Flames vs Hornets

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Hi,
I didn't know whether or not this was in the right subforum but it's technically biology.
Basically my room window is a few meters away from a tree that has some bees, wasps and hornets in it.
At night, they sometimes wander into my room since I do not turn off my lights and I usually leave the window open for fresh air. I did buy one of those window nets that should prevent anything from going in but it is not really sticking well to the window and it has gaps in it. Night before that I had a hornet in my room and it was a pain to get it out, so I remembered a trick that my father had shown me some time ago.
Basically, using a parfume (which are all flammable), and a lighter to produce a small flamethrower.
It would most definitely aggravate bees, wasps and hornets but would it incapacitate them, burn their wings, kill them immedieately or would they just get angry and attempt to sting me?

Thank you.
 

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  • #2
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Hi,
I didn't know whether or not this was in the right subforum but it's technically biology.
Basically my room window is a few meters away from a tree that has some bees, wasps and hornets in it.
At night, they sometimes wander into my room since I do not turn off my lights and I usually leave the window open for fresh air. I did buy one of those window nets that should prevent anything from going in but it is not really sticking well to the window and it has gaps in it. Night before that I had a hornet in my room and it was a pain to get it out, so I remembered a trick that my father had shown me some time ago.
Basically, using a parfume (which are all flammable), and a lighter to produce a small flamethrower.
It would most definitely aggravate bees, wasps and hornets but would it incapacitate them, burn their wings, kill them immedieately or would they just get angry and attempt to sting me?

Thank you.
Instead of fooling around with a flamethrower-type object, why not just fix the screen?

Also, hairspray is flammable because of the propellant (probably butane) and is much cheaper than perfume if you really want to go that route, and risk setting fire to your house.
 
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  • #3
Ryan_m_b
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What exactly were you hoping to do with it? Sit awake all night and flame the window if an insect comes through or attack the bush itself? The former is just going to damage your house and result in no sleep, the latter is unlikely to get rid of the problem (it's certainly going to rile them up) and risks setting the bush alight (if it's dry). If it's not your bush that's an even bigger problem.

Fix the net.
 
  • #4
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Well. As a kid, I did this, and the result was some burnt skin (that spray had some alcohol in it and it stuck on my hand), hornet stings on my head (those, which I did not managed to burn attacked immediately), hornet stings on my feet (I was in a sandal and the hornets which had their wings burnt attacked my feet). Was no fun to run with all those.
Then, a bit later on I had to tell my parents what I did... That part was the worst.

I think you better fix the net.
 
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  • #5
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The net is about to be fixed.
The plan was to attack those who passed through it in the meantime.
Tree is a while away and I have never had more than 1 bee/wasp/hornet in my room nor in a short interval.
Would precision and the sheer temperature of the "flamethrower" incapacitate their wings?
Possibly delivering the killing blow when they are on the ground with a heavy object would do the job.
Opinions?
 
  • #6
Ryan_m_b
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The flame will probably kill a single insect, or even multiple ones if they're directly in it. If the insects in question are bees or wasps then the signal released by their dying will galvanise the rest to attack.

But aside from that: spraying flame from a can in your own house, at your own window (which has a net at least and presumably curtains/blinds) or floor (which presumably has carpet or wood) is a really really really bad idea. At best you will damage the surfaces. At worse you will start a house fire.

Fix the net, get one of these, don't shoot flame in your house.
 
  • #7
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Opinions?
I would just chase them out before fixing the net.

If you want to play with fire, than just say that.
 
  • #8
jim mcnamara
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Moved to General Discussion. Seems to be a discussion about personal preference of methods to kill insects manually or to exclude them from an area.
 
  • #9
Vanadium 50
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Set a flying insect on fire inside your house? So you have little incendiary bugs flying around? What could possibly go wrong with that?
 
  • #10
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The flame will probably kill a single insect, or even multiple ones if they're directly in it. If the insects in question are bees or wasps then the signal released by their dying will galvanise the rest to attack.

But aside from that: spraying flame from a can in your own house, at your own window (which has a net at least and presumably curtains/blinds) or floor (which presumably has carpet or wood) is a really really really bad idea. At best you will damage the surfaces. At worse you will start a house fire.

Fix the net, get one of these, don't shoot flame in your house.
How big is the "range" of the dying signal?
I've killed a few beforehand (not a new problem) and I had never had swarms or vigilantes/vendettas etc. after me.

Considering that they enter the room and immedieately go to the light bulb on a metal chandelier, I reckon it is possible to fire the flames with safety and accuracy (hopefully not missing it in the process and having it go full revenge dive into my face).

What would've happened if I miss with an electric swat?


Set a flying insect on fire inside your house? So you have little incendiary bugs flying around? What could possibly go wrong with that?
Well the plan would be to immedieately cover it with a hard object and splatter it after it crashes down so I assume that the splattering would create an oxygen barrier and extinguish the flames, considering if their bodies are flammable (except for the wings which would presumably burn up immedieately).
 
  • #11
berkeman
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At worse you will start a house fire.
Set a flying insect on fire inside your house? So you have little incendiary bugs flying around? What could possibly go wrong with that?
Exactly. I can say from personal experience (please don't ask why) that flaming wasps can fly several 10s of meters before they die and fall to the ground (while still on fire). This can be especially problematic when you are in the woods with lots of dry grass around, and dozens of wasps set on fire at the same time.
 
  • #12
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personal experience (please don't ask why) that flaming wasps can fly several 10s of meters before they die and fall to the ground (while still on fire). This can be especially problematic when you are in the woods with lots of dry grass around, and dozens of wasps set on fire at the same time.
I won't ask.

Any alternatives besides the electric swat?
How would a bug spray respond, would it be effective immedieately, would it be harmful for humans?
 
  • #14
OmCheeto
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I won't ask.

Any alternatives besides the electric swat?
How would a bug spray respond, would it be effective immedieately, would it be harmful for humans?
I've found that ammonia based window cleaner kills ants very quickly. I believe hornets are closely related. Might work.
If it doesn't, at least you'll have cleaned your room a bit, mopping up.

ps. Never had a problem with hornets in the house, as adjustable window "nets" are only $6. I have 2.

...then hang one of these outside a little away from your window
I found one of those washed up on the river beach earlier this year. Quite effective.

2018.08.13.mostly.full.yellow.jacket.trap.png

(Placed here for photo op only. Basically FULL!)

Picked it up of course, and brought it home. Can't be leaving nasty plastic things messing up the environment.
Not sure if these would be effective for hornets.
Although I've had a nasty run-in* with a colony of yellowjackets, I've never had a single problem with hornets.

-----------
*I won.
 

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  • #15
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I'm sure the Flames could beat the Hornets. No way you could dribble a basketball on the ice.
 
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Oh wait, google translate had me in a pickle.

Upon looking up yellowjackets, I realise that they were the problem, not hornets.
 
  • #17
OmCheeto
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Oh wait, google translate had me in a pickle.

Upon looking up yellowjackets, I realise that they were the problem, not hornets.
Many such creatures look alike.
If your suspect creature was trying to escape, and not eat you, then it was most definitely NOT a yellowjacket.

Yellowjackets are very mean spirited.

And I suspect that Batesian mimicry was responsible for the other hornets and wasps to evolve with such disguises.
 
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  • #18
BillTre
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Around here (Oregon), yellow jackets (in my experience) are quite nasty if they feel threatened.
They also seem to lie in the ground or old stumps.

For any of these hornet/wasps/yellow jacket things, I would first:
Determine if they are inactive or less active at night. Many kinds are quite inactive at night.
If they are yellow jackets in an underground nest, get a 5G bucket throw some dish detergent in it, fill it up and dump into their hole.
Then run away and wait a couple of hours.
The nest should be dead.

For a large above ground nest (like hornets):
wear gloves and long sleeves, clip away nearby branches at night, put in plastic bag over it, clip it free from bush (or what ever), close bag, put in freezer.
You get a nice nest you can cut open later. Very cool!

Not all of these guys are nasty however:
I now have a "pet" paper wasp nest that started in a large (55 G) aquarium I had standing on end outside (so it wouldn't fill with rain).
These guys are quite calm and don't bother me. I have moved the aquarium several times during the day with no problem.
I now have them next to my vegetable garden where they are patrolling for insect pests that they kill and feed to their larvae.
My plants in that garden have never been so insect and slug free.

When I was growing up in Maryland, we have a bunch of Cicada Killers (solitary, live in the ground) under our back porch.
They were the at least a couple of inches long, would hover like a hummingbird and made a similar sound.
Ours were bigger with more yellow, but otherwise similar to these:
Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 2.21.46 PM.png

They can pick up and fly paralyzed (by their sting) cicadas back to their burrow.
They never stung me, but I'm careful.
 

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Many such creatures look alike.
If your suspect creature was trying to escape, and not eat you, then it was most definitely NOT a yellowjacket.

Yellowjackets are very mean spirited.

And I suspect that Batesian mimicry was responsible for the other hornets and wasps to evolve with such disguises.
The confusion that I had between hornets and yellowjackets is just that google translate had mistranslated, and when I saw your post about yellowjackets I looked them up, saw the similarities and then searched up hornets. Only to know that yellowjackets were the issue, and that I can't even think about one time I actually saw a hornet.

And yes, yellowjackets seem to be the evil that haunts children as some elders say that it could be life threatening, even if not allergic to the venom.

Around here (Oregon), yellow jackets (in my experience) are quite nasty if they feel threatened.
They also seem to lie in the ground or old stumps.

For any of these hornet/wasps/yellow jacket things, I would first:
Determine if they are inactive or less active at night. Many kinds are quite inactive at night.
If they are yellow jackets in an underground nest, get a 5G bucket throw some dish detergent in it, fill it up and dump into their hole.
Then run away and wait a couple of hours.
The nest should be dead.
I have not identified the location of the nest itself, as it seems to be a somewhat nearby tree that attracts them.

For a large above ground nest (like hornets):
wear gloves and long sleeves, clip away nearby branches at night, put in plastic bag over it, clip it free from bush (or what ever), close bag, put in freezer.
You get a nice nest you can cut open later. Very cool!
Why would I want a nest with hornets in it?

Not all of these guys are nasty however:
I now have a "pet" paper wasp nest that started in a large (55 G) aquarium I had standing on end outside (so it wouldn't fill with rain).
These guys are quite calm and don't bother me. I have moved the aquarium several times during the day with no problem.
I now have them next to my vegetable garden where they are patrolling for insect pests that they kill and feed to their larvae.
My plants in that garden have never been so insect and slug free.
That's a very good use of those insects. Are they aggressive towards humans?

When I was growing up in Maryland, we have a bunch of Cicada Killers (solitary, live in the ground) under our back porch.
They were the at least a couple of inches long, would hover like a hummingbird and made a similar sound.
Ours were bigger with more yellow, but otherwise similar to these:
They can pick up and fly paralyzed (by their sting) cicadas back to their burrow.
They never stung me, but I'm careful.
That is pretty neat actually. Are they also aggressive or do Cicadas do any damage towards property?
 
  • #20
BillTre
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That's a very good use of those insects. Are they aggressive towards humans?
Not the ones I am talking about (paper wasps). I can wave my hand around teh nest about a foot away and they mostly ignore me.

Are they also aggressive or do Cicadas do any damage towards property?
I would not call them aggressive, but they will hover in mid-air maybe 6 feet away and just look at you while buzzing, which can be intimidating.
 

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