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Old 14-06-2019, 13:37   #1
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How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

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?
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Old 14-06-2019, 13:40   #2
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

I am sure an expert will be along in a minute but I have been told wait until after dark as they should be asleep and less active.

I have seen people haul up a bucket with something nasty in it which sometimes works

Good luck
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Old 14-06-2019, 15:55   #3
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

https://www.google.com/search?q=site...t+wasp+OR+bees
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Old 15-06-2019, 00:47   #4
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

You remember in one of the Pirates of the Carribean wher Jack got the crew to run from side to side?
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Old 15-06-2019, 07:33   #5
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

The rigger suggested I soak a rag with wasp spray, hoist it with a halyard and knock it around.

I've read wasps don't like soapy water. I was wondering about using a pressure washer with the suction tube in a container of deck soap. But I'd have to make sure it won't harm the sails.

I was at a neighbor's to help him with the electric on his boat lift. I opened up the cover to the controller and a wasp flew out and stung me on the nose faster than I could react. These things are nasty!
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Old 15-06-2019, 07:50   #6
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Utilize Permethrin spray when one goes up mast, it has long lasting effect, a nerve agent to insects but not harmful to mammals. My favorite insecticide, works on tents, netting and clothing for many months and repeated washings.

Spray some on the mast and any nests and then retreat for a few minutes to allow it to do its work then return.

Wasps are less active at night and early morning if it is cold. One can often see them sun themselves early in the day to warm up and get active, but they can still be painful if provoked when sluggish.

Permethrin is an insecticide in the pyrethroid family. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that act like natural extracts from the chrysanthemum flower. Permethrin is used in a number of ways to control insects. Products containing permethrin may be used in public health mosquito control programs. They may be used on food and feed crops, on ornamental lawns, on livestock and pets, in structures and buildings, and on clothing. Permethrin may also be used in places where food is handled, such as restaurants. Permethrin was first registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) in 1979, and was re-registered in 2006
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Old 15-06-2019, 07:53   #7
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How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

As a kid we were squirrel hunting. I shot one and had to get through thick thorny vines to get it, thatís when the Yellow Jackets hit. I got stung so many times in the head and face it knocked me unconscious and I was taken to the Emergency Room. Middle of winter so I had thick clothes on or they would have gotten me in the body too Iím sure.
Yes, they apparently will swarm even in Winter if you step on their hole.
No way would I even consider hanging in a Bosunís chair while a swarm stung me, call a professional exterminator and let them do their thing before you fall to your death.
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Old 15-06-2019, 08:10   #8
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Spray wasp killer heavily in the top, around the sheaves if no openings. Hopefully that will kill them. I'd do it when they are quiet and you are able to get down fast! But there's likely a paper nest in there and not sure if the spray will get them all. If you discovered this soon enough it may be tiny. You could tape a plastic bag around the top for a couple days after spraying.
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Old 15-06-2019, 08:11   #9
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

I recently had to deal with a similar situation involving bees:

Removing a bee hive from the mast

In the end, the only way to resolve the issue was to wear a lot of protective gear and haul an accomplice up the mast with a couple cans of bug spray at night.

There were a lot of wasps in the mast as well, although lower down. They were easily dealt with using Raid, but you will have a harder time at the mast head. I built a rig out of plywood that held a can of Raid that could be hauled to the masthead and activated with a light line from on deck. It just annoyed the bees, but something like that might be useful for wasps. Your rigger's idea of hauling a rag soaked in wasp spray up to the mast head and leaving it there would be a great place to start.
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Old 15-06-2019, 08:23   #10
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Spray Raid inside the mast(Thru an existing hole). It will rise & discourage them. / Len
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Old 15-06-2019, 08:24   #11
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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
The rigger suggested I soak a rag with wasp spray, hoist it with a halyard and knock it around.

I've read wasps don't like soapy water. I was wondering about using a pressure washer with the suction tube in a container of deck soap. But I'd have to make sure it won't harm the sails.

I was at a neighbor's to help him with the electric on his boat lift. I opened up the cover to the controller and a wasp flew out and stung me on the nose faster than I could react. These things are nasty!

Did it hurt?
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Old 15-06-2019, 10:00   #12
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Professionals have a block of something that worked on bees. It just sat there inert inside our attic and killed everything. Probably still there working. Maybe haul that up there?

I think though what I'd be inclined to try on my own is to get a few bug bombs. Open the inspection port at the bottom insert bomb and set it off. Hopefully the fog will rise to the top and kill everything.

Neighbor of mine uses his shop vac on wasps and yellow jackets etc. Has it filled partway with water inside then sticks the nozzle down the hole with the vac running. Insets get sucked up and stuck inside. leaves them for several days and empties the dead carcasses out.

Good luck and let us know how you did it
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Old 15-06-2019, 10:06   #13
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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
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?
Be careful with regards to the 'wasps don't fly at night' idea. I've always thought that, and have removed many wasp nests from under eaves (of houses) and such at night.
Using a coffee can and stiff piece of plastic or cardboard to remove the nest, the occupants were always agreeable about the 'move', and I was never stung.
I don't use poison, ever, but have burned out a few yellow-jacket ground nests though...
All that said, an elderly neighbor of ours in AZ was stung several hundred times trying to get a (killer) bee hive out of his eaves - late at night. It should have been a fatal dose of bee venom but he survived. Made the newspaper.
Might try dressing up as a bee-keeper to climb the mast and have a look around? I often wear a bush/boonie hat when hiking in the desert, with a sturdy insect screen tucked up into the crown. Not for bugs but for bees, which typically go for your face - especially your mouth and eyes - when in defensive mode. Best of luck!
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Old 15-06-2019, 10:20   #14
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Wasps do fly, and sting, at night. I know from a frog gigging trip one night with my college roommate. I reached over and grabbed a limb to pull our boat closer to the bank, and dislodged a huge wasp nest into our boat. After just a few seconds of getting stung, we both dove into a cottonmouth and gator infested swamp to get away!
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Old 15-06-2019, 10:53   #15
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Re: How Do You Get Rid Of Wasps At The Top Of The Mast?

Those who urge caution are correct. I got hit once with a good swarm, about 40 stings. Even if you are NOT allergic you swell and things get weird.


Since then, I've found that one of those over-everything bug jackets, worn with a brimmed hat, heavy clothes, and leather (not cloth) gloves, is pretty effective.


I wonder if pulling a section of messenger line through the mast, soaked in one of several pesticides, and leaving it there for a day or 3, might not be effective. Sealed in the mast, the fumes would locally get strong.

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