Wasps in compost?!?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Handbook - A Guide to Composting Human Manure: Wasps in compost?!?
Author: Heather
Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 6:26 pm
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I was quite surprised when I went out to empty buckets, dug my little hole in the pile, and was greeted by a swarm of paper wasps!
I backed up, waited for them to settle and then GINGERLY buried our contributions in the other side of the pile.
Winter will take care of them soon enough, unless the heat of the pile is enough to keep them alive through a northeast ohio winter!
Anyone else ever encounter this issue?
(I added a BUNCH of fresh grass clipping hoping to smother them, and haven't seen them again so far.) Any other ideas?

Author: Stephen
Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 11:40 pm
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No never seen wasps. What type of wood do wasps use to build their homes? Is that the type of sawdust your using? Is there not enough of it around for them to collect? Don't know.

Author: admin
Friday, September 30, 2005 - 10:44 am
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Paper wasps like a very dry environment. They would not build a nest in compost. Yellow jackets will build in the ground, as will bumblebees. But compost should be as wet as a wrung out sponge, so no bees should be nesting in it.

Author: Heather
Friday, September 30, 2005 - 1:58 pm
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Upon further investigation, I think they were in the drier part of my cover material (old hay) in the corner. All of my compostables (humanure and kitchen scraps)go in the middle of the pile, so the corners are mostly layers of old hay. So far the grass clippings seem to be working. (Actually paper wasps will use ANY kind of wood to build their homes- I've seen nests with 4 or 5 colors of paper from different types of wood) Thanks for the responses...I guess it's just one more the "has anyone ever had...?" file.

Author: Anonymous
Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 11:14 am
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I'm glad they were only paper wasps. Had they been yellowjackets you might have been attacked.

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