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Old 15-06-2019, 10:56   #16
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Just get some "Hot Shot for Wasps" go up, be well covered. A splash hood would be good. Cover all parts of body and be sure to get the nest. That's it.
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Old 15-06-2019, 11:23   #17
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Go sailing.
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Old 15-06-2019, 11:25   #18
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

In earlier posts about the subject of bad bugs in masts, one suggestion was to move the boat away from land, go sailing somewhere away from land. If you can find an anchorage away from trees that was claimed to have helped, if you are not in a position to do an overnight or two away from all land. The claim was that while you are taking their home along with you, the bugs don't have anywhere to go to get their own food and will either wither or leave.


Good luck.
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Old 15-06-2019, 11:44   #19
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

you could fabricate a wasp aerosol can holder from say....wood.....with a lever that you could depress by pulling on a light rope or string.....
You can hoist this contraption up with one of the halyards and when you reach the mast head, pull the string to activate the spray...
outlandish ???...maybe.....but I'm highly allergic to bee or wasp sting and that is what I would do...
one other option....you can buy these " wasp traps" at you local hardware store....it's a plastic tubular looking thing....you fill it with a wasp attracting fluid. The wasps fly in to get to the fluid, but can't fly out again.
I had a problem with wasps under the lid of my dock box and hung one of these contraption from the bow pulpit.
It worked...sortoff....but you could hoist one of these things up the mast as well.
finally, you could get a metal bucket, fill it with some oily rags and light it and hoist the bucket up the mast and hopefully the oily smoke will drive them off.
The worrisome thing is that the wasps may still try to get you even you are standing on deck...
At the end of the day, I finally had to hire a specialist to come and get rid of these pests...
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Old 15-06-2019, 12:48   #20
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

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Originally Posted by Jules_M View Post
While taking some telephoto pics of the top of the mast in preparation for installing a wind transducer I discovered there's a lot of wasp activity up there.

Any suggestions for getting rid of them before going up?
All the talk in this thread about killing the wasps, I find distressing. The planet needs wasps and bees, etc., or eventually, we all die.

Wass are harmless unless they feel threatened, and they do a lot of good. I learned in Croatia how to just be calm. At a naturist beach, fergawsakes - everybody naked, and a huge number of wasps. People sitting on wood benches at wood tables, with match boxes, lighter, bits of wood balanced on the necks of their beer bottles - I found out why. It didn't take long to get used to the little critters crawling over your hand, trying to get a taste of beer while you were drinking. But they never reacted aggressively if nobody swiped at them.

Back home at our mooring in the Netherlands, we had (still have) a wasp's nest next to the jetty. I collected ten empty beer cans and taped them together in a triangle (1, 2, 3, 4). I fixed the triangle (on its side) to a heavy block of wood to stabilise it, made a mixture of beer, orange juice and honey well stirred, then put a tablespoon of the mix in each can.

I placed the 'wasp hotel' at one end of the jetty. Once they found it (took about ten minutes) they all dived in. They were happy, didn't bother us even while we were eating al fresco about five yards from the cans.

Chemicals to kill them introduces stuff into the atmosphere that the planet doesn't need, and the wasps are not only useful, they are crucial to our survival.

C'mon guys, give them a chance.
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Old 15-06-2019, 13:02   #21
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

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Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
finally, you could get a metal bucket, fill it with some oily rags and light it and hoist the bucket up the mast and hopefully the oily smoke will drive them off
What could go wrong there.......?.
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Old 15-06-2019, 13:12   #22
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Cut a Vapona strip in thirds. Hang one piece inside your boat. Hang another piece inside the mast.
No bugs of any kind ever.
First thing we did each year when opening the cottage in spring. / Len
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Old 15-06-2019, 15:26   #23
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

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Originally Posted by canyonbat View Post
What could go wrong there.......?.
Ask crew to hold your beer, soak the foot of the main with diesel (headsail, as well, if you want a 100% successful attempt), light match...
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Old 16-06-2019, 04:14   #24
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

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Originally Posted by David1033 View Post
All the talk in this thread about killing the wasps, I find distressing. The planet needs wasps and bees, etc., or eventually, we all die.

C'mon guys, give them a chance.

You want to go up there with wasps flying all around?
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Old 16-06-2019, 08:20   #25
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Aqua Net Hairspray. Goes on like varnish. If you go up the mast with a can of bug spray, you will succeed in pissing them off with enough time get stung before they succumb to the poison.

The hairspray works by gumming up their wings. They will drop out of the air instantly. I like the idea of using the chimney effect to carry insecticide fumes up the mast. Hit them with the bugspray from the safety of the deck, and then go up armed with the Aqua Net and the poison for the survivors.

Learned this trick while painting houses during college summers. It really works!
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Old 17-06-2019, 19:53   #26
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Wasps ate a hole into my house and built a nest between two floors. Did not realize they were there until they began dropping out of my office ceiling fan.

First attempt at eradication was to tip 2x4s from the ground to the area of entry between the floors, on the outside of the house. I hung strips of fly paper all around them. After about a week of this trick I didn't make a dent in the population and my strips were full.

So I devised a plan utilizing a 10' section of PVC conduit and a 90 degree elbow glued to one end. I knew they were entering under the siding, however, I could not access that area without becoming a pincushion myself. By removing the plug at the bottom of the corner piece, I knew I could blast Seven Dust up into the area of egress and eventually take out the entire hive. Next step was to devise a method of delivery. This was accomplished by fastening an air nozzle into the end of the PVC piping.

The next day was plenty hot outside. None the less, I dressed myself in a heavy jacket, gloves, rain pants, and an authentic bee keepers hat ie military surplus insect netting. My compressor was set to 120PSI and attached to 150' of rubber air supply line. The musket was charged with Seven via a funnel and poured into the end of the tubing at the 90 degree elbow. I shook it down the length of the tubing to ensure sufficient powder was loaded into the weapon.

Everything was staged and ready, line charged with air, weapon loaded, safety clothing donned and operator positioned for the hit. As the tubing approached the opening at the bottom corner of the house siding, I was expecting company. Nothing moved. The 90 degree slid up into the bottom opening a few inches and I let go the charge of Seven material. White powder blew out of every nearby crevice, so I was certain we had hit our target, as well as all entry and exit points.

Within a few days all was quiet on the home-front, which allowed me to remove siding, plug the 1" diameter hole they had chewed through the 1.5" thick wood and clean up their mess.

I'm wondering whether you might be able to dispense some Seven or other insect dust product into the area where you suspect the hive to be. Good luck!
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Old 17-06-2019, 23:17   #27
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

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Originally Posted by Jules_M View Post
You want to go up there with wasps flying all around?
Yep, no problem. Depends what I want to go up there for. If it's to check the masttop, or release a blocked halyard, whatever, I'd go up, trying not to disturb them.

If they became a real nuisance, I'd take off for a couple of days / nights, then sail in close to land and some trees - hopefully, they'd move out of their own volition.

I've been stung by a wasp just once. I was asleep, one early Summer morning. I felt a tickle on my ankle, so, semi-consciously, brushed it with my other foot. The wasp naturally thought it was being attacked so it stung me, but at the same time my foot stunned it. Of course, the sting woke me up. I put the wasp on a piece of paper and took it outside, in the shade of a bosai. After about five minutes, it revived and flew away.

Admittedly, you have to be extra careful if you have an allergy (my wife is seriously allergic to stings and bites), but in the main, wasps won't harm you, and the planet does need them, and bees.
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Old 18-06-2019, 05:14   #28
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Yesterday I sprayed the last few feet of the spare halyard with wasp spray. Then I fashioned up a messenger line by threading it through a couple of small paint rollers and soaked them with wasp spray.

All day I checked the activity using binoculars. Nothing. Towards the end of the day I thought I saw one. Today I will repeat the process and see how it goes.

David, I get what you are saying but it's just plain dangerous and irresponsible to send someone to the top of the mast knowing they might disturb a wasp nest. That's where I draw the line.
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Old 18-06-2019, 06:19   #29
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Soapy water is a good wasp killer; some wasp aerosols ARE soapy water. Remember those cartoons of someone knocking over a wasp nest and then running for his life to a pond with a swarm of angry insects in pursuit? That's real. The first one that stings you releases a pheromone (like a hormone but a smell) that attracts the others to sting you. When you feel that first one, run like hell, which is tricky if you are at the top of your mast.
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Old 18-06-2019, 06:25   #30
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules_M View Post
Yesterday I sprayed the last few feet of the spare halyard with wasp spray. Then I fashioned up a messenger line by threading it through a couple of small paint rollers and soaked them with wasp spray.

All day I checked the activity using binoculars. Nothing. Towards the end of the day I thought I saw one. Today I will repeat the process and see how it goes.

David, I get what you are saying but it's just plain dangerous and irresponsible to send someone to the top of the mast knowing they might disturb a wasp nest. That's where I draw the line.
Hi Jules, thanks for your comments. I agree that it is potentially dangerous to go near a wasps nest - the important word you used there is 'disturb'. If the nest is disturbed or perceived by the wasps to be threatened, then that is definitely not the place to be, but it is possible to be right next to the nest, have the critters walking over your hands and body, even, without hem going on the attack.

I admit you need nerves of steel and a steady hand, but it's not impossible.

I do understand why repellent sprays and poisons are used, but sometimes they are used as first, not last resort.

I hope your approach worked out. There's an outside chance that the smell of the spray will make them look for another place to nest, rather than killing off the nest.
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