I stumbled onto a very effective method of eradicating an underground yellow jacket nest. I thought that I took care of the nest in the photo below two years ago with kerosene but it became a problem again this year.
I read that yellow jackets kill honey bees. I don’t know for sure if that’s true but I do know that yellow jacket stings hurt like hell. This nest is in a high traffic area of our yard and I have read horror stories about dogs being attacked and killed by yellow jackets, so this nest had to go.
First thing I did was place the garden hose near the nest’s entrance hole and run the water full bore into the nest until the ground around the nest was fully saturated and water was bubbling out of the hole. I shut the water off for a few minutes to let it absorb into the ground completely. This also made the entrance to the nest much larger. The yellow jackets were pretty ticked off about this so I kept my distance for several minutes.
When things calmed down I dumped about 1/3 cup of regular blue Dawn dish soap into the entrance hole and turned the garden hose on again at about half throttle. A nice big suds ball formed out of the nest and dead yellow jackets could be seen floating in the suds. I shut the water off and went away for about an hour and when I returned, I repeated the process while sticking a pipe through the underground nest several times. I estimated the nest to be about the size of a basketball.
It’s been 5 days now and there is still no sign of life around this nest. BTW, Dawn dish soap came to mind because we have been using it as a flea shampoo this summer as well. It does a great job at keeping fleas off the dogs!