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Old 07-24-2011, 11:04 PM
468 posts, read 611,208 times
Reputation: 561


Okay, so this is my first summer that I've been working around the house and barn I bought in central Aroostook and even after spending almost a week up on a ladder around the barn fixing rotted fascia boards and painting, I have yet to even see a paper wasp or yellow jacket, let alone be driven off by an irate colony hiding up in the rafters.

Meanwhile, back in MA, being mid July, the little monsters are everywhere, especially for those doing house painting, re-roofing, etc.

I can say that I have seen a tremendous amount of various types of bumble bees working the flowers at my farm house property, but no predatory wasps/yellow jackets.

Of course they're there somewhere I suppose, but is it really true that there aren't as many wasps/yellow jackets in The County compared to places further south as my anecdotal observations suggest or have I just been overly spared this summer?

Or.... does it have anything to do with the fact that my town is something like 2/3 potato and grain fields?

My barn is also situated fairly high up on a hill and the side of the barn I've been working on mainly is the north side that endures fairly constant north and northwest winds. Maybe this barn site is just too cold for the little buggers and if was working on a house in town and more out of the wind, there'd be more of them there hymenoptera pests?

Just wondering.
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:11 PM
Location: Caribou, Me.
4,851 posts, read 3,513,743 times
Reputation: 3394
That's funny, because I was just reading a book on insects to my 3 year old tonight, and the subject of wasps came up. I told him that we don't have many around here, so don't worry too much. (Same with yellow jackets). I am basing that on experience (including our own old barn!). But I really do think it's true.
I did have to get rid of one nest on the barn a couple of years ago. But I just have never seen many here in the County.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:08 AM
17,157 posts, read 22,161,261 times
Reputation: 31218
they must all be down this way, Ive seen more this year, than i can remember and had to soak them and their nest with the long distance wasp spray- had 3 nests around my deck- they usually make nests in the rafters of my garage and in the storage shed- but this year very close to the house

also had the small yellow hornets making a next on my gas grill- those are the territorial little ones, that will come at you
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:06 AM
Location: Maine
502 posts, read 1,532,596 times
Reputation: 499
LOL. Mowing yesterday I found 3 yellow jacket nests in ground, one wasp nest, and a yellow jacket nest under my deck. Got stung several times.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:29 AM
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 33,129,150 times
Reputation: 16733
Lived in Aroostook County almost 20 years (Caribou/PI/Washburn area). Must just be a slow year for them, they are there. Used to run into them ALL the time while out working. My best friends in the Summers was a couple cans of the long range wasp/hornet killer in the truck. I didn't see very many wasps up there though, mostly yellowjackets and bald faced hornets.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:54 AM
468 posts, read 611,208 times
Reputation: 561
Thanks everybody. I kind of doubted that I had moved to a completely wasp and yellow jacket-free zone.

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Old 07-25-2011, 08:44 PM
Location: Belfast, Maine
277 posts, read 770,341 times
Reputation: 151
I've destroyed 2 paper nests so far this summer here on my house in Belfast. I also was just up on my wifes grandmothers roof killing a nest of yellow jackets tonight... Even with these 3 nests I don't see as many nests overall as I used to...
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:55 PM
Location: Vermont / NEK
5,654 posts, read 12,037,405 times
Reputation: 7075
Y'know, you've jinxed yourself now. All the wasps and yellow jackets that read this forum will be up for a visit next year.

I live on the VT/Quebec border and now that you mention it, I haven't seen a whole lot of them either. I've been painting my house this summer and they just don't seem to be around. Usually they are. Fine by me. Bees, on the other hand, are welcome as they seem to mind their own business and find much better things to do. There's a few acres of soy beans planted near my house that recently flowered and it's such a pleasure to walk by and listen to them. It's actually quite awesome.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:28 AM
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 33,129,150 times
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Even here in Michigan there are a LOT less wasps and hornets this year than usual. Must have been the funky weather all the Northern tier states got this Spring that effected how many bees there are this year.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:02 PM
Location: A great city, by a Great Lake!
15,908 posts, read 9,642,118 times
Reputation: 7449
I'm from Ohio. Normally the yellowjackets start getting progressively worse between now and until they die off in the Fall. By August they are usually hanging out near our neighborhood pool, and September it gets to the point that you can't even go out on your porch without the little creeps coming after you! We've had our usual share of wasps, but they generally leave you alone. Make no mistake, they will attack if provoked, but are nowhere near as aggressive or annoying than the yellowjackets. Usually around here I see the queen yellowjackets in May looking for a place to build their nest. I saw the first worker a few days ago, and one yesterday, but for the most part they haven't been a problem as of yet. Ohio has 2 species of yellowjackets.. the Eastern Yellowjacket which are native, and the German wasp, which aren't native, but have pretty much taken over as the main species here in Ohio. In fact they first turned up in Ohio in 1975 where they were first spotted here in the states, and have since spread to other parts of the Northeast and Midwest. They are bad a** little critters, and should not be taken lightly. I'm usually not in to killing God's creatures without good reason, but I will not hesitate to squash them, or pour gasoline down their hole if I spot the nest! Considering my wife is highly allergic, is enough for me.
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