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Author Topic: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks  (Read 1692 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« on: June 24, 2018, 05:45:05 PM »
   Couldn't decide where best to put this thread but decided this is likely the best fit.

    For those of you who are making up stacks of lumber for air drying, how do you keep wasps and hornets and other undesirables from getting into them? The one inch stickers between rows of lumber seem to make a perfect location for these beasties to nest. 

   I had never thought much about it till yesterday when I had a customer wanting a few short 4/4 black walnut boards. I had about 500 bf stored on a shelf at the end of my shed. I climbed up on a ladder (Please don't tell Jeff as I know the FF policy on old, fat members on ladders), took off a board or two and immediately found myself fighting off yellow jackets. They won the first battle with 4 direct hits. I abandoned that stack and substituted some live edge 4/4 to fill the order and came back later and sprayed wasp & hornet spray on the edge of the stack where I had seen them and killed several and annoyed many more. I got to thinking about it and was concerned the spray might have oil and might stain my boards.

   I went back this afternoon with some old newspapers tied to a sticker for some wing singeing but did not get much activity so climbed up there and found and removed the saucer sized nest about 6" from the top layer. I dusted the area with 5% Sevin dust and saw one or two yellowjackets light on it then fly off and crash land into the grass so that seems to be working. I can't see any obvious damage to the wood from last nights spray.

   I am sure this must be a common problem for anyone storing stickered lumber so I would love to hear how you combat the problem without damaging your wood. 
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 12:07:15 AM »
I ran into some hornets in my air drying wood last week.  I didn't get hit, but it's the same scenario.

I generally look for wasps and see them, most times :o before they get a chance at me.  I'll bump the stacks with my forklift and back off, looking for activity.

I have my best luck with pyrethrin spray, same stuff I use to spray for on my cows, loaded into hand wand pump up sprayer. It's water mixed and won't stain wood. 

I asked my doctor to prescribe me an Epipen in case a customer gets stung and is allergic.  
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Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 06:13:44 AM »
Yesterday I hit a wasp nest with over-the-counter spray from the box store. The ones that hadn't launched didn't even get airborne. Spray hit them, they hit the deck. It's sorta foamy and covers them instantly. I'll look to see what it is.
I own my own small piece of the world on an 8 acre plot on the side of a mountain with walnut, hickory, ash and spruce.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 06:29:15 AM »
I was booming the owners nephew into the barn we're repairing so he could stand in the workbasket and pitch stuff off of a collapsing loft. About the time I had him up and in he yelled "bees!" Luckily I just retracted and he didn't get wrapped up in there. I picked up a couple of those cans of 20' knock em down spray and we'll go in again this morning... I like having a can in each hand for a hornet nest. Usually it's mice and snakes in my stacks and wasps and hornets in the rafters but its that time of year when you never know who you're going to meet. Usually after I get stung I realize one or two bumped me as a warning to back off right now and I had ignored them.

Offline WDH

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 08:14:44 AM »
I have to watch out for snakes too.  My sawmill snake likes the coolness of the evaporating moisture from the wood in the drying stacks. 

Here he is all rumpled up showing a "don't mess with me attitude".  Ungrateful cuss.



 
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Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 08:23:48 AM »
Here he is all rumpled up showing a "don't mess with me attitude".  Ungrateful cuss.


What kinda snake is it? I supposed I have them too since I've located mice in my stacks. Not hoping to meet one any time soon! :( 
I own my own small piece of the world on an 8 acre plot on the side of a mountain with walnut, hickory, ash and spruce.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 11:02:44 AM »
That is a rumpled if snake, for sure.  Last time I saw one that corrugated it had tire tracks on it.  

I wish I had a few sawmill snakes to keep the mice in check, but the cows seem to disagree with them and rumple them up pretty good.  
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 11:43:16 AM »
Hammer,

  Thanks for the info. Do you have a brand name for the Pyrethrin spray you are talking about? Where do you get it? Do you think TSC carries it? I like the idea of the water based. That is my concern with the 20' knock em down sprays. I am afraid it my have oils and stain the wood.

  My wife is severely allergic to wasp/bee stings and has a couple of epipens around here so we could use one on a customer in a pinch if she was around and could get to one. I think she keeps one in her camera bag but not sure where the other one it. I guess I better check. We used to keep one in the tackle box in Albany Ga when we were stationed there as we had lots of big red wasps on the bushes around Lake Worth where we fished a lot.

  When I got hit keeping the customer back was my first priority and the old guy did not seem very alert to the danger.

   All this talk about wasps reminds me a year or so after I moved here I bought a Gravely tractor with a 30" bushhog on front to cut multiflora roses and ran it into a clump of roses up on the hillside. I hit a nest of ground nesting yellowjackets and one stung me. I threw the Gravely into reverse and backed away as quickly as possible and bumped a small walnut tree behind me. With my typical luck it had a football shaped whitefaced hornet nest on the first limb and 3 of them nailed me before I could get away. I figured the way my luck was going I'd turn the tractor over in a copperhead den.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 05:37:07 PM »
Now that sounds familiar, years ago while running a brush hog over a bunch of bramble at the outside edge of a hay field I ran over a ground nest of bald faced hornets. I never saw them until the first one nailed me between the shoulder blades, felt like someone had hit me with a 2x4. I looked back, saw the rest of the swarm coming after me and decided the tractor just wasn't fast enough, kicked out the pto, tuned it uphill, bailed and ran. They chased me for quite a ways, determined little buggers, and mean too. Waited up the hill until the tractor caught up with me. Don't like bees, not allergic, just a wuss when it comes to pain.

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 06:13:05 PM »
   The week after we got married my MIL was mowing their yard in N. Ala and ran the push mower over a ground nest of yellowjackets. They got after her including up her pants legs so she shed them in the yard and streaked to the house. She was a pretty large lady and it was likely quite a sight if anyone had been there to see her. She had the old style push mower with no kill switch so it ran till it ran out of gas before she could retrieve it after dark. 
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2018, 06:57:40 PM »
It is red wasps and pipe gates down here.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2018, 08:11:51 PM »
   Yeah, they are a problem here too. Sounds like a great application for that Great Foam canned insulation.

   We have lots of the big football shaped hornet nests. Sometimes they are built by the white faced hornets and other times the look like they are occupied by yellowjackets. Not sure if they build or steal them. These looked like they had the start of that kid of nest but were yellow and black and ill tempered.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2018, 10:27:13 PM »
The nest we knocked down this morning was one of those "hornet" nests full of yellow jackets. With that gone we installed and welded the last roof tie rod in the barn. We cleaned up more in the back of the barn, pulled out a mint condition old single bottom horse drawn plow and parts of an old surrey, at the end of the day went to clean off the collapsing loft. When the debris of that hit the floor it stirred up what looked to be carpenter bees but they were coming out of a hole in the dirt floor and were ill tempered. One kept coming and ran me out of the barn, chased me into the yard. I tried to return a couple of times and he was on me a couple more times being very aggressive. I've never had a carpenter bee act that way and I've not seen them in the ground before, I'm guessing that is a bald face hornet?

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2018, 11:02:20 PM »
   If it was in the ground I'd think that was probably bumble bees. 
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2018, 11:07:03 PM »
This is the stuff I use, a water based pyrethrin concentrate.  I get it from Tractor Supply or the COOP, and mix it real heavy with water in a pump up sprayer, so one bottle will make up many gallons of spray and will generally last me a year.  I use it for flies on my cattle, spiders, ants, bees, wasps, pretty much anything I don't like will die from this.  I also use it for spraying carpenter ants that are in logs and crawling on my wood.  It's a contact spray, but is very effective.  

Gordon's Permethrin 10 Livestock and Premise Spray, 32 oz. at Tractor Supply Co.

I especially like it for wasp nests because they don't seem to recognize it as a poison so when I spray a nest, they think it's raining and generally will cling to the nest as opposed to swarming and chasing me.  Once they figure out their mistake, they are plopping to the ground.    

I keep the pump up sprayer loaded and ready at the mill, and I've knocked more than one stinger out of the air with it, trying to hit me. 



 
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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2018, 07:58:25 AM »
PA,

Black rat snake.  Not venonous, but a bite would hurt and snake mouth is nasty, so an infection could be an issue.  I would not like to get bitten again as I was bitten in the face by a red rat snake when I was growing up :).
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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2018, 08:25:26 AM »
Hammer,

   Thanks. I will pick up some next time I go to town.

Danny,

   Did the Red rat snake get sick? :D
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2018, 09:11:52 AM »
Sorting some red oak slabs today, with a customer, and he stepped on a nest some place next to the stack we were moving the lumber onto.
He got stung in the ear. Luckily he said he was allergic to them, any more.
I sprayed the area with some of that 20' knock down stuff.

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2018, 09:31:38 AM »
Didn't get a picture but we were edging a whack of dry ash for a customer yesterday when my FIL tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the part of the stack we had not yet edged. There was a 3' or 4' rat snake trying to hide amongst the remaining lumber. It was dead stacked so that tells you just how flat this stuff was.   

Figured I got a free mouse trap out of the deal for putting up with that pile of lumber, but I wondered what the snake thought of the adventure. 
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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2018, 03:27:51 PM »
I think the best wasp killer is a can of starting fluid.  No stain, No mess and instant knock down. 

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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2018, 03:57:51 PM »
I think the best wasp killer is when they are in a stack of wood, hiding, and I find them laying in the kiln floor after a sterilization cycle, cooked to a crisp.   :D

A kiln is pretty good on mice, scorpions, black widows, and snakes, too, and although I don't dislike snakes, this one forgot to stop, drop and roll when I was loading the kiln.  He ended up pretty "rumpled" and was cooked so soft I couldn't even lift him out without him dripping into little pieces.  Very tender and stinky.  I never saw him until I opened the door to pull the wood out.     



 

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Offline WDH

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2018, 07:58:52 PM »
That is called being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 
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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2018, 08:04:34 PM »
Hammer,

   Have you tried drying bacon in your kiln along with a load of wood? Might give it that nice smokey smell to capture the market. Could be a must-have for new restaurants to force the customers to develop an appetite as soon as they come in. :D
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2018, 10:24:15 PM »
Funny you should ask, the last load my reefer container shipped while in service was a full load of beef jerky.  It still had some bonus packages in the container when it was delivered.  Still, to this day, when I open the door to the kiln, beef jerky aroma makes my mouth water. 
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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2018, 12:56:22 AM »
I have contemplated hanging some laundry in there to see what happens, say with a load of cedar. Could be great deer hunting clothing prep. 
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Re: Wasps in your air dry lumber stacks
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2018, 09:00:01 AM »
Gentlemen,

   I think we may have discovered a new niche market for dry kilns. Please feel free to go ahead and sell them for meat processing/preserving, clothes drying, health and beauty (Saunas), etc. If they make any money PM me for my address so you can send me some. :D 

   If you end up in a law suit - I never heard of the idea. ;D
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"


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