exhaust on fire if I fired it up. I would spray them and then do a thorough inspection and clean them out. Better safe than sorry?

After that the bug screens are in order to keep this from occurring again. I had some issues with mud daubers and the screens cured that.

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Old 06-28-2015, 10:29 PM   #3
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Burnsville , North Carolina
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Good thought Alan. I suspect that I will have to pull the furnace after I kill them to get that material out, whether I heat it up or use a spray. I will have to take a closer look at the nest tomorrow to see if they are going in both the air intake for combustion as well as the furnace exhaust. That might determine my plan of attack. Bill
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:23 AM   #4
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Use a shop vac to suck them out then spray in vac while running to kill them. Also they will not normally fly at night.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:42 AM   #5
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Vacuum well and consider screen covers for the access areas.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:56 AM   #6
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After you kill them with wasp spray a hooked wire would be easier than taking apart, when shop vac doen't fit I start adding smaller diameter rubber hose.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:33 AM   #7
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I also hang a dog flea collar in all open areas that might house a wasp nest, spiders, ants, etc and never have had any more problems with flying critters. I replace them every year and also hang one under the propane cover.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:36 AM   #8
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Burn 'em out. Set thermostat to 90+ degrees (max setting). Turn on the furnace. Run like hell.

Then get a yellow jacket screen from Camping World. They also have yellow jacket traps.

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Old 06-29-2015, 11:00 AM   #9
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do whatever you do at night. Bees also can't see red, so use a red flashlight (or get someone you don't like to hold the flashlight).

At night, bees tend to crawl more than fly, but they will go after a bright light. Turning on the furnace at night may be best.

Shopvac also works. Usually they hit the inside hard enough to keep them. You can also stuff a shop towel in the end when you're done.

Rob - 15 year beekeeper.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:10 AM   #10
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Asheville , North Carolina
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Yellow jackets must have some place in the ecology of our world, but in my opinion they're the worst kind of stinging insect -- irritable, vicious, aggressive and they can sting you multiple times. I'm a beekeeper, too, but I have no love for yellow jackets.

Of course, yellow jackets are not bees but a variety of wasp. There are several different species of yellow jackets. Imagine in Alabama you have the Eastern Yellow Jacket.

Not as common for them to build above ground rather than in the ground, but it does happen. Last year I had some in the wall of my house, sprayed them many times, and it did no good. Couldn't vacuum them out either because they were entering at several points in the exterior cedar shakes and their nest was probably not even near the entrances. Eventually some of them started coming into the house through the electrical outlets, which creeped me out.

The only way I got rid of them was to have the Terminix guy, on his regular pest service rounds, to put some kind of powder in their access holes. Don't know what chemical it was that Terminix uses, but the yellow jackets tracked the powder back into their nest(s) and within a day they were dead. My Terminix guy said this treatment rarely fails to work.

Just remember that yellow jacket nests can be quite extensive. When they build in the ground, the nest system may run several feet or even several yards, though there's usually a big main area. Often a large nest -- at their peak it can number 5,000 to 10,000 -- will have several entrance holes. If yours have had time to build up a big colony, they could be in several places besides in or around the furnace.

The standard way around here to get rid of them is to pour gas into the entrance holes at dusk -- you don't light it, but the petroleum fumes get'em over night. Of course that doesn't work in an Airstream or in the wall of a building.
--Lan Sluder
Asheville, NC & Belize, Central America
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:35 PM   #11
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don't see many yellow jackets here , mostly mud daubers and paper wasps .
spray in holes first , wait a few minutes and open cover ( carefully ) if in open housing no big deal . if in burner chamber run furnace for 5 minutes ( all dead ) I like the smell of the little beggers burning , been stung lots !
I'd wait for fall to service furnace as may move back in when you leave and you'd just have to do over in fall .
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:10 PM   #12
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I have put a dog's flee collar in that compartment and so far that has kept all the critters out of those outside compartments. Can't say that it would work specifically for bees but certainly a cheap idea to try.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:33 PM   #13
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Bee careful when using wasp spray. Some sprays are flammable. Let it dry or evaporate before using furnace. The wasp going in the nest will not bother you. It's the ones coming out, that will sting the heck out of you.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:46 PM   #14
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X2 on the dog flea tick collar any where you don't want the critters.

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